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Available To The Right Buyer: Sun Microsystems

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the send-picture-of-boat dept.

Sun Microsystems 489

antediluvian writes "The Seattle Times reports Sun Microsystems shares surged forward on speculation the computer maker may be bought by a rival company. Prospective buyers could include Dell, IBM or Hewlett-Packard. Computer sales of rival companies have been outpacing sales of Sun's machines. Over the past three years Sun's stock has declined 92 percent."

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Apple... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874117)

...should offer to buy them. At a ridiculously low price. Turnabout, being fair play, and all. :-)

Well, that might be the only counter weight to MS (1, Troll)

3770 (560838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874380)

1) Microsoft owns the desktop 2) Microsoft introduces .net, which makes Windows the only viable server platform if you want to use .net clients. 2.5) (you can argue that any web services platform can be used for .net clients and while that might be somewhat true it is less convenient. Also, how long will it be true?) 3) step 3, Microsoft owns the server room The Sun and Apple combination are, put together, the two only companies that can challenge that. In the long term there is a possibility that IBM with Linux may challenge Microsoft but that day is not even close. Well, that is my take on it.

Re:Well, that might be the only counter weight to (1)

Brandon Sharitt (667596) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874423)

Well people aren't in just a big rush to roll out .net clients.
Where did you come up with Microsoft owning the server room?

Re:Apple... (1, Insightful)

ghostdoguk (550575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874398)

Too right. A good mix and both parties win. Sun systems running OSX server, sounds like a good move. I always thought that Apple should buy Silicon Graphics , now that would be a smart move. I always liked Irix. The sun thing would give Apple the Java angle.

their Buyer is (3, Funny)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874119)

Their buyer is SCO?

NOw that would be ironic wouldn't it?

Re:their Buyer is -- Jack Handy on Irony (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874299)

One of the most misused words of the English language is "ironic." Whenver people try to sound overly sophisticated and intelligent, they tend to use that word and make their statement or argument more intelligent, and so many times I sit there thinking, "No... it's not ironic at all... maybe a coincidence, but it is not ironic." The song "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette doesn't really have anything ironic in it at all. Almost all the scenarios that she portrays aren't ironic, but are umm.... bummers. So instead of her singing, "isn't it ironic," she should sing "isn't it a bummer." Now what would be ironic is if she deliberately titled the song "ironic" knowing full well that there's no irony in there at all

Why do you think SCO is doing this? (1)

jeroenb (125404) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874409)

If they win the case Sun will fund its own takeover :)

2nd post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874127)


This wil be sad news... (5, Insightful)

zlowry (445521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874128)

I really, really like Sun hardware, and I'd hate to see it all go the way of the Alpha. Plus, what would happen to Java, I wonder?

Re:This wil be sad news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874224)

Hopefully... Java will be gone for good. And with people realizing what a crap it was (YES, Java is crap.. whop would have thought it...) they'll hopefully avoid C# and turn to programming languages that have been available and proven sufficient for more than 30 years.

Re:This wil be sad news... (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874349)

"and turn to programming languages that have been available and proven sufficient for more than 30 years"

Hello, innovation.

Explain Please? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874355)

What exactly is so bad about Java? Sorry I'm just a froshie CS major and we're using Java in the intro classes...

Re:Explain Please? (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874362)

There's nothing wrong with Java, other than the fact that it's not as fast as C++. People just like to whine about it because they're worried they might have to learn something new one day.

Re:This wil be sad news... (1, Troll)

ChaoticChaos (603248) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874378)

Why would you hope that "...Java will be gone for good"? Java is a great language/platform and the only seriously competition to .Net. Are you dying to see everything gobbled up by the Evil Empire?????????? ...and how in the hell that post isn't marked as "Troll" is really beyond me. The moderators are totally asleep at the wheel.

Re:This wil be sad news... (3, Interesting)

the uNF cola (657200) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874244)

Java.. would at least stick around. Too many financial companies are investing in it. Too many people in general are. Worse comes to worse, someone "buys" java and continnues it, it gets put into the open or the license changes, where it might get perverted..

Getting rid of java is like getting rid of cobol. It's hard, but it'll take a while :)

Re:This wil be sad news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874286)

No it wont. The only places using Java are those god-awful "B2B" shops. I don't see banks running Java on their critical transaction processing systems.

Re:This wil be sad news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874305)

Let's say that Microsoft "buys" Java and transforms it into "Java.NET"...What would that mean for all of us?

Re:This wil be sad news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874317)

Java would go down the toilet, which would be, all in all, a Really Good Thing(TM).

