Donovan's Views: more Jonathan Schwartz revelations
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Donovan's Views: more Jonathan Schwartz revelations

By Gaurang Donovan

The former Sun Microsystems former Vice-President (five various positions), Chief Operating Officer, President, and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Schwartz, wrote on his "What I Couldn't Say" blog (http://jonathanischwartz.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/good-artists-copy-grea...) last week about a 2003 threat of future legal action that he claims Steve Jobs made to his office in a telephone call while raising the idea  that the graphical effects of a Sun prototype Linux desktop may be violating Apple's intellectual property (if Sun commercialised that prototype). 

Schwartz wrote his reply was simple and left Steve Jobs silent without a response. The reply mentioned how he had been watching a recent presentation of Jobs and how Apple's newly released Keynote presentation software looked identical to Concurrence and if Jobs/Apple owned that intellectual property.

Concurrence was a software product previously developed and owned by Lighthouse Design, a company Schwartz co-founded before Sun's outright purchase of the company in 1996 for $22 million. (Five founders, $22 million - was it eight years effort?)

Jobs made no response to the question if he owned the IP and the matter was never raised again supposedly.

This revealing story was well covered on the internet reporting last week, most of them indicating Jobs or Apple as a lawsuit crazy bully and Schwartz and Sun strong and intelligent and standing up to the threat. A few covering the story raised intellectual property (IP) issues surrounding "look and feel"  protection and types of IP concerning software (patents vs copyrights).

I thought it might be helpful to review developments surrounding Lighthouse software, Schwartz and Sun for some younger readers to set out a more complete picture..

I disclosed that I believe I had the first Mac in China (19 February 1984) in my last article "Donovan's Views: Fleishman vs Enderle - mano a mano." I unfortunately can also claim I was told by the salesman to have had the last NeXT hardware purchase in Hong Kong (and probably Asia ex-Japan) with a NeXTCube (late November 1992) before NeXT stopped making all hardware on 9 February 1993 (known as "Black Tuesday"). I won't scan the receipt or the welcoming letter from Todd Rulon-Miller. Now there is a name from the past.

Through that purchase and further work at a bank, I came to know some of Lighthouse's software products through actual use and remember them very favourably. But I also recall some other points that should be brought out. Let me present some of those points and you can draw your own conclusions.

Schwartz formerly founded Lighthouse Design with a small group of other people and sold a variety of excellent NextStep/OpenStep software programs. They were mostly in the office productivity genre of software - presentation, speadsheet, diagram, database, word processing, drawing, task management.

The presentation product Schwartz mentioned to Jobs was called Concurrence and it was sold for $995 per copy. The smart street shoppers could find it priced at $695 with mail-order software outlets in the winter of 1994. 

Shown is a scan of the Concurrence marketing sheet with features listed and with $995 retail price suggested enlarged.

The Lighthouse spreadsheet products (ParaSoft - traditional spreadsheet, Quantix - multi-dimensional spreadsheet) were selling for $595 and $895 at a mail order outlet while the word processor product OpenWrite sold for $395. 

The word processor program Lighthouse carried was called OpenWrite. The below is copied out of its Read-me file: "OpenWrite 2.0 will begin shipping in mid-December for the SPARC-, Intel-, Motorola-, and HP PA-RISC-based versions of NEXTSTEP 3.2 or later. OpenWrite is priced at $495. OpenWrite 1.x users can upgrade to OpenWrite 2.0 for $99. Site licenses are available and OpenWrite is included, along with all other Lighthouse products, on a heavily discounted Academic CD. The next Academic CD will be available in late December."

A comparative Mac program was T/maker's $100 WriteNow word processor.

Lighthouse was purchased by Sun Microsystems in mid-1996 for $22 million and Schwartz being one of the five founders probably made a few dollars out of the deal. Most of the small team of engineers and programmers went over to Sun where they were going to be involved with some NeXT collaboration with Sun. That plan was nixed as the deal went through and the Lighthouse suite of products were never again seen in the marketplace under the Sun brand. Schwartz continued upwards in the Sun organisation growing influence, obtaining new titles, and eventually ran it in 2006. 

We know how that company story ended. He aided running it right into the ground and it was sold to Oracle.

But Schwartz mentioned it was because of the bad timing of the global financial crisis. Or was that just really bad haiku?

The Register reported that Schwartz commented in September 2003, then head of the Sun software division (from 2002) that the acquired Lighthouse products long held (from 1996) would probably never again be offered in public.

This 2003 comment was probably made to silence the continued calls from former NeXTStep and OpenSTEP users for the very same product and features that Lighthouse had (instead of Sun just sitting on the products). 

Sun, and in the latter years Schwartz, did not budge from the position in April 2006 (nearly three years later) when he became President and CEO of Sun. There were former customers of Lighthouse asking for a known products by name in hope they would be available for Mac OS X and the executive decision was to sit on the old products and intellectual property and not develop them. 

I wonder why they just did not sell the software off to another group (possibly Steve Jobs and Apple?). Was it to fend off someone else with less deep pockets from undertaking moves in that direction?

Anyway, such behaviour should make you wonder about business acumen of Sun executives of the day. It does seem that potential customers asking for formerly expensive products they held were ignored.

