The author of the "Open
letter to McNealy
" has some severe misconceptions about the software field:

But software technology — operating systems, development tools, application
servers, systems management tools, and the like — all come with a major
handicap. They become commodities so fast that pure technological excellence has
little differentiating power.

None of these industries are anywhere near commoditization. If such were the case

  • Windows would be free, as would be WebLogic and WebSphere.
  • There would be no differentiating factor between Windows and Linux, they
    would all provide the same set of services.  Same for WebLogic and
  • Open source software would dominate all these markets.

Even free IDE’s such as Eclipse can’t commoditize the IDE space, as
JBuilder and IDEA have been showing for several years now.

Software doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What drives commoditization is user
needs, not producers. And so far, user needs have constantly brought in new
requirements on all these software stacks, precisely preventing commoditization
from happening.

The author needs to read up on some basic business principles before trying
to patronize a CEO…