Nah... day dreaming.

Sony (2, Interesting)

fallacy (302261) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874129)

PS3 client and Sun server backend for on-line gaming

stock (5, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874130)

Over the past three years Sun's stock has declined 92 percent

Gee, do the stock prices of three years ago mean anything? Yahoo and Amazon must also be bought!

Re:stock (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874183)

LNUX must be bought too. From $320 a few years ago to $0.90 Friday.

Re:stock (4, Insightful)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874391)

It seems once a company goes public they stop worrying about actually make good products and do anything they can to increase the stock price instead of quality.

Need to create a mySQL table [webcalc.net] ?

Power To The People! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874131)

Hey, me and my buddies poured out our loose pocket change, and dug around for some coins under the cushions on the couch.... and I think we've scraped up enough to buy Sun ourselves! The first thing I'll do is bring back the "Mr. Coffee" JavaStation, and then fire Scott McNealy. Second step is to get Ed Zander back. Then, PROFIT!!!!!

Re:Power To The People! (3, Funny)

Roto-Rooter Man (520267) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874247)

Your business plan is doomed to failure. You forgot the "????".

How about us? (4, Funny)

PaddyM (45763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874132)

Why doesn't the open source community take over Sun? Now that would be the day.

Re:How about us? (0, Funny)

Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874182)

Yeah, and the open source community's business world powers are legendary. Sun can follow in the successful footsteps of Wall Street darling VA Software.

Re:Not sexy enough. (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874284)

While we're at it, why doesn't the open source write an ext2 defragmenter?

Re:Not sexy enough. (2, Insightful)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874313)

While we're at it, why doesn't the open source write an ext2 defragmenter?

Because they already have [sourceforge.net]

PLEASE no HP. (0, Flamebait)

generic-man (33649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874140)

I own a Compaq laptop, and all was well and good until HP acquired Compaq. To improve their bottom line, they fired thousands of workers and outsourced their entire support department to India. Now in addition to all the hassles normally associated with tech support, I have to deal with an outsourced call center full of employees who don't even know whose script to read!

I can imagine the support calls if HP were to buy Sun...
Customer: "Hi, my Enterprise 10000 server is reporting a kernel trap on..."
Support: "Yes, sir, you are having a kernel trap, sir, have you tried Control-Alt-Delete?"

Re:PLEASE no HP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874166)

Compaq has always been a bottom-feeder.
HP was once a quality company, but it kind of imploded years back.
Digital was the king of them all - at least in terms of technology. Alas, they never figured out how to sell products.

Re:PLEASE no HP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874312)

Don't forget that Digital used to be the worlds largest maker of mini computers (PDP-8's & 11's) back when they were DEC. Then they got eaten up at the bottom end by the workstations and at the top end by the mainframes. They wern't quite sure what to do when the bottom fell out of their market.

Won't Happen (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874141)

While they have a large installed customer base, it would be too expensive a proposition for any company to pick up Sun at their current market cap. Not to mention whomever buys Sun will have to basically tear down the hardware division and integrate their customer base to an x86 standard.

Insert troll here (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874149)

IDC comfirms: Sun is dying blah blah... :P

what about N1? (4, Informative)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874151)

N1 is a new IT architecture from Sun. I think it is awesome new technology/architecture, but I also think there is no market for that currently. N1 was in wrong place at the wrong time. There are lot of other things that need to be done before N1 can be implemented anywhere.

What will happen to N1 after the acquisition? IBM already has a similar product callled Tivoli. If IBM purchases Sun, N1 will either be slashed or integrated into Tivoli. Any thoughts on that?

Re:what about N1? (3, Informative)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874179)

link to N1 N1 [sun.com]

Re:what about N1? (5, Informative)

nemaispuke (624303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874236)

Tivoli cannot do the same things as N1, unless IBM has added some amazing tweaks to it that nobody knows about or uses. N1 allows a data center to manage its resources based on business rather than technical requirements. The example that was given to the local Sun User's Group meeting was say your web site was being hammered by requests (Christmas). By using the console and selecting the appropriate options, you could do the following: 1. Reallocate bandwidth 2. Build and deploy new web servers to meet the demand (provided you have the hardware available) This is done with one person, not a team of system, web, and network administrators. Most of the technology to support N1 is already in Solaris (Resource Manager, Live Upgrade, Solaris Flash, JumpStart). I don't know about you, but I can find plenty of uses for N1, and companies wanting to shore up their bottom line can as well. IBM and HP are also working on similar technologies, but Sun is farther ahead and has made purchases of companies that have technology Sun needs (Sun purchased a company to get the "provisioning engine" technology for N1). If N1 actually works (and to me it does), there will be a huge change in how data centers are managed. And a lot of IT people could potentially be out of work!

