Bill Joy

Founder and Vice President of Research

Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Bill Joy founded Sun in 1982, coming to the company from U.C. Berkeley where he was the author of Berkeley UNIX (BSD) and the "vi" text editor. Berkeley UNIX was an early example of an "open source" operating system, and provided early and strong support for TCP/IP and the Internet in 1980.

At Sun Bill has led Sun's new technical initiatives for a number of years. Major new technical initiatives he has led and/or designed include Sun's Network File System (NFS), the business and technical strategy for the Java programming language and platform, and, most recently, the Jini distributed system.

Bill is co-author (with James Gosling and Guy Steele) of the Java Language Specification, the definitive description of the Java Programming Language. His most recent work on the Jini technology for networked computing devices using Java (with Mike Clary) is described in the August, 1998 issue of Wired magazine, and at

Bill is also a designer of the SPARC microprocessor architecture (with Robert Garner and Anant Agrawal), the picoJava architecture for the embedded market and systems on a chip (with Marc Tremblay and Mike O'Connor) and the ultraJava architecture for high performance embedded and media processing (with Marc Tremblay).

Bill was appointed by President Clinton and serves as the Co-Chair (with Ken Kennedy) of the Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). An interim report to the President from this Committee is available at This report describes the need for the government to fund additional fundamental information technology research to maintain America's lead in IT and to meet critical infrastructure and defense needs in the 21st Century.

Bill serves as a member of the board of directors of the Novell Corporation and of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival of Ashland, Oregon.


University of California, Berkeley 1975-1982

Master of Science, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1971-1975

Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering

Some Professional Awards:

Lifetime Achievement Award, USENIX Association

For profound intellectual achievement and unparalleled services to the UNIX community, 1993.

Grace Murray Hopper Award, Association for Computing Machinery

The award honors a select group of computer scientists who have contributed outstanding achievements to the art and science of computing, 1986.


7 Issued, 10 in progress 08/98