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Sun In Talks To Be Acquired By IBM

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the there-can-be-only-one dept.

Sun Microsystems 526

gandhi_2 writes "Sun Microsystems soared in European trading after a report that it was in talks to be acquired by IBM. The Wall Street Journal, quoting "people familiar with the matter," reported Wednesday that International Business Machines was in talks to buy the company for at least $6.5 billion in cash, a premium of more than 100 percent over the company's closing share price Tuesday. Officials of Sun and IBM could not immediately be reached for comment."

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a 100% premium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239707)

Because they want to carry some extra goodwill on their books before they eventually have to write it down?

God raped a virgin... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239713)

and jesus is a bastard!

For $6.5b (5, Insightful)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239723)

I'd sell in a heartbeat. In this economy, there's no guarantee anything will go well for a specific company. 100% markup on their stock? Even if they do make it through this downturn, no guarantee their stock will hit that level again anytime soon.

Now, if only the US gov't will allow it. IBM+Sun would be a huge company.

Re:For $6.5b (2, Interesting)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239855)

Huge but nowhere near a monopoly.

In smaller territories (Like Jamaica) it's a different matter. Here we have 3 major Enterprise service Companies. One deals mainly in Sun and Dell gear (Fujitsu), Another deals mainly in HP and DELL (MCS) and the 3rd is IBM.

What this buyout would mean is that Fujitsu would no longer have an Enterprise Unix offering and customers who like them (like my current employer) would be screwed.

The really crappy thing is that I don't know anyone who uses SUN gear because of the features, price or service. Every one of them picked a peace of software which is only supported on SUN. So switching to a different Unix/RISK vendor is not really an option.

Define "Enterprise UNIX" (3, Informative)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240067)

Fujitsu and SUN co-developed/sell the Mx000 series servers. Whichever way SUN goes, I'm pretty sure Fujitsu still has that product line.

Re:For $6.5b (5, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239905)

Now, if only the US gov't will allow it. IBM+Sun would be a huge company.

IBM + SUN would be a huge company, but only slightly larger than IBM.

IBM: Around 400,000 employees. Sun: 33,000 employees.

IBM: $104 billion in revenue. Sun: $14 billion.

IBM: $125 billion market cap. Sun: $3.7 billion

Re:For $6.5b (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239971)

IBM + SUN would also be slightly more purple than blue.

A shiny day? (4, Funny)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240111)

I find the big blue room [faqs.org] so much nicer when there's a sun in it. Don't you?

Re:For $6.5b (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240145)

IBM: 36% server market share
Sun: 8% server market share

It's not about gross size, it's about competition.

Re:For $6.5b (3, Informative)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240005)

IBM is already a huge company. Market cap of $124bn. Sun won't make a dent. Market cap of less than $4bn. Yep, Sun is only 3% the size of IBM - it'd be like a dog eating a fly.

Re:For $6.5b (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240387)

It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated.

For instance, at the very moment that Arthur said "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle," a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant Galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle.

The two opposing leaders were meeting for the last time.

A dreadful silence fell across the conference table as the commander of the Vl'hurgs, resplendent in his black jewelled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G'Gugvuntt leader squatting opposite him in a cloud of green sweet-smelling steam, and, with a million sleek and horribly beweaponed star cruisers poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command, challenged the vile creature to take back what it had said about his mother.

The creature stirred in his sickly broiling vapour, and at that very moment the words I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle drifted across the conference table.

Unfortunately, in the Vl'hurg tongue this was the most dreadful insult imaginable, and there was nothing for it but to wage terrible war for centuries.

Eventually of course, after their Galaxy had been decimated over a few thousand years, it was realized that the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake, and so the two opposing battle fleets settled their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our own Galaxy - now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.

For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across - which happened to be the Earth - where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.

Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time, but that we are powerless to prevent it.

"It's just life," they say.

Re:For $6.5b (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240109)

I feel the same way. Remember when Microsoft offer some dumb yahoos a bunch of money last year, only to decline it hoping for a better offer? Now MS won't touch that company, whose name I forgot for a moment.