Re:what about N1? (2, Informative)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874345)

Actually I think Tivoli and N1 are very similar product. Both of them allow bunch of hardware to be managed as a single resource rather than inidividual server/equipment. This is done using grouping of hardware into single resource, and then running agent to monitor them.

offcourse the internals/specific of the 2 products are different, otherwise both of them will be suing each other.

Re:what about N1? (1)

Big Ben August (4201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874363)

> And a lot of IT people could potentially
> be out of work!

Don't remind me! I work in IT at Sun!

Re:what about N1? (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874238)

I think you need to make a better case that Tivoli is anything like N1. My understanding of Tivoli is that it's a system management framework. N1 is attempting to move the discussion above the systems level to the applications architecture, leveraging the SunONE/iPlanet/Netscape products. What am I missing?

Re:what about N1? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874251)

*Heavy sigh*

I remember when Tivoli was an incredibly cool company to work for, not just an IBM product.

I miss the days of two hour lunches filled with alcohol. And the unlimited expenses were great too. (Why should I have to justify that Sun box when I can just order it? Hell, get two!)

Bring back the days of the tech bubble when IT work was fun.

Re:what about N1? (2, Insightful)

joefission (101644) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874406)

Sun calls it N1. IBM calls in On Demand. HP calls it adaptive infrastructure.

It is a business concept, not a technology. These business concepts (which are quite good...it only takes a few minutes to sell it to executives) are based on the evolution of IT technologies (grid, automation, web services) and business practices (off shoring and outsourcing).

The idea is that a business only pays for the IT resources it actually uses. It's only a paradigm shift if you haven't been paying attention :-)

Vastly unlikely (2, Insightful)

infonography (566403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874152)

It's a rumor, it sells shares of stock. Is it workable? No. However if they were to merge with say Cisco or HP that would be great. Both have their limitations. Sun is way the heck ahead in the 64 bit computer game, having an army of 64 bit gurus, a stable OS, and a very well respected CPU.

Re:Vastly unlikely (1)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874165)

I am sure Sun is ahead in many technologies. for e.g N1 [sun.com] .
However for a company to be successful/sustainable it has to produce/RnD technologies, that can be easily marketed. If a technology has no market, it will not last long.

Apple (4, Funny)

porkface (562081) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874154)

Too bad Apple just spent their allowance.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874157)

This could be a good move or a bad move for the computer industry. So only time will tell. Personally I would not mind if they were bought out by IBM, only because of the hate that I have for Dell.

Re:Hmm (0, Flamebait)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874193)

Yeah, but IBM will fuck up Java. In fact, IBM fucks up everything...

Except their ad's. I love the eBull they shovel, but for entertainment only.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874405)

Too late, Sun already fucked up Java. Had 5 year head start on c#, and now it's probably 3 year behind it in terms of technology. Java had great promise ...

Worse thing IBM could do is to buy Sun to get Java at this point.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874415)

Sun has done a pretty good job of fucking up Java all on its own. Without IBM, Java would be dead. Compare SWT to Swing. See? IBM buying Sun would be the best thing that ever happened to Java.

In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

dereklam (621517) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874159)

...Apple to go bankrupt this year, and FreeBSD to die.

Will the employees cooperate? (1)

brejc8 (223089) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874161)

Dell, IBM, Sun and HP have been openly slating eachother for quite some time right now. Funny [theinquirer.net] cartoons [theinquirer.net] around [theinquirer.net] will make it very difficult for any company to be happy with their overlords^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H bosses who have just bought them out. If anyone buys Sun then they will probably kill it off reather than have to manige a very angry workforce.

HPQW? (3, Interesting)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874172)

Sun still makes an assload of money. Just need to reduce operating expenses. I bet HP has the capability to make Sun's hardware more efficiently than Sun.

Anyone have an idea what kind of steward HP would be for Java?

You need to consult a dictionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874293)

Sun still makes an assload of money.

"Makes an assload of money" is not synomymous with "incurs huge losses" [yahoo.com]

Painted into a corner? (4, Insightful)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874174)

To be honest, I'm not sure why anyone would want Sun. Don't get me wrong, they have some great technology and are a good company. But they remind me a little of Digital pre-Compaq buyout, great technology which became irrelevant. The move is towards x86 technology, and with 64 bit x86 become more and more viable, there is simply less and less need for the premium price paid for Sun products.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they'll be dead in a year, just I can't see their sales growing much, and quite possible slowly reversing. There are still some very high end applications where Sun products may well be the best product for the job, but they are painting themselves into a corner - that niche is getting smaller and smaller as x86 gets better and better.

