Michael Murdock, self-proclaimed former candidate for Apple chief executive, is most famous for being the butt of a cruel practical joke played by Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs.
Apparently, Murdock believed he had been offered the job of Apple CEO, after being sent confirmation emails by Ellison and Jobs. But after supplying a potential start date, he was told that it had all been a prank. And just two days before Christmas.
Here he has written a few enlightening words on open source in a letter to vnunet.com in which he also has a bit of a pop at Steve Jobs.
The following is an edited version of the correspondence.
"Actually, if you look again, the jet that Steve Jobs was given was $90m. OUCH! Apple shareholders paid for that.
"Apple stock has dropped substantially from where it was. It could come back, but moves such as raising the price of a new computer model when everyone else is dropping their prices makes people wonder who is running the company.
"If I were there, Scrooge would be running the company and finance, but ... we would sell a lot of really cool computers for around $500 each.
"The real thing that Apple needs to focus on is what drives the market in their niche. OSX is nice. It works, and is stable. Now, they need to build a following for it. How? By getting into the open source community with a series of apps that promote open source development.
"Currently they are still pushing Microsoft. In court, Apple slices at Microsoft while, in the back boardrooms, they are kissing their tail. Get smart and get off the Microsoft bandwagon. Start pushing something that your customers believe in - open source!!!!!
"Microsoft makes an operating system. Apple makes an operating system. Apple OSX is a great operating system with a foundation in open source. However, the focus of the company does not appear to be making any headway in getting open source into the mainstream.
"Apple can drive this point home by encouraging open source development and bundling open source apps with its hardware.
"If Apple actively promoted open source, Microsoft would start to lose some of its grip on the industry. The bottom line is that we all need to work together to promote something that is good for all. Open source is it.
"But what do I know? I was merely the brunt of a lousy joke by Jobs and Ellison. However, I still have more imagination and drive left to run Apple better than Jobs.
"I would not do it for $1 per year, and not for stock options, but with a contract for a cool $1m up front, and a $300,000 per year salary for three years, I would at least double the stock price of that company within two years.
"After three years of success, I would step aside for a new chief executive to come in, and I would leave with a severance of $5m and five per cent of the company stock.
"All dependent upon successful execution of what is mentioned above. No success, no stock, just a $1m sayonara check. One has to protect ones ass(ets)."
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