Sun always seemed to be a Company that had its high noon around the early 90s to the 2000 bubble in terms of place in the IT world.

Re:For $6.5b (5, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240171)

Perhaps, but I think that IBM would be getting one hell of a sweet deal

Although it is a 100% markup from Tuesday's closing price, that's still only a share price of $9 or $10. Barring the insanity of the dotcom bubble, when Sun was selling at $100-$200, it has been in the range of $12-$20 for the last 15 years. Between the dotcom bust and the global economic clusterf%#k, it had been solidly above $15 [google.com] . So, the way I see it, IBM is able to pick up a good company with solid products, a good long-term strategy, and an enormous IP portfolio for a 30%-40% discount.

Re:For $6.5b (4, Insightful)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240417)

IBM is able to pick up a good company with solid products

Are there any specific products that Sun sells that IBM doesn't have equivalents of? Sun has some good products, but I'm not sure IBM is after any specific products rather than just buying customers in certain segments and getting rid of some competition as a bonus at a fairly good price.

a good long-term strategy

Sun has a long-term strategy? Not one that's the long-term strategy of the month, but something, eh, more long-term? Having worked with Sun stuff for more than a decade, that's one of the more irritating habits the company has; sudden changes in strategy, often accompanied with a total re-branding of large parts of their product series.

Re:For $6.5b (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240225)

Funny a good friend of mine told me about six months ago to buy Sun for exactly this reason...

So I bought and averaged down to about 6.08... Sold out this morning at 8.35... Sweet!!!!

If IBM buys at a higher price so be it, I took my money and ran...

Container? (5, Funny)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239741)

So, can I finally get a 20' container with IBM servers in it?

First Thoughts ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239761)

are that this is probably the best that Sun can do but I have to say that the reduction in competition in that space would be concerning.

I've been wondering for a while what Sun was going to do, let's be brutally frank, they were never going to get rich from Java or MySQL, especially as open source, but had little choice in keeping them closed source. I just hope IBM keeps Java, Open Office and the rest as they are and doesn't start to try to make money off them.

Re:First Thoughts ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239835)

...they were never going to get rich from Java or MySQL...

Yet (what used to be) MySQL is one of Sun's best-performing and most profitable divisions right now.

And Java makes shitloads of money for Sun, albeit indirectly.

Sun ought to dump its hardware business (which is currently tanking big time) on IBM (if IBM's stupid enough to want it) and keep what's making it money -- the software.

Re:First Thoughts ... (1)

dns_server (696283) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240135)

ibm is selling open office under lotus symphony. IBM also have their own java and j2ee stack so they are making money off java.

Re:First Thoughts ... (5, Insightful)

Mark Round (211258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240181)

"I just hope IBM keeps Java, Open Office and the rest as they are and doesn't start to try to make money off them.".

While this is a valid concern (remember, Sun is by far the largest open source contributor out there), that'd be the least of my concerns. I'd be more worried if some software or hardware would even be continued.

I can't see a merged company running duplicate lines of hardware OR software, and whichever way it goes, people are going to be pissed. Just look at the HP/Compaq train wreck, and that was relatively mild in comparison (Tru64/HP-UX etc.). With Sun and IBM, they've got to choose between either a massive duplication of effort, or pick one of Solaris/AIX, MySQL/DB2, SPARC/POWER, Galaxy/iSeries, Storagetek (including the ZFS-based products like Thumper/Amber Road)/IBM storage, Websphere/Glassfish, Netbeans/Eclipse - the list goes on.

Both companies produce such an enormously varied range of hardware and software, I just don't see it working without some serious cuts and massively pissed off customers. Those Tru64 customers didn't all just take it on the chin and migrate over to HP-UX like the good customers they were supposed to be, for instance. If you were working in a x64 Solaris shop, and got told that your migration path was to AIX on POWER, would you move ? Or would you take your business elsewhere ?

Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (4, Interesting)

heffel (83440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239779)

What would happen to Solaris, GlassFish, NetBeans, etc?

