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Simon Phipps
Chief Open Source Officer
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

The Zen of Open: Observations of a New Bear


Photo of Simon Phipps

Simon Phipps is the Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems, co-ordinating Sun's extensive participation in free and open source software communities and actively participating in the global conversation they express. Prior to this appointment he co-founded Sun’s pioneering staff weblog facility at

A computer industry insider of 20+ years standing, Simon has worked in such hands-on roles as field engineer, programmer and systems analyst as well as being involved at a strategic level in some of the world’s leading computer companies. Fascinated by the idea of ‘action at a distance’, he worked with OSI standards in the eighties, on the first commercial collaborative conferencing software in the nineties, and helped introduce both Java and XML at IBM. He joined Sun in mid-2000.

He is currently Chair of the OpenSolaris Community Advisory Board and takes an active interest in several free/open source software organisations. He holds a degree in electronic engineering and is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the British Computer Society where he is on the committee of his local branch.

Simon lives in the UK with his wife and three children but is based in Silicon Valley in the US. With membership of airline frequent flyer clubs thus taken care of, he is free to indulge in his favourite pastimes of reading, writing poetry, collecting music, taking photographs and playing with cool toys.

His personal home page and blog is and Sun's software home page is at