Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Sun Microsystems Businesses Databases IBM Microsoft Oracle Programming Software IT

Ballmer, IBM Surprised By Oracle-Sun Deal 324

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-didn't-see-it-coming dept.
Geon Lasli writes "Reporters caught up with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Moscow to get his take on Oracle's deal to buy Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion. Ballmer was at a loss for words: 'I need to think about it. I am very surprised.' According to a source, IBM hadn't given up on purchasing Sun and was blindsided by Oracle's move. I guess IBM must be regretting playing tough 2 weeks ago. Unknown to outsiders, Sun had probably found the Oracle lifeboat before they decided to pull the plug on the deal."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ballmer, IBM Surprised By Oracle-Sun Deal

Comments Filter:
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:24PM (#27662163) Journal
    You see, Ballmer was supposed to get up at 3am and bid $7,400,000,001.00 for Sun on CorporateBay.com. Instead he just threw a chair at his alarm clock and went back to sleep.

    Same thing happened to me with a $1.5 thousand Rickenbacker 4003 bass [ebay.com] two weeks ago. And now I regret not having that sweet sweet axe in my hands right now just as much as Ballmer regrets not being able to fire whole divisions when their managers don't know the entire lyrics to American Pie by Don McLean. We're both only human, buddy.
    • by kpainter (901021)
      He should have used justsnipe.com
  • by nicolas.kassis (875270) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:25PM (#27662185)
    I can really decide if I like the fact that Oracle is going to be bullying Microsoft going forward or hate the fact that Oracle is probably more evil than Microsoft now.
    • I meant can't really decide
    • Re:Is this good? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:01PM (#27662777) Homepage Journal

      Oracle has always been bullying Microsoft.

      Larry Ellison want's to create the world's largest software company and dethrone MS. He's tried everything including support for nettops.

      Considering MS gained dominance through an operating system and an office suite, what Ellison did with just a database is quite remarkable.

      They have since grown their software portfolio to include enterprise applications, application servers and middleware.

      Now with Sun, their getting an OS, a great development platform and a lot of other nice things in addition to the hardware business.

      Oracle's revenue after the Sun acquisition should be close to Microsoft's and close to half of IBM and HP's.

      Sun was only about a quarter of the size of IBM and HP, it's two biggest competitors and wasn't doing too bad considering who they were up against. And like I said, Oracle wasn't too shabby in the software world.

      The combination of the two, if done properly, should really be fierce. Oracle has been buying a lot of companies in the past few years and all reports I've read in the press indicate that Oracle has been handling the mergers very well.

      I thought Cisco would have been the ideal buyer for Sun and I didn't even consider Oracle. Now that the merger has been announced and I had time to think about it, I couldn't think of a much better buyer of Sun.

      The two companies have so much in common. People that deploy Oracle tend to do it on Solaris/SPARC more than any other platform and that's been the case for a long time. So the companies have had a strong relationship over the years. Not always great, but overall pretty good. The big knock was when Ellison decided to switch developer workstations to Linux from Solaris, which may not have been a good idea since Solaris/SPARC deployments still beat linux deployments for Oracle.

      Here you have two CEO's that hate MS, and want to dominate IBM. We're in for some interesting times.

      While I don't hate Linux, the linux fanbois on here have been getting on my nerves so let me throw in this barb.

      When IBM was rumored to be in talks with Sun, rumors were going around that Oracle was looking to buy RedHat [localtechwire.com].

      When the opportunity to buy Sun, Oracle chose them over RedHat. RedHat wouls probably have cost them only $2bln compared to the $5.6bln it's going to cost to buy Sun. So suck it! :)

      • by pembo13 (770295)

        You can't really buy what Redhat has worked to gain over the years.

        • Re:Is this good? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @02:01PM (#27663881) Homepage Journal

          You can't really buy what Redhat has worked to gain over the years.

          Yeah you can. It's a publicly traded company. You don't even need their permission to buy it.

          And it would only cost you $3.3 billion - the $1 billion in cash and short term investments you'd acquire when you did. But $2.3 billion for a company with only a half billion in annual revenues, 76 million in annual net income (with no income growth despite dramatic revenue growth) doesn't seem worth it.

          It's not that you can't buy RedHat. You don't want to.

          You can't buy Linux, but you sure as hell can buy RedHat and the developers won't be jumping ship. Especially in this economic climate where raising money for a RedHat fork that can compete with the RedHat brand isn't likely.

          And you sure as hell can sell RedHat as a lot of insiders have been doing lately. If you can sell something, you can buy it.

          • Re:Is this good? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Znork (31774) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @02:51PM (#27664847)

            the developers won't be jumping ship

            Most high-power Linux developers have tended to put their money where their mouth is in previous similar situations. Despite the environment, I doubt they'd have trouble finding new jobs.

            RedHat fork that can compete with the RedHat brand isn't likely.

