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Oracle Buys Sun 906

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the there-can-be-only-one dept.
bruunb writes "Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt. 'We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,' said Oracle President Safra Catz."
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Oracle Buys Sun

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  • What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kaffiene (38781) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:15AM (#27643893)

    Well well well. I can see this working well for Oracle - they use Java a great deal... and it should be good news for Sun's open source projects like Netbeans - which would, I think, be maintained under Oracle.

    I guess it's a little sad to see Sun unable to continue by themselves, but the writing was on the wall and I think Oracle will keep all the Sun products working, but of course the big question is what does this mean for MySQL?

    • by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:27AM (#27644001) Homepage Journal

      There was a time when Oracle was considering Netbeans [zdnet.com], but Oracle joined the Eclipse Foundation.

      I don't think JDeveloper is based on Eclipse though.

      Might be interesting to see what happens. I think Netbeans will live on. Too many of sun's products rely on it.

      What I'm more concerned with is the amount of contributions to PostgreSQL.

      I still feel had they put more money/time into postgresql instead of buying MySQL, they wouldn't need to be bought.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:36AM (#27644089)

      What the fuck is "netbeans"? Who uses this java nonsense anyway?

      • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54@NoSpam.yahoo.com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:13AM (#27644471)

        What the fuck is "netbeans"?

        They are the seeds of the internet. You plant some and sprinkle them with bits. Eventually they grow into a huge series of tubes. How do you think the internet was created? With lots and lots of netbeans.

    • by shis-ka-bob (595298) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:39AM (#27644121)
      It remains a functional relational database. It has a BSD-style license with a very stable, nearly bug-free (see Coverity) core. It has modular design (you can write procedures in Java, C, C++, T/SQL, R, Python and others. You can get commercial support from a company (EnterpriseDB) that doesn't have a vested interest in moving you to a very expensive alternative.
  • by imac.usr (58845) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:15AM (#27643895) Homepage

    1s - free
    0s - $10 per 0, minimum 100,000 0s

  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:15AM (#27643897) Homepage Journal

    This is a big surprise.

    Wonder if Solaris will become their main development platform again.

  • Wow. Just Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:18AM (#27643929)

    Maybe this isn't out the of realm of conceivability to others, but it was to me...Oracle is a software company (one that runs a lot on Sun hardware), and suddenly becoming a hardware company has got to be a daunting challenge, regardless of who you are or how smart you are.

    The implications are staggering across the board. Maybe Oracle decides they don't want to the hardware, just Java and MySQL (...they got it, finally), but then all that Sun hardware and Solaris...? Or maybe they want to make Solaris/Sun hardware the best platform for Oracle products (already the case as far as I know), then what of support for all their other platforms.

    Oracle likes to buy a lot of companies, but they've all been, more or less, niche players in specific markets to fill in the gaps of their own offerings. I can't imagine what "gap" buying Sun will fill, other than something will be certainly be filled.

    • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:33AM (#27644057) Journal

      Oracle likes to buy a lot of companies, but they've all been, more or less, niche players in specific markets to fill in the gaps of their own offerings. I can't imagine what "gap" buying Sun will fill, other than something will be certainly be filled.

      Application server? Java development environment? Control of the Java language? UI Technology? Hardware?

      Everyone seems to be missing the big picture: Oracle's goal is to offer you a fully supported "stack" from database to application server to hardware and everything in between. All the development tools, technologies, languages, etc. So they can lock you in and offer you the full range of support, no handing you off to so and so because it's not a database problem anymore. Would you pay a premium for that? That's how you make money. And now, they have filled a lot of those gaps and have absorbed some great teams to make that dream a reality. Or so they believe. We'll see how this turns out.

    • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:5, Informative)

      by slashdot_commentator (444053) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:35AM (#27644071) Journal

      Its highly unlikely Oracle will maintain Sun's hardware aspect of the business. Sun already has put SPARC into legacy mode. Oracle will probably keep or sell off the hardware products that can sustain itself. It will probably maintain the legacy server stuff, to keep its high-end ticket customers who buy Sun for high-availability systems.

      An accepted tactic to grow a customer base is to buyout another company's customer base. Its usually considered to be a cheaper route than investing in taking away a competitor's customer base. This is probably the reason Oracle went for Sun. Oracle has become more services/consultant oriented. It can't really break into IBM's territory, partly because of IBM's hardware components for "complete solutions" or enterprise market. This allows Oracle to grab all the customers IBM hasn't already taken away.

      The bigger question is what Oracle plans for Sun's software products, like Solaris, MYSQL, and Java.

    • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by kestasjk (933987) * on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:56AM (#27644283) Homepage
      I would have considered a Sun/Apple merger more likely
      • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:33AM (#27644707) Journal

        A Sun/Apple merger would have made sense ten years ago, when Apple had a great desktop UNIX but with an ageing kernel and running on CPUs from a company that couldn't meet their demands. Sun had a decent server UNIX, with a nice kernel, but no real presence on the (corporate) desktop. OS X on a Solaris kernel, on SPARC would have been very nice, and could have scaled right down to the SPARC v8 systems designed for handheld systems up to the v9 cores designed for massive SMP servers. Steve Jobs still hasn't forgiven Sun for abandoning OpenStep though, so it was never very likely.

        The real shame is that, in the mid '90s, Sun put together an incredible hardware and software stack for mobile devices. A few bits of it made it into Java, but most of it never went to market. If Sun had licensed the software and sold the hardware to ODMs then they would almost certainly not have been looking for a buyer now.

  • Well, crap. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JerkBoB (7130) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:19AM (#27643941)

    Is 8am too early to start drinking?

    I am deeply disappointed by this turn of events.

    IBM would have been a much better buyer, if the deal had to be done.

    Oracle? Bleah!

    Well, I'll bet the suits at IBM are kicking themselves hard, now that Oracle has control of Java.

  • by egghat (73643) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:20AM (#27643955) Homepage

    Oracle+Sun has the power to seriously harm IBM. IBMs big plus was the combination of good hardware + OS + DB + consultants.

    Oracle + Sun can now deliver exactly the same.

    bye egghat

    • by cpu_fusion (705735) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:22AM (#27644563)

      Oracle suddenly has a great operating system, great server hardware, a popular database, and the de facto language of server-side business logic (other than COBOL.)

      And IBM has built so much of its business on Java.

      IBM should have just opened the piggy bank and it would have saved itself the world of hurt it now has in store.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:22AM (#27643967) Homepage Journal

    But SPARC is fucked. Not that it's any great loss, but anyone somehow still heavily invested in SPARC (not too good at reading the writing on the wall, huh?) should be making their transition yesterday. Probably a transition to IBM, which also has a competing database product which is quite credible.

    On the flip side, perhaps Oracle will start leasing database-as-a-service boxes based around SPARC, which is about the only thing that could conceivably keep it alive. Why would you buy Sun if you didn't want their hardware? It would be a questionable move at best.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:54AM (#27644249) Journal

      Why? From what I've seen, the recent UltraSPARCs (T2, and possibly the Rock too) have the best performance-per-watt when running parallel workloads with few floating point ops and lots of I/O. Oracle workloads are parallel, with few floating point ops and lots of I/O. Shipping Oracle appliances on T2 chips means that they aren't having to pay another company a share of their profits for their CPU, and continuing to sell them to other people helps them offset more of the R&D costs.

      Oh, and Sun aren't the only company making SPARC chips. Some of the ones Sun has been selling for the past few years have been rebranded Fujitsu SPARC64s and there are a few companies selling SPARC32 (v8) systems for the embedded market, although they are less common than ARM and PowerPC.

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmagGeek (574360) <<gterich> <at> <aol.com>> on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:24AM (#27643983) Journal

    Sun = Poorly run company with great products
    Oracle = Masterfully run company with shitty products

    I wonder how that DNA is going to come together...

  • by hal2814 (725639) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:27AM (#27644005)
    Oracle was wanting its own OS. Not the worst way to get one and not the worst OS to have.
  • by JerkBoB (7130) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:29AM (#27644011)

    For anyone with morbid curiosity:

    From: Jonathan I. Schwartz
    To: allsun@sun.com
    Subject: Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement
    Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 04:34:16 -0700 (07:34 EDT)

    Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement

    This is one of the toughest emails I've ever had to write.

    It's also one of the most hopeful about Sun's future in the industry.

    For 27 years, Sun has stood for courage, innovation, a willingness to blaze trails, to envision and engineer the future. No matter our ups and downs, we've remained committed to those ideals, and to the R&D that's allowed us to differentiate. We've committed to decade long pursuits, from the evolution of one of the world's most powerful datacenter operating systems, to one of the world's most advanced multi-core microelectronics. We've never walked away from the wholesale reinvention of business models, the redefinition of technology boundaries or the pursuit of new routes to market.

    Because of the unparalleled talent at Sun, we've also fueled entire industries with our people and technologies, and fostered extraordinary companies and market successes. Our products and services have driven the discovery of new drugs, transformed social media, and created a better understanding of the world and marketplace around us. All, while we've undergone a near constant transformation in the face of a rapidly changing marketplace and global economy. We've never walked away from a challenge - or an opportunity.

    So today we take another step forward in our journey, but along a different path - by announcing that this weekend, our board of directors and I approved the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by the Oracle Corporation for $9.50/share in cash. All members of the board present at the meeting to review the transaction voted for it with enthusiasm, and the transaction stands to utterly transform the marketplace - bringing together two companies with a long history of working together to create a newly unified vision of the future.

