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Sun fills competitive officer post

Sun Microsystems, known for its feisty battles with larger companies such as Microsoft and Intel, hires the former CIO of Georgia as the new executive in charge of competitive operations.

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Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
Server maker Sun Microsystems, known for its feisty battles with larger companies such as Microsoft, Intel and IBM, has hired a new executive in charge of competitive operations.

Larry Singer, who had been the first chief information officer for the U.S. state of Georgia and was the executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority, has taken over the spot, Sun spokesman Brett Smith said Monday.

Singer replaces Shahin Khan, who left the chief competitive officer job earlier this year to spearhead a new Sun push to expand its high-performance computing business.

Singer resigned from his post in Georgia in December.

While working for Georgia's state government, Singer was involved in picking Sun hardware and software over IBM and Microsoft technology for an Internet site to give Georgia citizens and suppliers access to applications and information from the state. One facet of the site lets citizens renew driver's licenses online. That deal was announced in February 2002, with Singer warmly endorsing the Sun gear.

But Singer also has spoken out in favor of technology that Sun doesn't like--for example, PCs running Microsoft Windows. Sun prefers to leave the computing to large central servers or, in some cases, to PCs running Linux.

On Hewlett-Packard's Web site, Singer is quoted saying the Compaq Tablet PC is good for state employees who work in the field. Heestimated that the Tablet PC would help increase PC usage in the state from about 50 percent to 70 percent of employees.