The NetBeans/GlassFish combo is a killer combination for developing Java EE/J2EE applications. I would hate to see those two products disappear, since they compete directly with Eclipse and Websphere from IBM.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239805)

What would happen to Solaris, GlassFish, NetBeans, etc?

The NetBeans/GlassFish combo is a killer combination for developing Java EE/J2EE applications. I would hate to see those two products disappear, since they compete directly with Eclipse and Websphere from IBM.

Netbeans and Tomcat? Or what about Eclipse and Tomcat?

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239965)

Tomcat (a very good servlet container) provides a subset of what a full Java EE aplication server like GlassFish/Webshere provide.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (4, Informative)

mr_da3m0n (887821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240037)

What would happen to Solaris, GlassFish, NetBeans, etc?

The NetBeans/GlassFish combo is a killer combination for developing Java EE/J2EE applications. I would hate to see those two products disappear, since they compete directly with Eclipse and Websphere from IBM.

Netbeans and Tomcat? Or what about Eclipse and Tomcat?

Last time I checked, Tomcat was just a servlet container, not a full J2EE stack.

J2EE is more than just parsing jsp files, it's also JDBC, RMI, javamail, JMS, web services and friends with several API specs, as well as Enterprise Java Beans and Servlets/Portlets...

It annoys me ever so slightly when people think Tomcat is this magical replacement for anything "java for the web". In fact, JBoss [jboss.org] uses Tomcat as a servlet container.

In fact, even Glassfish uses Catalina, if I recall some stack traces I have seen in production...

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240017)

I don't recall seeing IBM ever swallow a company this big, so I'll look at DEC and Compaq for comparison. Lots of DEC gear was incorporated into the Compaq line over time. Stuff that eventually went away like the Alpha (poor soul, we hardly knew ye ...) took years. Even when HP acquired Compaq, old remnants of DEC were floating around, like Tru64 UNIX, even though there was stuff that competed with it.

My guess is that IF this sale happens, IBM will keep the status quo for several years as they gradually incorporate SUN tech into IBM badged HW/SW. IBM has a history of contributing to OSS and making money anyway, much of it through Professional Services. I hope they continue.

Can you imagine a CPU with the cores & threads of a Niagara and the clock speed of a Power6? Or a OSS database like MySQL with the vertical scalability of DB2?

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240269)

I don't recall seeing IBM ever swallow a company this big,

Lotus was nearly as big. IBM paid $3.5 billion in 1995.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240393)

Or a OSS database like MySQL with the vertical scalability of DB2?

Postgresql much?

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

Zachium (907885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240041)

I'd say Solaris won't go anywhere. Maybe it would eventually replace AIX?

As for GlassFish/NetBeans... I'm not so sure. I don't believe IBM owns the Eclipse IDE, however it does own Rational which is built on Eclipse. My guess would be IBM could position both of the products to be released as free offerings. They definitely won't be phased out though, it would have a huge backlash from the development community and hurt IBM in the long run. It would most likely be a merger of products.

As a previous poster mentioned, it'll be interesting to see if the US government allow it since they compete in so many of the same markets.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240259)

That's what I'm thinking (about Solaris and AIX).

Solaris is so much more popular these days than AIX. And so much nicer to use...

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240521)

IBM has a huge investment internally with AIX, lots of servers and workstations inside IBM are being utilized. I don't think they'll be replacing AIX anytime soon.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240045)

NetBeans and Eclipse are practically the same thing, I'm sure they'll either merge them or keep them going separately but sharing code.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240201)

IBM would do well to drop the monstrosity that is Eclipse and focus on Netbeans if this deal goes through. Eclipse is a dreadful product, the UI looks like it escaped from the late 90's and they have a tendency to redefine concepts in systems like CVS and Subversion. Netbeans, on the other hand has come along leaps and bounds in recent years. It is almost at the point where I am ready to ditch my (commercial) IDE (IntelliJ), which has been declining in quality in the last few versions, and switch to Netbeans for my development.