Re:Painted into a corner? (2, Insightful)

khuber (5664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874212)

Sun doesn't play much at the very high end. I would say that's more Cray/NEC/HP/Hitachi/Fujitsu/SGI/IBM. They play in the midrange which means they get pinched from both sides with a charge running right up the middle.


Re:Painted into a corner? (1)

Gerald (9696) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874271)

Compared to anything Dell puts out, Sun is high-end.

Re:Painted into a corner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874374)

What the hell are you smoking?

Cray? Guess who Sun purchased the E10k from?

Hitachi? Storage and that's it. Oh and Sun's high end SANs are Hitachi's only rebranded.

SGI? I think *everyone* can admit this company is toast.

IBM and HP? Ok, possibly. When it comes to high end solutions they're all very similar: Fast, lots of memory, lots of bandwidth and expensive.

I'd prefer better competition (2, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874232)

I would prefer to see Sun come out with more Intel-competitive products than stick with their niche. They have the potential to make astounding lower-end hardware, and if they could keep the prices low enough it would be fantastic to have more competition with Intel's lines of chips. AMD is proving to be valuable competition, but I'd also like to see more desktop hardware that doesn't aim for compatibility with Intel.

Re:Corner's bigger than you think. (3, Interesting)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874273)

For smaller server purposes, 64-bit x86 and Itanium may be a more economical choice.

But if you need a large memory bandwidth, I think probably still beats out Itanium, and definitely beats x86.

If you need a whole shitload of CPUs in one box, Sparc is also a better architecture - even if Itanium can scale up to hundreds of processors, there's no OS that runs on it which can properly handle that many.

Re:Corner's bigger than you think. (4, Informative)

Ewan (5533) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874422)

While I hate to say HP-UX is a good OS, it is certainly an OS which runs on Itanium and supports 64 processors.

The new HP Superdome machines with Itanium2 are more powerful CPU-wise than anything Sun makes at the moment.


Not a hardware war! (1)

skaag (206358) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874328)

I don't think this is a hardware war mate. The name of the game (IMO) is Operating Systems. Linux will run on any processor, and with the appearance of various clusters in the market, which are better than a single powerful computer anyway (redundancy, resilience, cost, just to point out a few), the hardware has become irrelevant.

In an age where the operating system does not care which architecture it runs on, it becomes a question of social classes again - the high class people will buy expensive super-powerful processors/fast ram/amazing motherboards/huge drives, while the low classes (third world countries) will buy VIA's Eden processor (x86 clone, only just reached 1Ghz speeds). And then does it really matter? They will all run Evolution/KOffice/OpenOffice for you! Just a matter of convenience... and that's just the same as with anything else... I live in a shoebox of a house, but my rich neighbours own a huge cottage.

Hrmm (5, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874175)

Can I bid for it on Ebay?

Re:Hrmm (1, Troll)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874189)

Can I bid for it on Ebay?

Nah, Ebay doesn't deal with items that auction well below the penny.

IBM to buy Java? (5, Insightful)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874194)

I should imagine IBM are after their Java division. They're probably not interested in the servers. Whether they'd just leave them as Sun, or buy the whole lot and wind the server business down over a period of years I don't know. If they do get the servers, expect to see a lot of work go into Linux on Sparc. Mark

Re:IBM to buy Java? (4, Interesting)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874302)

The Sun and IBM java folks are, informally, intertwined in a number of ways:

The Sun java folks used to (until last year) work from two buildings on DeAnza in Cupertino. At least one of these was an ex-Taligent building, and consequently IBM owned the furniture (I think the lease may also have been some kind of sublease thing). One time IBM wanted all their furniture back, and I believe they flat refused to sell it, forcing each Sun java employee to move out of his office into the corridor, while the facilities dudes came and swapped his desk etc. out for an essentially identical replacement.

The sun java folks are now confined largely to Sun's Agnew's development centre, built on the site of the county mental hospital. Given that Cupertino was a totally excellent place to work, and Santa Clara most assuredly isn't, I'd guess that if the IBM folks said "we'll buy java, and y'all can come back and work in Cupertino" there would be a lot of happy people.

