Sun's chairman and chief executive came into possession of Microsoft stock last year through his investments in several venture capital funds, in which he is a limited partner. When companies in those funds got bought out by the software giant in stock swaps, some of those shares came back to McNealy's accounts as disbursements.
According to public filings, he unloaded 303 shares in Microsoft last December. His holdings in the Redmond, Washington, company amount to a drop in the software giant's prodigious bucket, but are curious nevertheless.
"Once or twice he's received distributions of stock that he has sold immediately," Sun spokeswoman Anne Little said. "He is not actively buying Microsoft shares."
Still, it is interesting to note that one of Microsoft's most vocal critics had any financial stake in his sworn enemy, however indirect. The animosity between the two companies is legendary within the industry.
Sun took Microsoft to court last October, claiming the software giant had to remove the Java logo until its products passed a suite of compatibility tests. (See related coverage) Sun is the developer of the Java programming language.
Microsoft, for its part, wants to ship its own version of Java that will run only on its Windows operating system.
Most recently, McNealy took his anti-Microsoft crusade to Capitol Hill, where he testified against his rival last week at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing examining Microsoft's business practices and antitrust issues. (See related story)