However, I would code with a spinning disk and a small magnet before I used Eclipse...

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240355)

Couldn't agree more. Eclipse was better than Netbeans for a while but in the last 18 months Eclipse has stood still and Netbeans has shot forward. Netbeans probably doesn't have as many features as Eclipse, and certainly not as many plugins, but what it does it does well which no one could say about Eclipse. I just wish I could now migrate our main product to Netbeans so that I can take advantage of the Visual JSF tools.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

kamnet (1117875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240289)

NetBeans and Eclipse are practically the same thing, I'm sure they'll either merge them or keep them going separately but sharing code.

This is like saying Microsoft and Linux are the same thing. I hope you are not a developer.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (2, Funny)

kamnet (1117875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240431)

I meant Windows and Linux. That comment made me so damn angry I typed and hit the Submit button too damn quickly for my own good.

Re:Fate ofSun's products that compete with IBM? (1)

theManInTheYellowHat (451261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240163)

Adobe will still sell you Dreamweaver and Fireworks even though their original products are their preferred. I think that they actively develop them too. I would think that a product worth it's salt will live on it's own merit.

What will happen to WAS ;-) (1)

testman123 (1111753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240307)

About Java SE (OpenJDK), Java EE (Glassfish), Java ME (PhoneME) and the IDE (Netbeans). All of them are available as GPLv2, so the old-rule "run fast or get forked" will apply :)
Glassfish is the Java EE RI, I got doubt WAs can become the RI, so the risk is more on WAS side. Obviously IBM would tint this in DeepBlue and benefit from all the mainframe integration components they got ;-)
PhoneMe and Netbeans are more of a problem, because IBM could decide to stop de dev there. But thanks to libre world nothing is stoping the communities to go on.
Two major problems with the merger :
1 - The patents
Sun has clearly stated they will protect anybody (any implementer) under their umbrela. What will be IBM thought on this ? Would they still protect any JCR implementer as well (apache, jboss, etc) ?
IBM shall keep the protection and add their own pattent to the umbrela
2 - JCP place
What will happen to the IBM+Sun seats ? This need to be solved not to endanger independence of the process. With Sun holding a veto vote, and IBM another vote ... practically this could become a banana-process.
IBM shall leave their own seats and grap the Sun's lead seat.

If this mergerhappens, this is a huge news for the enterprise IT world.
Let's see how IBM manage this, or "get forked" : Java est libre !

Hardware (4, Interesting)

millwall (622730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239793)

Interesting move as I thought IBMs long term strategy was to move away from the hardware market altogether. I wonder what their intentions are with Suns hardware divisions.

Re:Hardware (2, Interesting)

Zachium (907885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239885)

There's still the AIX and mainframes we produce. I don't remember if we produce the hardware itself, but I do know we do the software part of it. Maybe it'll be to produce better hardware? It'll be interesting to see what happens when/if it happens

Re:Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239929)

I heard they were selling this relatively new thing called the cell processor....

Re:Hardware (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240229)

IBM aren't moving away from hardware. IBM are moving away from commodity markets. Most hardware is now a commodity market (look what nVidia did to SGI) but not all, especially not in the mainframe area or the high-end SAN and supercomputing markets. IBM are also no longer in the commodity software market (they were never very good at it).

Lotus Notes and Java... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239801)

...together at last!

"Together" indeed (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240149)

You know the saying "you can lead a horse to water..."?
This is the same.

Re:Lotus Notes and Java... (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240399)

Haven't seen the Notes 8 client have you? Yeah it's built on the Eclipse framework so Notes and Java are already quite friendly.

This could be Schwartz' greatest trick ever. (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239813)

He's been unable to stop Sun's decline since he got the job, but if he can sell the carcass for double its current market cap, he's a far better salesman than I've given him credit for.

-jcr

Re:This could be Schwartz' greatest trick ever. (4, Insightful)

Alomex (148003) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240129)

To be fair, the decline of the Unix server market started about 12 years ago with the release of NT4.0 and the first true industrial grade linux servers. One by one all the big unix manufactures have fallen (apollo, sgi, ncd, dec, hp, aix) and now sun.

