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Sun for sale


It's not the first time that the web is buzzing with rumours, but when it's about IBM shopping around to buy Sun, then I'm all ears. I still have a hard time believing this; both companies offer almost the same hardware product line :

  • Servers : in the high-end range, Sun has almost killed its Sparc line with their Fujitsu mockup. In the low-end, Sun is pushing customers towards their AMD Solaris-x86 line. IBM has competing products with both Power and x86.
  • OS : Sun has its Solaris Unix version, still worthy of 30% of the Unix market. Solaris-x86 is a strong competitor for Linux on Intel and AMD hardware.
  • Tape : With the STK tape libraries, Sun owns the largest competitor in this branche.
  • Storage : Sun offers mostly low-end to midrange (The Toro line looks *very* interesting) storage, so this could be an addition towards IBM storage line.
  • Software : Sun owns Java (including GlassFish and Netbeans), so this is interesting for IBM, which has a good selling WebSphere product. MySQL might be interesting too.

As you can see, Sun and IBM have many products that are up to par, and are direct rivals. Buying Sun would only be interesting if IBM is planning to kill Suns product line. I don't know the height of the pile of money IBM is sitting on, but 6.5 billion dollar is a lot of money just to gain some more foot in the Unix market, which IBM is virtually reigning already.

Would this move be good for Linux ? I think so, the demise of Solaris on x86 could drive lots of people towards Linux. On the other hand, Scott McNealy declares that he rather would sell Sun to Microsoft than to see it fall under the feet of IBM...


Here's someone else asking the same questions :