    Oracle's interest in Sun is very clear - they aspire to help customers simplify the development, deployment and operation of high value business systems, from applications all the way to datacenters. By acquiring Sun, Oracle will be well positioned to help customers solve the most complex technology problems related to running a business.

    To me, this proposed acquisition totally redefines the industry, resetting the competitive landscape by creating a company with great reach, expertise and innovation. A combined Oracle/Sun will be capable of cultivating one of the world's most vibrant and far reaching developer communities, accelerating the convergence of storage, networking and computing, and delivering one of the world's most powerful and complete portfolios of business and technical software.

    I do not consider the announcement to be the end of the road, not by any stretch of the imagination. I believe this is the first step down a different path, one that takes us and our innovations to an even broader market, one that ensures the ubiquitous role we play in the world around us. The deal was announced today, and, after regulatory review and shareholder approval, will take some months to close - until that close occurs, however, we are a separate company, operating independently. No matter how long it takes, the world changed starting today.

    But it's important to note it's not the acquisition that's changing the world - it's the people that fuel both companies. Having spent a considerable amount of time talking to Oracle, let me assure you they are single minded in their focus on the one asset that doesn't appear in our financial statements: our people. That's their highest priority - creating an inviting and compelling environment in which our brightest minds can continue to invent and deliver the future.

    Thank you for everything you've done over the years, and for everything you will do in the future to carry the business forward. I'm incredibly proud of this company and what we've accomplished together.

    Details will be forthcoming as we work together on the integration planning process.

    Jonathan

  • by downix (84795) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:30AM (#27644029) Homepage

    What we have here on one hand is Oracle, a company that is incredibly well run, but with products that don't cover a complete spectrum, and Sun, a so-so run company with a wide range of product lines. This can go two ways, Suns platform quality goes down while Oracles management goes down with it, *or*, and this is the scenario I hope for, Oracle cleans out the dead wood in Sun management, and adopts the Sun technology in force. I've worked on Oracle machines, and Sun machines. I've also delt with both companies sales forces. If the synergy can be hammered out, this can really shake up the business world.

    One suggestion tho, keep both names. Use Sun for the hardware, Oracle for the software.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:42AM (#27644135)

    I wonder how long it will take Oracle to pretty much give the middle finger to HP and Dell hardware partnerships in favor of the soon-to-be-released OracleFire "product-in-the-box" line...

    • by philj (13777) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:08AM (#27644425)

      I wonder how long it will take Oracle to pretty much give the middle finger to HP and Dell hardware partnerships in favor of the soon-to-be-released OracleFire "product-in-the-box" line...

      It already exists... In partnership with HP :)

      Oracle Exadata [oracle.com]

      I imagine that'll soon go the way of the dodo, and get replaced with some Sun kit.

  • by characterZer0 (138196) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:44AM (#27644147)

    Java 8 will replace String with String2, which will treat empty string and null the same.

    • Re:Java 8 Preview (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:14AM (#27644473) Homepage

      Seriously, anyone who has taken a close look at what Oracle has done to Java with JDeveloper and Oracle AS knows that this will not be good for Java. Oracle is famous for not implementing standard API calls and instead providing proprietary methods and super classes to implement basic functionality (JDBC BLOBs, web services, etc.) Vendor lock-in is one thing, but their ideas and designs are just ugly and unwieldy.

      They had started to play nice with EJB3 and TopLink, but now they have absolutely no reason to keep doing so. They now have much more weight in the JCP process (if the JCP even continues to exist) and they can now push out better ideas from competitors. I'm very apprehensive about the future of Java.

  • Good-bye MySQL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:45AM (#27644167) Homepage

    Thankfully, I have recently switched myself (and my clients) over to Postgresql.

    It was a sad day when Oracle got the rights to the InnoDB engine, but at least MySQL itself was in the hands of Sun.

    With Oracle now owning all the rights to what is probably the biggest free competitor, I think the open source world shouldn't put much stock or investment into MySQL.

    I've been quite impressed with the performance and straight-forwardness of PostGres, and will continue to happily use it. I was alawys keeping MySQL in the back of my mind, to try out now and then, but with this announcement, I doubt it'll be worthwhile.

    Is there any anti-trust factors to this? Oracle, being a dominant database player, and buying up the biggest open source database?

    Aside from that, I find this all very sad. Sun was one of the Unix innvators from the earliest days. Even when they grow large, they still seemed like a "cool company." Healey used to personally answer emails I would send him. Oracle seems to be the antithesis of this; major, corporate, gouging, monster... One can only hope that some of Sun's culture and products will survive.

