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News: IBM Withdraws Offer For Sun Microsystems

  1. IBM Withdraws Offer For Sun Microsystems (27 messages)

    IBM withdrew its offer for Sun Microsystems after Sun balked at being lowballed by a $7B offer. The deal's collapse raises questions about Sun's next steps pursuing its solo business models that many analysts question.
    Had it bought Sun, I.B.M. would have become the dominant supplier of high-priced Unix servers and gained the rights to a number of popular business software franchises, including the Java technology used on many Web sites. The deal would have also helped I.B.M. compete against the hardware breadth of rival Hewlett-Packard and given it some momentum to combat Oracle's ever-expanding business software empire. However, I.B.M. also faced the likelihood of antitrust reviews tied to the stronger positions in Unix servers and mainframe storage that it would have gained under the deal. After the legal review, I.B.M. shaved its offer Saturday from $9.55 a share, the proposal on the table late last week, to $9.40 a share, said one person familiar with the talks. The offer was presented to Sun's board on Saturday, and the board balked. The Sun board did not reject the offer outright, but wanted certain guarantees that the I.B.M. side considered "onerous," according to that person.
    This isn't a good thing for Sun, but is it a healthy thing for the Java ecosystem, given the number of loud voices raising against this merger? Cas Thomas from CMS Watch performed an in-depth analysis of Sun's business models based on their SEC filings and other public information and concluded that IBM's valuation of Sun would be way too low. Interesting read and charts.

    Threaded Messages (27)

  2. Google ?[ Go to top ]

    I'm just wondering if Google buying "Sun" is possible. Since servers and Java technologies are essential part of Google products. Google itself has a especial server technology which could be delivered to the market using Sun's marketshare and they may be in a comfortable position to protect its Java based products like Android and GWT. Nonsense ?
  3. how about Microsoft?[ Go to top ]

    I'm just wondering if Microsoft buying "Sun" is possible. Since servers and .NET technologies are essential part of Microsoft products. Microsoft itself has a especial server technology which could be delivered to the market using Java's marketshare and they may be in a comfortable position to protect its .NET based products. Nonsense ?
  4. Re: how about Microsoft?[ Go to top ]

    I'm just wondering if Microsoft buying "Sun" is possible. Since servers and .NET technologies are essential part of Microsoft products. Microsoft itself has a especial server technology which could be delivered to the market using Java's marketshare and they may be in a comfortable position to protect its .NET based products. Nonsense ?
    In 1993 everybody thought that it was absolutely impossible having Sonic The Hedgehog doing its stuff on a Nintendo console. These days, an entire generation has grown up seeing just that. So I'd be very careful to qualify any such takeover as nonsense. Currently it's not something that I'd like to see happen. Microsoft owning Java would make a lot of things very complicated and confusing.
  5. I personally think IBM would be a better home for Java than someone you've never heard of or has no skin in the (Java) game. And that is my biggest worry - Sun gets chopped up and sold off to Patent hoarders, holding companies, etc. I'm guessing the latest speculation that the rumoured deal is off is just part of the negotiating tactics. I continue to think that IBM is one of the few companies that could absorb something the size of Sun and make the deal pay off. There are many companies with the cash - but cash alone isn't sufficient. Rich Sharples http://blog.softwhere.org
  6. I personally think IBM would be a better home for Java than someone you've never heard of or has no skin in the (Java) game. And that is my biggest worry - Sun gets chopped up and sold off to Patent hoarders, holding companies, etc.

    I'm guessing the latest speculation that the rumoured deal is off is just part of the negotiating tactics.

    I continue to think that IBM is one of the few companies that could absorb something the size of Sun and make the deal pay off. There are many companies with the cash - but cash alone isn't sufficient.

