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Do You Think IBM Is Really Going to Buy Sun Microsystems?
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Do You Think IBM Is Really Going to Buy Sun Microsystems?

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The news is all over the place on this one:  some say it's a done deal, other say that IBM has nothing to gain and that the rumor was actually started by Sun.  So do you think the deal is really going to take place, and if so, will it be a good thing?

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  • YES.

    This would be a very good thing. Sun's Open Source strategy right now doesnt drag much business... with IBM Global Services they will be able to make the business successful...

  • Yes IBM is going to buy Sun. WSJ reports IBM is going to pay 11 dollar per share. This is a big move for IBM as it's moving away from software acquistions to hybrid (Hardware & Software company). The future of solaris will be a big question as IBM is more focused on Linux&Unix for enterprise IT infrastructure. Here are few things IBM will do with Sun's product and solutions.
    1.NetBeans will be part of eclipse, so netbeans doesn't have large user base.
    2.Openoffice and Lotus Team will asked to work together and build a next generation collab tools for end users.
    3.IBM will keep MySQL until 2012 and later will merge to one of its database products.
    4.Glassfish will be part of Websphere very soon and some portion will be open source.
    5.IBM may release a Virtualization product after the acquistion.
    6.IBM will utilize the strengths of Sun hardware(Storage and Servers) .

  • As with most proposed M&A deals, there are many pros and cons. This one is no different. The cons are obvious – even more “competing? operating systems, platform organizations, cash-cow server/maintenance deals, the future perception of “openness?, and so forth. But I also think there are a lot of benefits, particularly with regard to greater traction of open source, community support, etc. I suspect this would be a better deal for Sun than IBM, and if such an action were consummated, how long until the two cultures were truly assimilated would be a big question mark. Bottom line though: given Sun’s business outlook, I’d be very surprised if they turned down such an offer from IBM.

  • Yes I think it will happen, and from my development perspective, while we might like healthy competition and choice in vendors, it is better a strategic move now than a fire sale for Sun later. IBM practically owns enterprise computing, and they have gone out of their way to own a big chunk of the Java world with it.

    Sun has tried very hard to attract developers, lately, open sourcing as much as they could - but open source is a hard space to compete in because it doesn't generate cash! By hugely funding Eclipse, IBM spoiled the IDE market for Sun and a number of other players.

    Still this will be an interesting development to watch, as we are talking about a boatload of innovations and 2 very different cultures that would need to be folded together here.

  • At the height of the dot-com era, Sun Microsystems was a high flier, selling its high-end web solaris-based servers to every dot-com wanting to become the next eBay or yahoo. Fast forward 10 years later and Sun is a shell of its former self. It has been trying to transition away from its hardware business in favor of open source software and services without a great deal of success. Nonetheless, Sun is still a force in the server and storage markets competing with major players HP, IBM and EMC. A union of these two companies will permit IBM to thrive in the datacenter – in providing customers with both equipment and services – and Sun’s server and storage technologies to live on.

  • IBM has always done a great job of integrating acquired companies into its fold -- look at Lotus, Tivoli and Rational. But it's hard to see how Sun will fit. It brings a redundant line of server products (though Solaris is a rock-solid OS). Will IBM keep Solaris alive, as an option to run on Systems z, p, i and x? Solaris was recently demonstrated running within a partition on a System z mainframe, in fact. But how would IBM position Solaris alongside AIX and Linux? Java also is in Sun's orbit, but IBM already licenses the language. How will MySQL be positioned with CloudScape, or DB2 for that matter?

    It's hard to imagine what IBM is getting for all these billions of dollars that it doesn't already have, other than Sun's customer list -- and a very smart workforce, of course, which it could have attracted by other means.

  • I see problems along two lines:

    1. Technology related
    Each company has a strong suite of products (Sun with SPARC, Solaris, Java, etc. and IBM with System z, AIX, WebSphere, etc.) with a strong following and customer base. Therse products are different enough to present serious chanllenges in creating a unified, consistent technology platform in a combined company.

    2. Culture related
    By far the biggest problem in the merger of two huge companies is going to be integrating the organizations, people, and processes. Ultimately, a dysfunctional culture in the resulting company might outweigh any potential benefits from synergies.

    Personally, I always cringe when competition is reduced by M&A. We're seeing what's going on with the banks becoming to fail while paradoxically being too big to manage as well. Would IBM + Sun equate to the same?

  • If this happens it would mark a stunning reversal of strategy on IBM's part back to being a technology provider and away from the 15-year strategy of IT and business services provision(divesting Lexmark, Lenovo; buying PwC, etc.)

    If it happens and the EU Competition Commission does not object strenuously, it would expose those neanderthals for the anti-Microsoft bigots they really are.

    • Dennis, IBM is an arms dealer (I am quoting an IBM Executive I have the chance to talk personally).

      Hardware - arms dealer - systems, storage, appliance

      Software - arms dealer - Middleware is the main software of IBM. Not Applications as, say, SAP and Oracle.

      I would like to acknowledge that GTS/GBS is a big portion of the revenue. And their services are because of being an arms dealer both on hardware and software.

  • YES

    technology and people. best of breed. leaner and meaner.

    remember, rational and grady.
    remember, ilog and pierre.

    java and james gosling.
    sun and scott mcnealy.
    hope they stay and become an IBM Fellow. :)

  • All- Sorry I don't get the "arms dealer" reference either but there is no doubt that at IBM services is the dog (no aspersion intended) and technology is the tail.

    All of IBM's strategic moves for more than 10 years have been toward services provision, even beginning to concentrate on business services provision as opposed to IT services provision (they got rid of their storage division too didn't they?).

    The middleware acquisitions beginning in the late 1990s, the funding of Linux and Apache beginning in the mid 1990s, and so forth are all about more cost-effectively executing IT service contracts, running all of their outsourcing contracts, and building a cloud that won't quit.

    Controlling Java might contribute to that objective but $9 billion seems to me to be a lot to pay for controlling code that is open sourced already? Maybe IBM does not trust the open source community to toe its corporate line.

    -- Dennis Byron

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    They probably will, however, making (or increasing) a "Too Big To Fail" attribute value to IBM would be wrong. The Trust dept. and IBM should review this closely. IBM came very close to being broken-up a couple of decades ago; no need to try again.

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