One of IBM's largest Java development centres is (waitforit) on DeAnza in Cupertino, right beside the old Sun java building. Both are former Apple buildings, and a bunch of the java folks are ex-apple.

I wouldn't put too much stead in the "disgruntled employees veto the deal" theory, mentioned above. These days, the average Silicon Valley employee cares about 1) do I get paid ? 2) does my commute get better or worse ? 3) do I get to do something that isn't totally crap ? (the former number 1, "will my stock options make me rich?" no longer figures much).

Re:IBM to buy Java? (2, Interesting)

durdur (252098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874337)

Sun runs both JavaSoft (a R&D and standards organization, basically) and a software business based on Java technology (they are calling this Sun ONE now). JavaSoft doesn't make them any money, and the Sun ONE stuff isn't getting much traction in the market. So from a pure business point of view, their "Java business" is not very attractive.

However, right now IBM has to comply with Java standards set by Sun and other vendors in a bunch of technical committees they (IBM) don't control. They would probably like to be in the driver's seat on this instead of Sun.

Re:IBM to buy Java? (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874401)

Of the three companies mentioned IBM is the only one that I think is capable of not running Sun into the ground. HP is more Compaq than than the oldskool company that made scientific workstation, and Dell? Forget about it! Those guys don't know the first thing about making reliable hardware. People buy Sun exactly because it's not a Dell.

On the other hand, IBM has so many products competing against themselves for the same market, it's hard to imagine they'd want to make that situation worse.

However it goes, if there's a buyout, SPRAC is dead.

Over the past 3 years? (1)

the uNF cola (657200) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874198)

Over the past 3 years, lots of companies, good and bad, suffered stock point losses. But just because there's a # fixed to a company says nothign about the company.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Stocks are a statistic representing the value of the company. If we put the head of a steel making company in charge of visa, visa won't lose points. Over time, prolly, just 'cause the steel head (heh) will affect the company's performance in the long rung.. prolly.

What about MS? (2, Interesting)

Omkar (618823) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874199)

They've got plenty of [for mods: ill-gotten :)] money, and they've been looking to capture the server market as well.

Re:What about MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874230)

Oh yes.. that'd do wonders for Java development, I'm sure.

Re:What about MS? (3, Insightful)

LinuxXPHybrid (648686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874418)

They have $45 billion in bank, but it's a dead money. They just can't move it around for various reasons (anti trust case in EU is one of reasons). Besides, even if they got away with anti trust case in US, acquiring Sun? That's 99% market dominance of software development platform (.NET and Java). That's monopoly; that's anti trust. That's illegal. MS acquiring Sun? No, that's impossible.

Nooooooo! (4, Funny)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874202)

Don't you see, it's all happening again!

A computer tech company, becoming irrelevant, trying to get bought out!

Can't you see what will happen next?


(/me removes tongue from cheek now).

Re:Nooooooo! (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874255)

You're losing your mind if you think Sun wants to be bought out.

Why NOT Apple. (2, Interesting)

standards (461431) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874214)

I dunno... does Apple really want to buy Sun?

Apple would have to capitalize on Sun's strength - the data center.

In addition, they'd have to save some serious operating $$$. To me, that means heading in the same direction in terms of OS and in terms of CPU architecture.

I'm not saying it's not doable. But doing so would mean BIG changes to the customers (either of Apple, or of Sun, or both).

And customers just don't like big change.

Both companies are leaders in terms of technology, and Jobs is pretty darn good at marketing. He is a good desktop visionary. But can he understand the datacenter?

Sun and Apple (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874386)

That's an interesting thought.

Two excellent computer companies in opposite markets.

Apple has the user end, Sun has the server end. They both make top notch quality, and have excellent reputations for good reliable products.

That idea could be really good, or really bad.
Who knows.

Re:Why NOT Apple. (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874387)

I dunno... does Apple really want to buy Sun?

Perhaps. It's not an obvious deal, like IBM or HP would be - but IBM or HP would never be allowed to eat Sun, on market share grounds. Anyone wanting to buy Sun would have to be in a different market segment: Dell might be allowed to (some overlap, but Dell max out at the 8 CPU x86 level).

Apple, on the other hand, have almost no overlap: the nearest they have is xServe, which is well below Sun's core market. Despite that, they have a lot in common on the software side - a heavy investment in Java, for example, and both using Unix platforms on RISC chips. More importantly, perhaps, a shared "enemy" in Microsoft. A combined Sun+Apple would be able to offer a much better package to businesses: serious servers (Sun), with nice user-friendly clients (Apple) and a non-MS office suite (Sun's StarOffice). Put the whole lot under Sun's industrial-strength support, and IT people would have a good rival to Wintel: anything goes wrong with any aspect of your network? Call Sun-Apple, and they'll sort it out - server hardware, client hardware, client OS, server OS, application - all under one roof.