Fortunately Steve Jobs moved the necessary Apple corporate resources and programmers to develop the Keynote application as his own corporate presentation work demanded something better than Microsoft PowerPoint (if he or I would ever use it!). 

Keynote version 1.0 was released in January 2003. There were two more revisions released within 2003 and we now know Schwartz and Jobs had "talked" on the phone sometime during this year. Remember Jobs was apparently scared or shocked to have a response to Schwartz's sharp remarks of who owned what intellectual property.

Or maybe Jobs was trying not to say anything impolite as his mother taught him? Sometimes actions, including silent ones, speak louder than words.

The Keynote software was released and reviews were very favourable. The uptake among Mac OS X users was strong. Keynote development continued steadily and version 2 shipped two years later in January 2005. By then, it was sold in a combined package called iWork '05 and included (surprise, surprise) a word processor and layout program called "Pages". It can be compared with Lighthouse's $395 word processor OpenWrite. (Remember Concurrence street price was $695.) The whole iWork package cost $79. 

I think Lighthouse products could have been in that marketplace with the smallest of efforts if Sun had taken a different executive decision.

By August 2007, iWork added yet another application and included the spreadsheet program "Numbers". It is comparable with the $595 ParaSoft and included enough multi-dimensional elements to it that $895 Quantix can't be ignored either when discussing it. The price of iWork '07? The same $79.

A treble, trifecta or tiercé? All three. $79. Three really good applications.

And now on the horizon, we lucky users will have the choice of paying an additional $9.95 for the new iPad platform version of each of the three iWork applications just next month.

Quadrella, quinella, heck, let's just call it a Sweep. 

Sun and Schwartz have lost much of their spotlight and here we are discussing about his wonderful legacy Lighthouse products they deliberately allowed to stay out of the market. This time lets switch to baseball terminology. A triple play is three outs.

I have a new naming suggestion If Jonathan Schwartz starts a new blog  from his current "What I couldn't say" to "Real results speak louder than silly revelations."

(Columnist Gaurang Donovan is an Australian “mystery man” who wishes to keep his identify secret for personal and business reasons—Dennis Sellers)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

EtreCheck 3.1.5 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
WALTR 2 2.0.8 - $39.95
WALTR 2 helps you wirelessly drag-and-drop any music, ringtones, videos, PDF, and ePub files onto your iPhone, iPad, or iPod without iTunes. It is the second major version of Softorino's critically-... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.12 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Dropbox 16.3.27 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 15.29 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Spotify 1.0.44.100. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.27 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
VueScan 9.5.62 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Fantastical 2.3.2 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
PCalc 4.4.4 - Full-featured scientific c...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Track Santa with these three festive app...
Christmas is fast approaching and that means it's time to prepare for Santa's yearly pilgrimage around the globe. Christmas Eve is an exciting time as parents help their kids get ready to welcome Santa. You've got the cookies and milk all planned... | Read more »
Galaxy on Fire 3 and four other fantasti...
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore brings the series back for another round of daring space battles. It's familiar territory for folks who are familiar with the franchise. If you've beaten the game and are looking to broaden your horizons, might we... | Read more »
The best apps for your holiday gift exch...
What's that, you say? You still haven't started your holiday shopping? Don't beat yourself up over it -- a lot of people have been putting it off, too. It's become easier and easier to procrastinate gift shopping thanks to a number of apps that... | Read more »
Toca Hair Salon 3 (Education)
Toca Hair Salon 3 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Winter comes to Darkwood as Seekers Note...
MyTona, based in the chilly Siberian city of Yakutsk, has brought a little festive fun to its hidden object game Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery. The Christmas update introduces some new inhabitants to players, and with them a chance to win plenty of... | Read more »
Bully: Anniversary Edition (Games)
Bully: Anniversary Edition 1.03.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.03.1 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: This game is officially supported on the following devices: iPhone 5 and newer, iPod Touch... | Read more »
PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Never Settle for Low Performing Wifi With iOS...
AppYogi Software has announced the release of WiFi Signal Strength Status App 1.0, the company’s new utility developed exclusively for macOS. WiFi Signal Strength Status App features a unique, single... Read more
New 2016 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros in st...
B&H Photo has stock of new 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $1999 - 13″ 2.... Read more
New 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock...
B&H Photo has new 2016 Apple 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models in stock today including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2799 - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
DietSensor App Targeting Diabetes and Obesity...
DietSensor, Inc., a developer of smart food and nutrition applications designed to fight diabetes and obesity and help improve overall fitness, has announced the launch of its DietSensor app for... Read more
Holiday 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sales...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple TVs for $51-$40 off MSRP,...
Best Buy has dropped their price on the 64GB Apple TV to $159.99 including free shipping. That’s $40 off MSRP. 32GB Apple TVs are on sale right now for $98 on Sams Club’s online store. That’s $51 off... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refurbished, n...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, now available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Refurbished 2015 models are available starting at $929. Apple will include a... Read more
Holiday sale: 12-inch Retina MacBook for $100...
B&H has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $... Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
US- *Apple* Store Leader Program - Apple (Un...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on Read more
Automotive Detailer - *Apple* Used Autos -...
We are currently conductinginterviews and will be accepting applications for a part-time detailer. Apple Used Autos is a great place to work andstart a career. We Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Trumbul...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.