            The value of the Redhat brand is largely tied to its independence and long term reliability and predictability on strategic issues. Most possible buyers of Redhat do not have the same track record of free software dedication (a company like Oracle would be dead in days if they had to compete with their own version of CentOS for their various products; they certainly don't seem to endear themselves to their customers).

            For most buyers of the company the brand would basically cease to exist, so any fork would have little to compete against, apart from the various other vendors, of which Ubuntu would probably be the major gainer.

  • I don't know the specifics, but can't IBM make a counter offer?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
      IBM thought they were being tough negotiators by walking away from a 6.85 Billion bid then Oracle upped it to 7.4 Billion.
    • Re:counter offer? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:43PM (#27662489) Homepage

      I don't know the specifics, but can't IBM make a counter offer?

      If they feel the company is worth more than Oracle are paying, they could make a counter offer. Indeed, Sun's board may have announced the agreement in the very hope this happens.

      Equally, in those circumstances Oracle could increase their offer. Unless IBM are very keen on the acquisition, it's unlikely they'll want to enter a bidding war.

      Not to say they won't have a final stab, especially if Sun is worth more to them now they know the alternative is for Oracle to own Java.

      • Re:counter offer? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BrainInAJar (584756) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:08PM (#27662869)
        No... "definitive agreement" means that bidding is done.

        Oracle offered, Sun accepted.
        • Re:counter offer? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:20PM (#27663085) Homepage

          No... "definitive agreement" means that bidding is done.

          Doesn't it mean the boards have agreed the terms of sale?

          Sun is a listed company. The shareholders own it, not the Board of Directors who approved this deal.

          Unless they somehow managed to get agreement from 50.1% of shareholders before making the announcement (which I imagine would cause all sorts of SEC issues) it's still going to require shareholder approval, no? And, if the decision is still down to the shareholders, IBM could still return to the table, even if it required a hostile approach to the shareholders directly.

          • Re:counter offer? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by the unbeliever (201915) <chris+slashdot&atlgeek,com> on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:43PM (#27663551) Homepage

            Chances are the board owns between them a controlling share of the company, making joe blow stockholder's opinion rather valueless.

            • Re:counter offer? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @02:00PM (#27663853) Homepage

              I think that's unlikely.

              Nonetheless, here's what the SEC filing says:

              (a) The Company shall establish a record date for, duly call, give notice of, convene and hold a meeting of its stockholders (the âoeStockholder Meetingâ) as promptly as practicable after the date hereof for the purpose of voting on the matters requiring Stockholder Approval; provided, that (i) the Company may delay, adjourn or postpone the date of the Stockholder Meeting if and to the extent necessary to obtain a quorum of its stockholders to take action at the Stockholder Meeting and the Company shall use its reasonable best efforts during any such delay, adjournment or postponement to obtain such a quorum as soon as practicable, and (ii) the Company may delay, adjourn or postpone the Stockholder Meeting if and to the extent (and only to the extent) the Company determines in good faith that such delay, adjournment or postponement is required by Applicable Law or to comply with any comments made by the SEC with respect to the Proxy Statement or otherwise. Unless the Company Board shall have effected an Adverse Recommendation Change in accordance with Section 6.03, the Company Board shall make the Board Recommendation and use its reasonable best efforts to obtain the Stockholder Approval, and the Company shall otherwise comply with all Applicable Laws applicable to the Stockholder Meeting. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, unless this Agreement is terminated in accordance with Section 8.01, the Company shall establish a record date for, call, give notice of, convene and hold the Stockholder Meeting and the matters constituting the Stockholder Approval shall be submitted to the Companyâ(TM)s stockholders at the Stockholder Meeting whether or not (A) an Adverse Recommendation Change shall have occurred or (B) any Acquisition Proposal or Superior Proposal shall have been publicly proposed or announced or otherwise submitted to the Company or any of its Representatives. Unless this Agreement is terminated in accordance with Section 8.01, the Company agrees that it shall not submit to the vote of the stockholders of the Company any Acquisition Proposal (whether or not a Superior Proposal) prior to the vote of the Companyâ(TM)s stockholders with respect to the Merger at the Stockholder Meeting. The notice of such Stockholder Meeting shall state that a resolution to approve and adopt this Agreement and the Merger will be considered at the Stockholder Meeting, and no other matters shall be considered or voted upon at the Stockholder Meeting without Parentâ(TM)s prior written consent.

              I think it's pretty clear that Stockholder approval is required and therefore it is possible - however unlikely - for other offers to be made.

              The SEC filing also contains specific clauses to deal with 'Superior Proposals'.

          • by afidel (530433)
            I'm sure there was a nasty poison pill in the offer where Sun would have to make Oracle whole if the offer fell through. I've heard of clauses as much as 20% of the acquired companies value so the deal has to be seriously low bid for it to be worth someone elses time to meddle with the deal at that point.
  • by OglinTatas (710589) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:28PM (#27662237)

    I'm as surprised as he. I still can't believe it. It won't be real for me until Taco posts the dupe here on /.