    Rich Sharples
    http://blog.softwhere.org
    I concur. IBM has all the strategic interest to keep Java alive and kicking, despite what people is mostly saying. Java is living in many IBM products and Java is still the only alternative to .NET. Until IBM will come up with a real alternative, IBM is a safehouse for Java.
  7. I personally think IBM would be a better home for Java than someone you've never heard of or has no skin in the (Java) game.
    If those were the only two choices, then you might be correct. However, and fortunately, there are many companies with skin in the game besides IBM. The difficulty is that the server (hardware) business of Sun, which constitutes a large portion of its revenue (and thus its valuation) can only be leveraged by a few companies, most notable of which is IBM (others include HP and Fujitsu). Given the valuations under discussion, IBM could probably buy Sun just for its hardware and show positive ROI within 5-10 years, maybe less. The problem is that the Java IP would likely go to the same buyer. At this point in time, it makes sense to finish opening up the Java platform, and while Sun holds back token amounts (e.g. the TCK, Java ME, etc.), it has by and large been on the path towards (or at least "in the general direction of") full openness. Is IBM willing to pledge to do the same? Peace, Cameron Purdy Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
  8. I personally think IBM would be a better home for Java than someone you've never heard of or has no skin in the (Java) game.


    If those were the only two choices, then you might be correct. However, and fortunately, there are many companies with skin in the game besides IBM.

    The difficulty is that the server (hardware) business of Sun, which constitutes a large portion of its revenue (and thus its valuation) can only be leveraged by a few companies, most notable of which is IBM (others include HP and Fujitsu). Given the valuations under discussion, IBM could probably buy Sun just for its hardware and show positive ROI within 5-10 years, maybe less.

    The problem is that the Java IP would likely go to the same buyer. At this point in time, it makes sense to finish opening up the Java platform, and while Sun holds back token amounts (e.g. the TCK, Java ME, etc.), it has by and large been on the path towards (or at least "in the general direction of") full openness.

    Is IBM willing to pledge to do the same?

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
    wrt. to stewardship of Java - I think IBM would be unlikely to compromise the growth and health of Java and are clearly in a better position to invest in it. But only IBM really knows what they would do with it. Maybe. - Rich
  9. @Rich,
    I think IBM would be unlikely to compromise the growth and health of Java and are clearly in a better position to invest in it
    It's easy (fun?) to predict what IBM would do...but I think you hit on a key point. IBM's done well in a large & vibrant Java ecosystem. I can't think of a reason why IBM would want to change that playing field. @Cameron:
    Is IBM willing to pledge to do the same?
    Not being an American, and hence not having grown up with the pledge of allegiance, the only Pledge I'm familiar with is http://www.pledge.com/ :-) But again, why change a good thing? Oh, and I don't speak for IBM. Savio IBMer with personal opinions http://saviorodrigues.wordpress.com/
  10. Not being an American, and hence not having grown up with the pledge of allegiance, the only Pledge I'm familiar with is http://www.pledge.com
    Who knew you have to be an American to use a dictionary?
  11. <Who knew you have to be an American to use a dictionary?</blockquote> When I was learning English someone said that Americans need dictionaries so they know when to leave the "u" out of words ...
  12. When I was learning English someone said that Americans need dictionaries so they know when to leave the "u" out of words ...
    You are right that there's no 'u' in 'words' but I didn't need dictionary to know that.
  13. When I was learning English someone said that Americans need dictionaries so they know when to leave the "u" out of words ...


    You are right that there's no 'u' in 'words' but I didn't need dictionary to know that.
    dictionary or A dictionary?
  14. I personally think IBM would be a better home for Java than someone you've never heard of or has no skin in the (Java) game. And that is my biggest worry - Sun gets chopped up and sold off to Patent hoarders, holding companies, etc.

    I'm guessing the latest speculation that the rumoured deal is off is just part of the negotiating tactics.

    I continue to think that IBM is one of the few companies that could absorb something the size of Sun and make the deal pay off. There are many companies with the cash - but cash alone isn't sufficient.

    Rich Sharples
    http://blog.softwhere.org
    I wouldn't be worried - good stuff sticks around. There is a Java parser generator (JavaCC) that I've used on occasion, which originated at Sun, then moved to the MetaMata startup, then to WebGain, then to experimentalstuff.com, then Sun again, and now it is open source. We have the JCP that governs how Java will evolve, so I think who "owns" it is of little or no consequence as long as there is a vibrant user/developer community. Thanks, Thomas
  15. Get Rid of Schwartz !!![ Go to top ]