It is not clear if anyone could have arrested Sun's decline, short of acquiring Dell eight years ago...

Re:This could be Schwartz' greatest trick ever. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240303)

I don't know, Sun has a decent UNIX stack and a load of SPARC32 designs that would make excellent handheld processors. Now Solaris is open source (or, rather, now that they have tied up all of the third-party IP loose ends), they can provide a complete hardware and software stack. If I had been in charge of Sun, I would have resurrected the old designs from Green and shipped a SPARC/Solaris/Self stack to OEMs for producing handhelds and mobile phones. They wouldn't necessarily have had to even fab the chips themselves, just license the entire stack for third parties to customise (e.g. add extra coprocessors to the die) and ship.

Re:This could be Schwartz' greatest trick ever. (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240239)

Can you imagine: McNealy having to eat that much crow????? IBM buying his baby? It proves once again that silicon valley braggarts usually get stamped out like a finished cigarette.

Good (2, Interesting)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239819)

Sun's suffering [cnn.com] , no longer really actively competing with anything. It would be a good thing for them to do and at $6.5B, it should be a no-brainer.

A boon to open source (3, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239823)

While Sun has finally come around on open source. They still seem to do it with trepidation and even hamper some of their own works. If IBM purchases them, hopefully that will change. I would love to see them take the cuffs off of Java, OpenSolaris, MySQL, and zfs. By cuffs, I mean different things about different projects. (licensing, open up development, etc)

Re:A boon to open source (4, Informative)

kungfuj35u5 (1331351) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239969)

While Sun has finally come around on open source. They still seem to do it with trepidation and even hamper some of their own works. If IBM purchases them, hopefully that will change. I would love to see them take the cuffs off of Java, OpenSolaris, MySQL, and zfs. By cuffs, I mean different things about different projects. (licensing, open up development, etc)

ZFS is not under strict licensing or hampered in any way. The CDDL is not restricting it at all, it is the GPL that is not allowing it into the Linux kernel. Most of the BSD world has adopted ZFS with open arms, as well as Apple. I personally would not like to see Sun go, and as a student I'd like to take advantage of their OpenSPARC program while I still can.

Re:A boon to open source (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240501)

The creation of the CDDL license was based on the Mozilla license for one reason. Because it was GPL-incompatible. That came straight from the mouth of Danese Cooper. An ex-Sun employee. Sun only accepted Linux once they figured out they couldn't beat them. So, they started selling Linux so they could make money, yet they still did things like create the CDDL and license their software under it to spite Linux. At least, thats my take on it.

Sun has created some great things, but I won't cry once their gone, because there is always a boat load of smart people looking to change the way the world works. They (along with Larry and Oracle) have always have giant egos. Egos don't sustain business. Oracle didn't buy Innodb because for nothing. They did it to have some control over a growing competitor.

IBM is NOT more pro-Open Source than Sun (5, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239979)

Come on!

Sun has open sourced:

NFS
OpenOffice
GlassFish
Java
Java Enterprise Edition
Netbeans

What has IBM open sourced? Oh...uh...Eclipse

IBM has tons of closed source products:

Websphere
DB2
Rational
Lotus Notes
etc.....

Give me a break!

Re:IBM is NOT more pro-Open Source than Sun (0, Flamebait)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240227)

Not forgetting zfs, OpenSolaris, etc...

What the GP is really complaining about is that he likes to use projects with an overly restrictive license (the GPL) which doesn't let anyone distribute the two projects bundled up together, because sun don't want to get infected with GPLitis.

Re:IBM is NOT more pro-Open Source than Sun (2, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240297)

because sun don't want to get infected with GPLitis.

They GPL'd Java, didn't they? The CDDL is similar to the Mozilla, BSD and Apache licenses. Nobody complains about those projects. Why the double-standard when it comes to Sun?

Re:IBM is NOT more pro-Open Source than Sun (2, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240319)

Hey, don't forget that IBM open sourced UNIX in the form of Linux!!

