Sun to sink in the west?

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Sun Microsystems is in deep trouble.

So say a number of analysts, most recently Brian Richardson from Meta Group who says the company has got it all wrong, with its hardware seen as proprietary and expensive.

Richardson said that it was hard to see any upside for Sun - and he's not alone. Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich wrote last month to CEO Scott McNealy and the board: "The company has gone from being pure in vision and predictable in financial performance to an underachieving, bloated, unfocused reflection of its former self."

Sun has lost money consistently ever since the end of the boom - when it boasted it was the dot in dot-com - and is about to post another set of quarterly and annual results. It declined to comment on what those results might contain.

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It is very much like old times for Scott McNealy.

There he was earlier this month at Stanford University to help christen the Computational Earth and Environmental Science research center that Sun donated equipment too.

Old times because Stanford was where it all started for McNealy, and "employee #1" Andy Bechtolsheim, who was also on hand. Bechtolsheim designed the company's first workstation using the Stanford University Network (SUN) while both were students there.

"I always wonder how a Stanford golf major is allowed to speak at these things," McNealy quipped. Actually, McNealy got his MBA there, but the former CEO never passes up the opportunity for a good line.

Scott McNealy's Still Got Game.