    The best news I've heard for a long time. I think Schwartz needs to be replaced for his poor judgment in putting Sun and its shareholders through this pickle. I know the company was losing money but I really think their open source and cloud offering especially during this period of global recession would really turn the company around, especially seeing where he started his CEO blog outlining to customers and partners the future direction of Sun. He lied about that, as he at no time mentioned that he wanted to sell off Sun (n.b. I know he couldn't make that announcement anyway, but he's still a liar). Get rid of Schwartz!! You can't trust his words nor his judgment. Long live Sun
  16. Re: Get Rid of Schwartz !!![ Go to top ]

    The best news I've heard for a long time. I think Schwartz needs to be replaced for his poor judgment in putting Sun and its shareholders through this pickle. I know the company was losing money but I really think their open source and cloud offering especially during this period of global recession would really turn the company around, especially seeing where he started his CEO blog outlining to customers and partners the future direction of Sun. He lied about that, as he at no time mentioned that he wanted to sell off Sun (n.b. I know he couldn't make that announcement anyway, but he's still a liar).

    Get rid of Schwartz!! You can't trust his words nor his judgment.

    Long live Sun
    Eh ? All public companies are for sale. Every day. A CEO has a legal responsibility to shareholders - all other goals are secondary to that. As soon as SEAM upped their stake in Sun to 22% to buy 2 board members - a sale was *obviously* going to be pursued. Rich Sharples http://blog.softwhere.org
  17. Re: Get Rid of Schwartz !!![ Go to top ]

    The best news I've heard for a long time. I think Schwartz needs to be replaced for his poor judgment in putting Sun and its shareholders through this pickle. I know the company was losing money but I really think their open source and cloud offering especially during this period of global recession would really turn the company around, especially seeing where he started his CEO blog outlining to customers and partners the future direction of Sun. He lied about that, as he at no time mentioned that he wanted to sell off Sun (n.b. I know he couldn't make that announcement anyway, but he's still a liar).

    Get rid of Schwartz!! You can't trust his words nor his judgment.

    Long live Sun


    Eh ?

    All public companies are for sale. Every day. A CEO has a legal responsibility to shareholders - all other goals are secondary to that.

    As soon as SEAM upped their stake in Sun to 22% to buy 2 board members - a sale was *obviously* going to be pursued.


    Rich Sharples
    http://blog.softwhere.org
    So do you really believe that this CEO achieved his goal in looking after his shareholders, the company's customers, and its employees? It's a botched job, with blood and guts left everywhere. What I want to know is what do you tell customers after this?
  18. Re: Get Rid of Schwartz !!![ Go to top ]

    The best news I've heard for a long time. I think Schwartz needs to be replaced for his poor judgment in putting Sun and its shareholders through this pickle. I know the company was losing money but I really think their open source and cloud offering especially during this period of global recession would really turn the company around, especially seeing where he started his CEO blog outlining to customers and partners the future direction of Sun. He lied about that, as he at no time mentioned that he wanted to sell off Sun (n.b. I know he couldn't make that announcement anyway, but he's still a liar).

    Get rid of Schwartz!! You can't trust his words nor his judgment.

    Long live Sun


    Eh ?

    All public companies are for sale. Every day. A CEO has a legal responsibility to shareholders - all other goals are secondary to that.

    As soon as SEAM upped their stake in Sun to 22% to buy 2 board members - a sale was *obviously* going to be pursued.


    Rich Sharples
    http://blog.softwhere.org


    So do you really believe that this CEO achieved his goal in looking after his shareholders, the company's customers, and its employees? It's a botched job, with blood and guts left everywhere.