Re:A boon to open source (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240209)

Getting rid of CDDL would be AWESOME!. Just think of ZFS and other goodies compatible with GPL -- Sun's folks created a GPL-incompatible license specifically to have some pieces that Linux doesn't have.

Of course, that will make Solaris die so much faster, but somehow I'm not going to shed a tear.

Re:A boon to open source (2, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240263)

Sun's folks created a GPL-incompatible license specifically to have some pieces that Linux doesn't have.

Wrong! The GNU folks created a license that was incompatible with other licenses. The CDDL is similar to the Mozilla, Apache and BSD licenses.

GPL 3 is compatible with the Apache license, but guess what? Linus and company don't like it.

So please explain to me why Sun must make the CDDL compatible with GPL 2, and not the other way around.

Re:A boon to open source (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240405)

Mod parent +1 funny.

Sun finally come around to the idea of open source? Sun, the company founded by early BSD developers, which actively contributed to BSD back before there were x86 chips capable or running a real UNIX? The company that bought StarOffice to open source it, and still contributes about 80-90% of the developer time to OpenOffice.org? The company that open sourced their entire enterprise UNIX stack, to the benefit of other systems (DTrace and ZFS in FreeBSD are really nice. It's a shame Linux has a license that's too restrictive to allow it to incorporate other features, but if you pick a restrictive license you have to live with the consequences). Not to mention Java and all of their Apache-related contributions, or their work on PostgreSQL and their purchase and continued support of MySQL.

Still, IBM has open sourced AIX and Notes, and their database systems. Oh, wait, they haven't. They've put a little work into the Linux kernel, some into Xen, and a bit more effort into Eclipse and a few Java-related projects, but they've made smaller contributions to the Free Software community overall (unless you count marketing dollars) than Sun in spite of being almost two orders of magnitude larger.

Just because IBM shouts louder than Sun about their commitment to open source doesn't make it a fact.

This makes a lot of sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239829)

There's good synergy here. There will be some costs of restructuring as you merge the companies, including some customers who leave because they miss the "old" way of doing things.

Whether it's worth 6.5B in the short term I can't say, but if you look at it long-term, it's a good blend.

Personally, I would've offered a "cash or stock" option, with the IBM stock at a 5-10% discount over recent market lows, to encourage existing shareholders to remain owners of the combined company.

Disclaimer: I used to work for IBM and still own a small amount of stock.

Sad, but not unpredictable. (4, Informative)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239879)

I always thought they would end up being bought by Fujitsu before anyone else. I figure the 100% premium for their stock is :

a) a jumping-off point for talks ... the talks are not yet final, and IBM is neither stupid, or in the mood to spend money it doesn't have to.
b) because the value of Sun's stock has more to do with their earnings than with the value of their IP, which is likely what IBM is really after.

Hopefully it'd be the end of Eclipse (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239927)

Netbeans is now easily 10 times better than the bloated corpse that is Eclipse. If this goes through they should kill Eclipse. At the very least they better not kill off NetBeans.

IT's a smart move for both (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239931)

I'm normally against mergers but I think this is one move that actually helps both, where synergies do apply.

Re:IT's a smart move for both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239987)

Except for the employees of Sun. Update your resume now.

Re:IT's a smart move for both (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240053)

Except for the employees of Sun. Update your resume now

Hmmm.... wouldn't be so sure of that. I'd be willing to bet that these people are pooping some square ones.

http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power/software/aix/index.html [ibm.com]

Re:IT's a smart move for both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240279)

Sun is more than Solaris. It is primarily a Hardware company. You can bet that IBM is going to dump those people fast

Good idea! (4, Funny)

Main MAn (162800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239939)

Why nobody though about that before?

1- Buy Sun
2- License ZFS under GPLv2
3- Sell Sun
4- Done

Re:Good idea! (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240071)

2- License ZFS under GPLv2

Why?

Re:Good idea! (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240315)

Because for some reason GPL fanbois seem to think that it's the most license ever, and that everything should be licensed under its glory, when in reality it's an overly restrictive license that bans even distributing with another open source project like zfs.