Sun are already pretty good at the datacenter market; ditto Apple with the individual user or small office. Neither can compete with the likes of Dell or HP for business, though: Dell and HP can build you a whole network of x86 machines, running Windows, and support the whole lot. Apple can't - fine desktops, but the only server offering is xServe - and nor can Sun - no desktops, unless you go for the $$$$ workstations or SunRay thin clients.

I'm not at all convinced a merger or takeover would be the right way to achieve this "one stop shop", though. Perhaps an extension of their existing Sun-Veritas-Oracle alliance would be a better route?

NEWS for nerds? (4, Informative)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874221)

More like RUMORS for nerds.

An institutional buyer made a large purchase of Sun Stock. That fueled rumors about a buyout, but it seems a lot more likely that after reporting (admittedly very modest) profits in the last quarter and one analyst recently shifting Sun to buy, some institutional buyer wanted to get some "bargain" stock that they think will appreciate well in the coming years. Given how steady the stock price has been between 3 & 4 dollars, it does seem likely that it's bottomed out, so unless you think Sun is imminently going out of business (which I sure don't) this kind of buy seems to make sense more from that standpoint than from any bs about being bought by a bigger player.

As far as it goes, Sun's culture is so antithetical to IBM and to the "new" HP that I can't see either of them wanting to take Sun on....

Re:NEWS for nerds? (4, Interesting)

LinuxXPHybrid (648686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874295)

I cannot conceive of any Sun executive wanting to be acquired by any company. Besides, they can prevent that by buying back their shares, since they still have $5 billion in bank.

The question was raised in the last event NC03-Q2, and Scott McNealy denied the rumor flat out. I think that he meant what he said and I cannot see how he decides to sell his company to anyone. And again, he and Sun can prevent that from happening.

I'd think that some investor thought it's a good stock to buy. It is true that they had tough time last year, but I think that two things are true:

1. Generally, Sun employees like working for the company. Head hunters are generally having tough time recruiting Sun (star) employees.

2. Customers like their product and service.

When these two are true, it's a good stock to buy even though they are not making great profit this quarter. I am just speculating, but chances are that someone/some institution figured that it's a good time to buy and they bought good chunk.

Re:NEWS for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874354)


Which starship was that?

Bought by Cobalt? (1)

Isldeur (125133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874228)

Hey, maybe a company named "Cobalt" can buy them and then run them into the ground!!

Wrong, rose on large institutional investment (4, Informative)

ChrisRijk (1818) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874235)

Sun's Rise Likely From a Trade, Not an Offer [thestreet.com]

  • At UBS Warburg, Jack Francis, co-head of equity trading, said the sudden surge in price followed a 5-million-share block trade, considered to be a very large buy by Wall Street standards. "That was spurring stories of a potential takeover, which doesn't make any sense at all but did add fuel to the upside," said Francis. "The rumor doesn't hold a lot of weight, but in a market like this it gets people off the fence who are looking for any story that could generate alpha."

Anyway, Sun are currently valued at $12Bn, and have $5.5Bn sitting in the bank.

Re:Wrong, rose on large institutional investment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874275)

That 5.5b in the bank is going to be their downfall. Money in the bank get's no premium. So if you want to play a capitalization game, they are really only worth 6.5b. That's not that much in the scope of things. I am sure with the cost of debt being relatively cheap, if someone could find the need for sun to exist, they easily could secure some debt, and use Sun's own cash to buy them. Hell, if they did use Sun's own cash, keeping their own for Suns's cash flow requirements, that would be borrowing almost 50% on the dollar for the value.

With that in mind, they more than likely are on the block.

Stock prices (4, Insightful)

tedrlord (95173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874248)

Sun's stock fell 92% in the past three years? Jesus.

Oh wait. Everyone's stock fell around 92% in the past three years.

Re:Stock prices (2, Informative)

Reziac (43301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874367)

TECH stocks fell like rocks, yeah.

But some of us have core stocks in other areas.. and the average hit has been about 35%. Unless you're lucky enough to own Borg-Warner, Proctor & Gamble, or a few others of like ilk.. they're worth more now than they were before the stock market's big adjustment back to reality.

Sun/Apple Doomsaying FUD (5, Insightful)

carsont (648940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874258)

All the anti-Sun FUD that keeps getting posted to Slashdot reminds me of the anti-Apple FUD that was all over the media a few years ago.