    What I want to know is what do you tell customers after this?
    No, clearly he hasn't achieved his goal - I never said that. I'm just saying that no-body (who can read a news-site) should be surprised. - Rich
  19. Did Jerry Yang go to Sun? I saw that in the comments on this story on the Wall Street Journal site. It alluded to how Yahoo thought they were worth more than Microsoft was offering, and when it was all done and the offer refused, Yahoo's stock price dropped substantially. JAVA is trading at $6.51 as I type. IBM's $9.40 per share offer looks good from an armchair quarterback perspective. I agree with Cameron that opening up Java more and more protects us all against having a poor steward for Java. Cheers, David Flux - http://www.fluxcorp.com - Java Job Scheduler. File Transfer. Workflow.
  20. It's interesting that all of these responses only address IBM's potential ownership of Java. I'm really not worried about that at all. I'm more concerned about IBM killing all of Sun's middleware and tooling (Glassfish, Netbeans, etc.) and the further consolidation of that space. I have a very low opinion of IBM's tools (Rational) and middleware offerings (WebSphere, WebSphereMQ, Integration Broker, WebSphereESB, etc.) and their license fees are already far higher than their value - in my opinion. The further elimination of quality competition is what I fear the most. Please don't point out to me all the great open source alternatves. I'm familiar with them and I often advocate their use. However, I work for a very large corporation and they won't trust their family jewels to free open source products. BTW, Cameron Purdy, has Oracle made any big decisions about their BEA products yet? Please tell me WebLogic and AquaLogic will live.
  21. I think WebLogic will be alive with Oracle Package Names :). However, AquaLogic will be gone for ever as a product, but some of the packages will be in Oracle SOA platform. I also believe Oracle will not touch package name changes for next five years to satisfy all legacy BEA customers. Thanks
  22. William, this may or may not be the most current... http://andrewscg.wordpress.com/2008/07/03/oracle-unveils-its-bea-product-roadmap/ I have a public document from Gartner that shows which BEA and Oracle products made the cut and which ones didn't. But it sounds like the same info was covered in the webcast referenced in the URL above.
  23. Cameron Purdy, has Oracle made any big decisions about their BEA products yet? Please tell me WebLogic and AquaLogic will live.
    To be clear, I am only an official spokesperson for the Coherence product, and then only when being baby-sat by an official Oracle PR representative, so anything I say on the topic is definitely _not_ official .. The short answer is that Thomas Kurian did a web-cast shortly after the acquisition and stated which products were being kept and invested in, and which would not be. WebLogic was definitely a keeper, and has been doing incredibly well in the market since the acquisition by Oracle; I recently wrote a blog on the topic: http://www.jroller.com/cpurdy/entry/coherence_march_2009_update I don't know the ESB product details in terms of how the products are merging / evolving, and if any are being EOL'd. My team does a lot of work with Oracle's ESB technology, but I just don't know the official go-forward product details; sorry. Peace, Cameron Purdy Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
  24. ...[ Go to top ]

    Cameron Purdy, has Oracle made any big decisions about their BEA products yet? Please tell me WebLogic and AquaLogic will live.


    To be clear, I am only an official spokesperson for the Coherence product, and then only when being baby-sat by an official Oracle PR representative, so anything I say on the topic is definitely _not_ official ..

    The short answer is that Thomas Kurian did a web-cast shortly after the acquisition and stated which products were being kept and invested in, and which would not be. WebLogic was definitely a keeper, and has been doing incredibly well in the market since the acquisition by Oracle; I recently wrote a blog on the topic:

    http://www.jroller.com/cpurdy/entry/coherence_march_2009_update

    I don't know the ESB product details in terms of how the products are merging / evolving, and if any are being EOL'd. My team does a lot of work with Oracle's ESB technology, but I just don't know the official go-forward product details; sorry.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Oracle Coherence: Data Grid for Java, .NET and C++
    I was at Oracle OpenWorld last year and they were pretty clear that Oracle's application server offering (iAS) was going to eventually be discontinued, and Weblogic would become the foundational app server for their Fusion line. Other tidbits included having TopLink as the de-facto ORM implementation, and JDeveloper as the de-facto IDE.
  25. It's interesting that all of these responses only address IBM's potential ownership of Java. I'm really not worried about that at all. I'm more concerned about IBM killing all of Sun's middleware and tooling (Glassfish, Netbeans, etc.) and the further consolidation of that space. I have a very low opinion of IBM's tools (Rational) and middleware offerings (WebSphere, WebSphereMQ, Integration Broker, WebSphereESB, etc.) and their license fees are already far higher than their value - in my opinion. The further elimination of quality competition is what I fear the most.

    Please don't point out to me all the great open source alternatves. I'm familiar with them and I often advocate their use. However, I work for a very large corporation and they won't trust their family jewels to free open source products.