Re:Good idea! (3, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240449)

Except, it was Sun's guys who designed CDDL, and on the DebConf, said they specifically wanted it to be incompatible with GPL. So it's not GPL's fault, it's a conscious decision of Sun's executives.

Re:Good idea! (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240437)

To prevent further changes being incorporated into FreeBSD and OS X maybe? Apple would be very unhappy, although I don't think IBM would want to spend $6bn just to get back at Apple over dropping PowerPC. A few years ago, I'd have predicted Apply buying or merging with Sun. They have product lines with very little overlap but each has strengths that the other lacks. With IBM, it looks more like a move to kill a competitor; I don't really understand what Sun has that IBM wants.

Wall Street Symbol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27239973)

BM&S ????

It came to me when I was in the bathroom this morning.

We're the dot in dot com (5, Funny)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239975)

IBM.com that is...

Long thought that (2, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27239985)

I have long thought that Sun would eventually sell to either IBM or Oracle mostly to get control of Java. Wonder if Oracle is even interested?

Nightmare (1, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240011)

This will be a nightmare for Java and open source in general.

IBM will kill the following fantastic Sun projects:

Netbeans
Glassfish

They won't kill OpenSolaris/zfs/Dtrace, but they'll probably close source enough of it. Same goes with MySql.

They'll scrap all of Sun's awesome documentation and replace it with their own cryptic documentation. They'll re-engineer Sun's products to generate cryptic error messages, like they do with DB2's wonderful error messages.

IBM makes horrible products. I should know, because my last two companies (including this one) have been IBM shops, and I have to use them every day.

Please God don't let this be true!

Re:Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240153)

My feelings too. i really hope this deal doesn't happen.

Re:Nightmare (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240245)

What DB2 error messages are 'cryptic'?

Re:Nightmare (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240341)

"Right string truncation error" when attempting to insert into a CHAR or VARCHAR field that's too long. That one is legendary.

Re:Nightmare (2, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240313)

Why the hysterics? NetBeans, Glassfish and MySQL are all open-source. Nobody can kill them - the worst they can do is stop paying for further development. NetBeans probably has enough users that it could survive on its own. MySQL definitely has enough users - Glassfish is the only one that might be in trouble.

Cash + assets = $6M (0)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240027)

They have $3M in cash and $3M in property, so $6.5M isn't actually over-valuing them, the market is under-valuing them if that's a 100% premium over their market cap.

Re:Cash + assets = $6M (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240119)

The market valued them as a standalone entity. The 100% premium reflects IBM's assessment of what Sun is worth as a part of IBM. This is a proper use of the word "synergy."

Re:Cash + assets = $6M (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240517)

They have $3M in cash and $3M in property, so $6.5M isn't actually over-valuing them, the market is under-valuing them if that's a 100% premium over their market cap.

I think you mean billion, but either way, you have to take into account their liabilities. $6 billion in cash and property means nothing if they have $4 billion of debt.

I got it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240081)

Netclipse, the new IDE from Sun Buisness Systems!

It might be useful to remember the past (3, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240101)

I remember about 9 years ago when IBM bought out Sequent Computer Systems [wikipedia.org] . My employer at the time was a Sequent customer and I knew people who worked at Sequent's corporate office. They were at first all gung ho about joining IBM, but the reality that set in wasn't pretty. As often happens in business, a big company buys a competitor simply to shut the competitor down. Click on the Wikipedia link provided to get some more info on the deal and alternative explanations for the decision to close down Sequent. If I worked for Sun, I wouldn't hold my breath that this would be a good deal for me, but the stock holders and upper management at Sun may come out well from this.

Most of Sun's sales come from IBM (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240165)

Most of Sun's sales come from IBM, so buying them is a sensible move.

That would *really* suck... (1)

Cow_woC (174453) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240207)

IBM is a really negative company from an end-user point of view. If they acquire Sun we can kiss Java goodbye. Before you know it it'll become more complicated to use (they make tons of money off support contracts) and then it'll sit unsupported for 10 years before IBM admits that it's a dead product (OS/2 case in point).

