This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, September 18, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Shares of Sun Microsystems also taking a beating, the stock down a whopping 76 percent this year. Still, Sun is looking to brighter days ahead. The company now pitching itself as a technology contractor and announced some long-range plans at its Sun Network Conference today. But will it be enough to win over investors and consumers? Earlier, I asked Sun Microsystems chief Scott McNealy if its all just another shot at Microsoft?
SCOTT MCNEALY, CHMN. & CEO, SUN MICROSYSTEMS (SUNW): No. What we're trying to do actually is provide a client architecture that is low cost, has conditional access, with a Java card access, is easy to maintain, and very simple for people who want to take advantage of Sun One services. And all they will need is a Java browser and a good low cost enterprise desktop for dedicated-use kinds of environments in health care, in retail, in banking, in academic arenas, in government arenas. We think we can provide a very, very low cost - in fact, probably half the cost of what you would have in the standard Windows Microsoft world, in terms of acquisition costs and way lower costs and way better security in an ongoing manner. So we think it is a pretty compelling environment.
CAVUTO: Can I ask a personal question, you were bumped off of the Forbes 400 richest list this year. Did that.
MCNEALY: I was?
CAVUTO: Yes, you are not on it.
MCNEALY: I was?
CAVUTO: Yes. You and Steve Case off this year, did that bug you?
MCNEALY: Oh man, have we got a razor blade?
CAVUTO: So you don't pay attention to that sort of stuff.
MCNEALY: You know what? I've got other things to worry about.
CAVUTO: All right. Because let's talk a little bit about your stock for the time being, Scott. Like many technology companies, it has been hit hard. But it is not low enough where some might suspect takeover bid, what do you think?
MCNEALY: They think they can run this thing better than the team that is in there today, let them come down and make an attractive offer and see if the shareholders buy it.
CAVUTO: Well, has anyone knocked on your door or talked to you and said, hey, what you are doing here we like but you are a cheap stock, maybe we could do something together?
MCNEALY: I think what everybody is saying - all of the analysts who were all saying buy at $60, now saying sell at $3, you know, I think people are nervous that we don't have a business here. We have got a pretty solid business. We know what we are doing. They say you don't have to outrun the bear, you've got to outrun the other hikers. And we're outrunning all the other hikers.
CAVUTO: Yes. But you have got to outrun Microsoft. And does it bother you that with this obsession, again, my word, no one else's, with going after Microsoft, and it looks increasingly like Microsoft might get away with at best the slap on the wrist that you've somehow lost here?
MCNEALY: I think if you look at our earnings compared to Hewlett-Packard or IBM, we don't have the profitability of a monopolist. There is no question in my mind. But we are offering our customers at an ever- increasing market share a choice, an alternative, a different way to do things that is not built around software assurance, is not built around a client-server model, and is virus-free, and offers real security. And in this new world, security and authentication and choice are very, very important words.
CAVUTO: So you are saying that Microsoft, still a monopolist, are you afraid that when all is said and done it will remain a monopolist?
MCNEALY: I've made my statements clear. You can go back through the tape. None of my positions have changed. I am kind of over talking about that. The nice thing about the fact that we are letting the courts settle this is I don't have to yack about it on TV anymore and I can talk about all the great things that we're doing at Sun.
CAVUTO: You are doing great things, there's no doubt about that. And I'm going to belabor this one more time, but do you feel despite all of the great things you have done, despite the charge that you lead to go after Microsoft for monopolistic behavior, whatever you want to call it, that when all is said and done, they will still be the same company they were before you raised all these hackles?
MCNEALY: I can't predict what will happen in the future. We have a court case that is in the early stages of the trial, and how that all shakes out, what happens with the state attorneys general, what happens with the DOJ case, what happens with the EC, what happens with the AOL Time Warner case, there is a lost stuff going on out there. Have we seen any new behavior out of Microsoft recently? No, it's been the same old thing, acquire, dominate, bundle, and basically misrepresent what is really going on out there. But that is not going to change. And like I said, you can keep asking all of the questions but it is you asking questions not me bringing it up.
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