    BTW, Cameron Purdy, has Oracle made any big decisions about their BEA products yet? Please tell me WebLogic and AquaLogic will live.
    Wasn't it IBM who gave up their own HTTP server in favor of Apache? If the technologies you mentioned are superior I wouldn't doubt that IBM would use them.
  26. Wasn't it IBM who gave up their own HTTP server in favor of Apache? If the technologies you mentioned are superior I wouldn't doubt that IBM would use them.
    Experience says otherwise. IBM intentionally crippled the PC so that it would not compete with its high margin Displaywriter wordprocessing machine and System/23. They went with an 8088 instead of an 8086 and with a control program monitor (DOS and CP/M-86) instead of an operating system. They bought Sequent Computers which manufactured an incredible SMP box (256 Intel CPUs) with very high performance and running a version of UNIX (Dynix/ptx) that made it scream. IBM then killed the box and the operating system. IBM has also abandoned very good to excellent products when they either could not figure out how to market them or they had internal competition. Company politics drives more decisions in big companies than many realize. (IBM is not the only one to do this. Microsoft is probably much worse about acquiring and killing competition than they are.) Other than company politics why would IBM (or Oracle or Microsoft) do this? Perhaps its because the new product is redundant to their offerings and does not fit into their marketing strategy. Remember, IBM doesn't support Java and J2EE for religious or altruistic reasons. It's because they can profit from it. Their Rational and WebSphere products are designed to help them sell their other products by creating "synergies" or linkages or dependencies between them. They bundle and they deal. It's very difficult to get IBM out once they are entrenched and they've designed it to be that way. They sell and encourage you to use facilities and features that will keep your applications from being ported to competitors' platforms without considerable rework. Oracle, Microsoft and others try to do the same thing. It's account control. It's the way of big commercial software. So from IBM's perspective, what does Glassfish offer that WebSphere doesn't? Why support Netbeans when they have Eclipse/Rational? Sun's Identity Management might be worth keeping, but I see IBM basically killing or crippling the bulk of Sun's middleware. Technical superiority seldom wins in any contest in the business world. Businesses exist to make money, not great technology.
  27. Wasn't it IBM who gave up their own HTTP server in favor of Apache? If the technologies you mentioned are superior I wouldn't doubt that IBM would use them.


    Experience says otherwise. IBM intentionally crippled the PC so that it would not compete with its high margin Displaywriter wordprocessing machine and System/23. They went with an 8088 instead of an 8086 and with a control program monitor (DOS and CP/M-86) instead of an operating system. They bought Sequent Computers which manufactured an incredible SMP box (256 Intel CPUs) with very high performance and running a version of UNIX (Dynix/ptx) that made it scream. IBM then killed the box and the operating system.

    IBM has also abandoned very good to excellent products when they either could not figure out how to market them or they had internal competition. Company politics drives more decisions in big companies than many realize. (IBM is not the only one to do this. Microsoft is probably much worse about acquiring and killing competition than they are.)

    Other than company politics why would IBM (or Oracle or Microsoft) do this? Perhaps its because the new product is redundant to their offerings and does not fit into their marketing strategy. Remember, IBM doesn't support Java and J2EE for religious or altruistic reasons. It's because they can profit from it. Their Rational and WebSphere products are designed to help them sell their other products by creating "synergies" or linkages or dependencies between them. They bundle and they deal. It's very difficult to get IBM out once they are entrenched and they've designed it to be that way. They sell and encourage you to use facilities and features that will keep your applications from being ported to competitors' platforms without considerable rework. Oracle, Microsoft and others try to do the same thing. It's account control. It's the way of big commercial software.

    So from IBM's perspective, what does Glassfish offer that WebSphere doesn't? Why support Netbeans when they have Eclipse/Rational? Sun's Identity Management might be worth keeping, but I see IBM basically killing or crippling the bulk of Sun's middleware.

    Technical superiority seldom wins in any contest in the business world. Businesses exist to make money, not great technology.
    In 2000 I consulted for an insurance company and sat together in a room with IBM's architect for WebSphere. He admitted his pain when seeing how WebLogic could be set up out of the box in no time (though their security was better integrated). Nonetheless, the insurance company wouldn't even consider buying anything without the three letters on it.
  28. Oracle?[ Go to top ]

    Would Oracle entertain a Sun bid? Not that they're a hardware company, but they sure as heck have a lot invested in Java technology (including middleware and their Oracle Applications line).