No, I'd much rather see Google acquire Sun if anyone at all.

Re:That would *really* suck... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240403)

Some of us *want* to kiss Java goodbye.

COMPLICATED? OMG, how could IBM make Java *more* complicated?

Re:That would *really* suck... (4, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240463)

Before you know it it'll become more complicated to use

Java? I didn't think that was possible. On the other hand, IBM sells Lotus Notes, so who knows what they are capable of?

OS/2 case in point (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240477)

'it'll sit unsupported for 10 years before IBM admits that it's a dead product (OS/2 case in point)'

OS/2 was technologically superior to Windows and would have succeeded if MS hadn't have gone round trashing it in public, while still contracted to develop and support it.

'I was super enthusiast that we shipped OS/2 [slashdot.org] '

OS/2 "Crush" plan [edge-op.org]

The demos of OS/2 were excellent, crashing the system had the intended effect [edge-op.org] '

Good for OpenOffice, Good for Linux ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240235)

With luck, this would stop Sun screwing around with OpenOffice.org, and let them do the right: Eclipse-like thing there.
Then again - if IBM's decides to continue Sun's crazy crusade to push Solaris instead of Linux, I guess we'll all be far worse off: but hopefully IBM knows how best to manage death with dignity for legacy operating systems.

I question the future of Open Office, Netbeans,... (5, Insightful)

OTDR (1052896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240305)

I genuinely question the future of Open Office, Netbeans, Java, et al if IBM acquires Sun. I'm not implying there will be a malicious or concerted effort to kill any particular product or anything, it's just IBM. Long before there was a Linux community I was a die-hard OS/2 user (the best single-user OS there ever was) and before that worked years for an IBM dealer. IBM was, is, and always will be a company of brilliant engineers that can't market water in a desert. Continually-shifting reprioritizations, undercutting of third-party support, you name it -- they kill their own products by their own sheer idiocy.

Re:I question the future of Open Office, Netbeans, (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240401)

They'll keep OpenOffice, but make it even less usable than before.

They'll kill Netbeans, or merge it into Eclipse.

They'll kill Glassfish, because it competes with Websphere.

They'll make Java way more complicated, and scrap Sun's excellent documentation and replace it with their cryptic help files system.

They'll slowly close source OpenSolaris, or make that OS less usable.

They obviously don't want MySQL to go anywhere, since it competes with DB2.

Re:I question the future of Open Office, Netbeans, (1)

OTDR (1052896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240519)

Astute insights all

totally off topic (-1, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240321)

but I have the Slashdot RSS feed in Apple's mail, and the ad for this particular article was "gaythugdating.com", they have this crowd pegged :P

The most important thing... (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240329)

The most important thing is that crucial software such as Java and OpenOffice are maintained. Without a BigCo maintaining these, they will fall behind, which ultimately will make open source a weaker proposition. Nothing would please the Beast of Redmond more. IBM would be a good steward of these programs.

this sux (0, Redundant)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240459)

IBM will shut down the European and American operations and send all the work to China.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240475)

Just think; they could name the new company SunBM (pronounced sunbeam)

May the Schwartz be with you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27240493)

At least we no longer have to fret about Rock - it would have been competing head on with POWER7 anyway, so it's going to get canned.

And we no longer have to worry about Linux making further inroads into the data center - where it only arrived because of IBM's endorsement some 10 years ago; it will be left to the desktop, where HP, Dell and MS can slug it out.

hmmm (3, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27240513)

AIX vs. Solaris? DB2 vs. MySQL? This certainly bodes well for IBM's Java offerings and it means they can stop developing their own JRE, if they haven't already. They can also cannibalize Sun's server customers. On the other hand, it seems like this has to mean certain parts of Sun's business die. AIX and Solaris don't both need to exist within the same company. SPARC and POWER don't need to exist within the same company. DB2 and MySQL might, since they target different markets.

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