Speculation about IBM or HP buying Sun now is probably just as groundless as speculation about Sony or Disney (or Sun) buying Apple five years ago. Yeah, they're not doing as well as they used to, but the whole industry isn't, either.

I think Sun's main problem right now is the same problem that Apple has right now: getting hardware that customers will perceive as being equal or superior to x86 in price/performance. It looks like SPARC will get there eventually, but not soon enough; I imagine they'd either have to use Opteron/Hammer on their low-end machines, or somehow make very inexpensive 1-4 processor workstations and servers to leverage SPARC's scalability (it is, after all, the Scalable Processor ARChitecture) and Solaris's superior SMP support.

I'll admit that I have many reasons to Want To Believe that Sun will still be a strong presence in the industry when I graduate from college, but I do seriously think that rumor's of Sun's imminent death are greatly exaggerated.

I like Sun (1)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874260)

I like Sun.

Well, I don't like Solaris, the hardware is overpriced and I detest Java, but it's still a good company.

Maybe it's because of the Self programming language.


This Just In! (2, Funny)

t0rnt0pieces (594277) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874270)

Apple's merging with Sun. They'll call the new company Snapple.

Re:This Just In! (1)

Zeddicus_Z (214454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874285)

Funnily enough, there *was* an Apple-related company at one point in the past called Snapple. They were a group of independant Australian Apple resellers who joined together for the "synergies".

Unfortuantely for them, they hadnt really thought it through and they went broke. On the plus side, there's a really interesting documentary running around on the short life of Snapple. You might be able to source it from ABC [abc.net.au] or sbs [sbs.com.au]

That was `BUZZLE' you knob. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874411)

crapfilter evasion goes here.

crapfilter evasion goes here.

Re:This Just In! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874347)

Oh, jeez, anything but HP. Atari, but not HP. Kragen Auto Parts, but not HP. McDonalds but not HP.

What if MS buys Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874276)

What if MS buys Sun and then ... hehehe ... strangles/suffocates/dismembers Java?

Re:What if MS buys Sun? (1)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874316)

They already have. It's called J#.NET. I guess nobody ever told them that you can't have a # in a second-level domain name.

EDS? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874290)

I am surprised no one mentioned EDS. HP and Dell both want very badly to become like the current IBM, who makes a ton of money on both hardware, OS, and services integeration. I think that should discount HP, Dell and IBM because the merger doesn't bring alot of new things to merged company.

EDS however was the top services company until IBM decided to go into high end consulting and services business. So... it seems an EDS / Sun merger would put them both back in IBM's league. A customer could chose IBM / zOS / db2 / mainframe for a big account or EDS / solaris / oracle / sunfire at a discout.

It also would be interesting since EDS reportedly uses big Sun servers all over the world...

just my $0.02.

What would happen to Java? (4, Interesting)

rakeswell (538134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874306)

I've read a lot of bitter comments on this forum about the fact that java isn't an open technology. This hasn't mattered much to me because of their community process, and otherwise open attitude, and open off-shoot projects (STL, Struts, Tomcat, etc).

I'm not trolling here at all -- I wonder what the implications for Java could be in the face of a buyout. Obviously, that would depend in some part on the buyer. And there would always be the GNU foundations [gnu.org] free implementations. OTOH, perhaps a buyout could actually prompt Java to be handed over to a standards board.

These are rumors though, and I can't recall ever hearing a merger/buyout rumor that actually panned out (maybe I just hear bad gossip, though), so I don't put a lot of beleif into this story. It's just speculation about what Sun might do in an x86's world .

I will say that it's interesting to me to see how it's usually not the case that the best technologies survive. However, when looked at from a natural selection viewpoint, one realizes that since the computing ecology is shifted towards MS products, the x86 architecure hardware has an advantage, even though it isn't the best.

Change the OS ecology, and x86 may not be the de facto architecure...

This is sad (4, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874324)

I've been thinking that Sun would get bought for a year or so, and I think that it will suck for computing in general. The way I see it, if Sun were to be bought, then their product line would be reduced to their larger machines just like the Proliant servers are pretty much the only thing that survived the Compaq acquisition. This will mean a drastic decrease in the number of people using Solaris, and it will be a nitche/legacy product.

Solaris is an incredibly mature OS. Just read the manpage for the sar command some day. Also there is Trusted Solaris, and F-C2 security certification, etc. Linux is my favorite OS, but Solaris definitely has my respect for its stability, scalability and maturity. And the number of users of Solaris would decrease dramatically if Sun were acquired. Think about how different the Microsoft userbase would be if they suddenly had no desktop presence and were only servers.

