Reusable Statement Expected to Save Time, Money

PALO ALTO, CAL. ( – In an effort to streamline corporate communications and eliminate redundancy, Sun Microsystems today issued what it called its “official and final” statement on the company’s relationship with rival Microsoft.

Sun Explains How to Use Statement

“Microsoft sucks,” Sun said.

According to Sun spokeswoman Andrea Letti, the statement will now serve as the company’s sole comment concerning Microsoft, its products, business practices, and subsidiaries. The purpose, Letti explained, is to reduce the amount of time Sun employees spend responding to “numerous, daily” questions about the software giant.

On Wall Street, Merrill Lynch immediately raised its rating on Sun from “accumulate” to “strong buy,” arguing the coarse nature of the statement heralds a decisive change of direction for the software and hardware maker.

“Up until now, Sun positioned itself as the company that ‘put the dot in .com,'” Merrill Analyst Rebecca Fraisling said in a research note. “However, nobody knew what that was supposed to mean. ‘Microsoft sucks,’ by comparison, is pretty self-explanatory.”

In Redmond, Wash., a Microsoft spokesman refused to comment on Sun’s derisive assertion, stating it was company policy not to respond to rumors.

Based on the “Write Once, Run Anywhere” slogan used by Sun to promote its Java programming language, the Microsoft statement relies on the concept, “Say it once, write it anywhere.” Letti went on to explain how the new system will work:

“Let’s say I’m a Sun VP of marketing and you’re a reporter. You ask what I think about Windows 2005, or whatever. I say, ‘Microsoft sucks.’ You follow up and ask if I think Windows 2005 will cut into our OS development. Again, I say, ‘Microsoft sucks.’ Or let’s say you’re from the Department of Justice and you ask if I think Microsoft is a monopoly. Doesn’t matter. My answer’s the same. ‘Microsoft sucks.’ End of interview.”

Letti said Sun is now hopeful that reporters, analysts, shareholders and legal officials won’t “harass” the company with questions about Microsoft anymore.

“It’s why we issued it as an official release,” she said. “You can use it whenever you want, in any story you want, and attribute it to any Sun executive you want. There’s no expiration date.”

While some industry observers quietly wondered if Sun should have used less blunt language, Hambrecht & Quist analyst Carlton Dortmund estimated the official stance should help Sun by keeping its executives on task and off the phone. Dortmund also said the “powerful language” and universal accessibility of the statement should increase Sun’s brand awareness in the media.

Asked about Dortmund’s comments, Letti started to answer, then wagged a finger. “Microsoft sucks,’ she said, smiling. “Nice try.”

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