Sun Microsystems’ outgoing co-founder and former chief scientist Bill Joy carries praise for Apple technologies – and condemns Microsoft as "the reigning monopolist here".

Interviewed by Wired, he reveals: "I just got a new Mac with two 2GHz processors, 8GB of memory, and a half a terabyte of internal disk."

The tech-guru praises Apple's Power Mac G5 for its "ability to hold a huge simulation all in memory – a database becomes a data structure. Add 64-bit computing and I can do breathtaking visualization."

Adding that Apple's OS is a "rock-solid" system that he much prefers to Linux (and Windows), he observes: "I find Windows of absolutely no technical interest. They took systems designed for isolated desktop systems and put them on the Net without thinking about evildoers, as our president would say."

Looking at the effects of technological advancement and the war on terrorism he warns: "Democracy is about individuals giving up the ability to do whatever they want so that everybody can have some rights. We may have to give up some of the power of high technology if we want to keep our civil liberties. And that is a choice, whether we realize it or not."

Joy has been Sun's technical leader since the company formed in 1982. He has been a leading designer of Sun's key technologies, including Solaris, SPARC microprocessors and Java. He is also credited for designing the Berkeley version of Unix, and pioneering open-source development.