However, I also think that Sun should hold in there. I mean a 30% drop in sales, thats almost to be expected in todays economic situation. I mean travel is down like 50-70% in some places. Also one has to keep in mind that Sun machines have a longer lifetime on average than say a PC, so thier volume of sales will be lower in comparison.

Sun does need to get the performance of thier Sparc chips up to the others. Thier performance is a big drawback to the pricetag of a Sun machine. But everything else about thier hardware is top noche. I mean they are so anal with their hardware that they put lot numbers on each of thier ethernet cables. And their machines are just perfectly engineered. Any box that I've been inside of, I never thought "Why the hell did they put that there?".

But, who knows maybe this will be a good thing. I mean all of their employees will go to work somewhere, and maybe Solaris and NFS sources will be opened up.

However, if it were up to me, I'd just prefer Sun sticked around for a while.

Re:This is sad (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874377)

Maybe we should regard Sun as another Apple? Has its niche market, has a reasonably unique product, not the system for everyone by a long shot but if they don't screw up, existing users aren't likely to jump ship.

Anyway, that's kinda how I see it. I still wouldn't buy their stock, tho.

Sun would make sense to IBM (5, Interesting)

abhisarda (638576) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874332)

IBM has been making use of Java in its Websphere products and if IBM gets hold of Sun, then it can probably give Microsoft something to think about.

HP would not even bother about Sun right now because it does not want to bite off more than it can chew. Investors would not at all take kindly to the acquistion of Sun by HP. HP right now is trying to fend off the dog that is Dell. HP does have about 13.2 billion $ in hand (Biz Journals [bizjournals.com] ) but it will probably not want to mess with it right now.

Removing Sun from the competition would help the server market by bringing some consolidation.
What will IBM do with the Sparc chips? It is not likely to dump it for a while but after 2-3 years it may just move to Itanium and its own PowerPc chips.

Sun has already brought in x86 systems in the lower end. Both Sun and IBM are adopting AMD's Opteron for lower and mid level systems.

We have also got to remember the FTC. If IBM does bid for Sun then expect them to go through a tough scrutiny so as to avoid a monopoly status in the high end server industry.

People know that Sun is able to keep customers only by chanting the reliability and customer satisfaction song. Its Ultra Sparc's are falling behind in performance and it is probably only with the Sparc V's that it can gain any semblance of competitiveness. And when are the Sparc V's going to come out? 2005 at the earliest.( News)

Would Dell bid for Sun? Dell certainly can because it does have quite a bit of cash sitting around 9.1 billion $ as of Dec 2002 (Motley Fool [fool.com] and Yahoo ).

What is Sun's market capitalisation? As of March 19, it was about 10.73 billion $.

Dell does not have a foothold in the high end server market because it does not spend much of R & D as opposed to HP, IBM and Sun. Acquistion of Sun could be a easy way to compete with HP and IBM. Dell's entry could help reduce the prices of high end servers like Dell has done to the desktop market.

If this story is indeed true then it would be the most talked about merger. Competition for customers paying money for big tin has only gotten worse after the tech meltdown.

Personally I feel that the Sun bid is just a rumor like the Universal/Apple deal. If anyone is to believe it, then Sun or whoever is buying them have to publicly state that they are looking into this deal. Maybe the coming weeks will tell us more.

IBM likes Java... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874342)

I bet it's IBM - they have invested a lot more in Java than Sun has over the past 2 years; and Java fits in with their old strategy of one platform running on several different levels of machine; and IBM also has a history (and the cash) of buying up expensive companies for just one aspect of them.

I guess we'll see.

History tells us that it will certainly not happen (3, Informative)

rpiquepa (644694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5874348)

These kinds of rumors are a recurring phenomenon in this industry. Check for example "When will IBM buy Sun? [weblogs.com] " which is over a year now.

Sun has a market capitalization of around $12 billion (at its current stock price of $3.75).

To buy it with a good premium would mean a huge investment.

And considering that Sun always stands alone and that its products -- hardware as well as software -- are not really compatible with the rest of the industry, anyone who would buy Sun would only buy its customers. But for how long?

Sun customers are among the most loyal ones.

And you can believe me: I was working for one of its competitors.

FUCK YOU! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874382)

USA is full of fucking QUEERS!

Re:FUCK YOU! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5874395)

I couldn't agree more. FAGS!
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