  • Bad news for MySQL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonnyj (1011131) on Monday April 20, 2009 @07:55AM (#27644259)

    MySQL is worth far more to Oracle than to any other company. To anyone else, MySQL is simply worth the present value of its future revenue stream but, to Oracle, it's also worth the impact that it has on its own database revenue streams.

    The anti-MySQL ranters who keep posting on /. miss the point that for many, if not most, commercial projects, MySQL is good enough and has a very low total ownership cost. Oracle knows that too, and the mere existence of MySQL puts an effective price cap on Oracle for low-end projects. It's not the number of users who actually switch to MySQL that bothers Oracle; it's the number who threaten to and get a discount as a result.

    Look out for some significant changes to MySQL licensing and pricing. It's my guess that databases just got a whole load more expensive.

  • catz (Score:4, Funny)

    by psyklopz (412711) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:22AM (#27644559)

    Oracle President Safra Catz was also heard to remark...

    "all your database are belong to us"

  • by HardWoodWorker (1032490) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:29AM (#27644651)
    I love BDB. Oracle bought them and now they've hampered open source involvement. You can't see their source repositories. All you can do is get a zip of their latest release. I don't think any non-Oracle employee contributes to BDB. Read-only open source is barely open-source. I don't want the same to happen to Java, Glassfish, and Netbeans.
  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:29AM (#27644653)

    I remember seeing Oracle rebranding high-end server hardware recently, and tweaking Oracle to run ultra-fast on that particular configuration. Now they have a hardware platform (Sun's x86 and Sparc lines), a software infrastructure (Java) and a marketing lock (Sun hardware and Oracle database purchases seem to go hand in hand, even now.)

    So it's a good move for them. We'll see how well it works out for everyone else. Oracle hasn't been known for developing products that don't require an army of Oracle consultants to get working. If they use the Sun acquisition to build their "database in a box" product, then customers face lock-in on the hardware and software fronts, just like back in the mainframe/midrange days.

    It might be the cynic in me talking, but Oracle has been one of the major causes of large-scale IT failures you read about in the industry press. It's helped along by bad requirements and idiotic lowest-bidder consulting firms, but Oracle is sometimes forced to pay large settlements for running a project over budget. That's just a natural side effect of designing products that are so complex that you have no choice but to buy support. Also, you have to wonder what Oracle's going to do with MySQL now...

    Oracle consumed J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft and BEA. Let's see how well they digest this one!

  • The day MySQL died (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:30AM (#27644669) Homepage

    A long, long time ago...
    I can still remember
    How queries could run for a while.
    Adding more memory would help
    But performance would still make us yelp,
    Still the price was cheap and always made us smile.

    But April's news made us shiver
    Oracle would our DB deliver
    DBAs on the doorstep;
    Large checks we'll have to schlep.

    I know that our CEO cried,
    When the new price he spied.
    Our low cost hope now are fried.
    The day MySQL died.

    (continue on your own)

  • by cpu_fusion (705735) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:31AM (#27644683)

    This was an intellectual property firesale. IBM = idiots. Congratulations to anyone who realized Sun stock was ridiculously undervalued; you deserve the profit you made by buying low.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:33AM (#27644719) Journal

    I think Oracle's underestimated the cost of integration between companies with such dissimilar cultures. Not to mention, by jumping into the hardware business, they've given all of the other hardware makers a very strong reason to steer their customers away from Oracle.

    -jcr

  • deja vue, DEC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by omb (759389) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:14AM (#27645349)
    This has been almost 10 years overdue, when Scott McNealy started behaving like Ken Olsen, c. 1978-80, SUN was doomed, and makes the "No Computer Company makes two full generations" law up there with Moore's and Bell's laws.

    The get to have a death wish, and wont adapt to market conditions:

    Use VMS/Bliss not Unix and C, Unix is Snake Oil

    s/VMS/Solaris/g

    It is soo sad, and in some ways the better the product they the worse the delusional thinking is. If HP/Intel had got the Itanium right this would have been over 10 years ago.

    The other sad thing is how the aging Solaris sysadmins still insist that Lintel is less reliable than SPARC+Solaris. As one who worked extensively with the Solaris core kernel let me tell you the Linux code is far better than its Solaris counterpart. As some Intel hardware vendors, HP, Dell & IBM were forced to 86_64 when the Itanic sunk, one got similar high quality engineering for servers that SUN did, hot-swap, ECC ram carefully designed boards with diagnostic capability, good ground plane, equalised clock distribution, quality thermal design ... as SUN.

    It is so easy to get blind sided by prejudice, I remember the first DEC ethernet controller, for the Unibus, with AMD2900 bit-slice and loadable u-code, wonderfull engineering, but it drew 7A of 5V, and you often needed to install an additional backplane and PSU to cope with the heat and +5V drain. Madness!

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