    • by pz (113803) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:37PM (#27662369) Journal

      I'm as surprised as he. I still can't believe it. It won't be real for me until Taco posts the dupe here on /.

      I know that was made as a joke, but how can someone who should have their head screwed on as well as Ballmer, at least when it comes to IT business, not have suspected that Oracle would be in play for Sun?

      I mean, when I heard the news on the radio the other day, I said to my wife-to-be (yes, true, I have a fiancee; I'm an atypical nerd that has managed to develop a few social skills), "I saw *that* coming." Who else would be big enough to buy Sun, and an appropriate fit? You can count the number of companies in that class on two hands, tops. If Ballmer didn't have his corporate spies working on it, then he's lost his touch.

      Or ... maybe it's disinformation from MS.

      Oracle buying Sun -- the question is not whether this is a surprise, but why it didn't happen long before now. And, importantly, if the FTC will block it on the grounds that it would create too close to a monopoly in the DB market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bb5ch39t (786551)

        What monopoly in the DB market? Oracle has Oracle and MySQL (from SUN). But DB2/AIX (and Linux/Windows/other) is a good contender. CA still has Ingress and Datacom. OK, that's a bit player. And there is always the love of my life: PostgreSQL. Oh, and MS SQL Server for those who don't really need a mission critical RDMS.

      • "I saw *that* coming."

        I remember reading either comments or journals about that here that Oracle would be a good fit for buying Sun. So how is that slashdotters, slashdotters FFS!, could see this coming but Balmer couldn't. He should either fire himself or start reading the frontpage. At -1.
        • by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:25PM (#27663201) Homepage Journal

          +2 would still be fine, as I was one of those who suspected Oracle might make a move.

          It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. For example, Oracle can now add modifications to Solaris to provide acceleration for Oracle. But it doesn't stop there. Sun also provides the UltraSPARC range of processors, so it would be possible - at some point - for Oracle to push some low-level primitives useful for databases into the CPU itself.

          Why would they want to do that? Duh! Databases are a huge market. Intel is the standard platform at the moment, but it's very hard to get good, sustained performance. Even if a database-enhanced CPU is sold purely as an accelerator card for PCs, you'd have a good source of income from the hardware unit, which has been doing badly.

          But Sun servers would look a whole lot more attractive for databases in data centres if they become much more powerful per $ spent. PCs are too cheap to compete on absolute price, but Oracle could utilize their deeper understanding of both relational databases and data warehousing to make Sun servers significantly cheaper per transaction/second.

      • by eln (21727)

        I don't know that it was all that obvious. I mean sure, it was obvious from the point of view that everyone knows Oracle has been in a buying mode for several years, and so if a technology company goes up for sale Oracle is automatically seen to be in the running. However, Oracle has also stated several times that they're in the software business and don't want to be in the hardware business, so from that perspective the Sun purchase didn't make a lot of sense.

        Sun obviously has some nice stuff like Java,

      • by daffmeister (602502) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:23PM (#27663151) Homepage

        I said to my wife-to-be (yes, true, I have a fiancee; I'm an atypical nerd that has managed to develop a few social skills)

        Maybe you or your colleagues are just young. Every developer I know has a wife, girlfriend, or family.

      • Oracle buying Sun -- the question is not whether this is a surprise, but why it didn't happen long before now. And, importantly, if the FTC will block it on the grounds that it would create too close to a monopoly in the DB market.

        How? In terms of sales, MySQL is a rounding error, and won't budge Oracle from their mid-to-high-40's position. In terms of developer usage [mysql.com], it MySQL + Oracle is just over 50%. MySQL + Oracle isn't anything like a monopoly.

        The only way to get an instant DB monopoly by merger would

  • by twidarkling (1537077) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:28PM (#27662247)
    Aww, poor IBM. This is why you don't withdraw bids, you ask for counter-offers. Otherwise, you get blindsided by someone willing to do some give and take. This is probably the best outcome though. Microsoft didn't need another addition to their roster of stuff they've co-opted, and IBM should be doing more development instead of acquisitions.
    • It will probably be just like every other merger of companies that should fit well together... it won't.

      I would not doubt that IBM left the table after realizing that it was either not worth the money because of culture differences or lack of something to go forward with. IBM didn't need Sun... and I really can't think of why Oracle really needs Sun except to keep IBM from buying it. Actually that is the only logic I can see, prevent someone else from buying it.

      • by mhall119 (1035984) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:51PM (#27662637) Homepage Journal

        I can think of several reasons why Oracle wants Sun:

        1. Oracle is heavily invested in Java, it's future development would be a serious concern for them.

        2. Oracle wants the whole stack, from hardware to data. IBM already has it, and Sun way trying to get it when they bought MySQL. Buying Sun gives them a proven, reliable hardware platform and operating system that they've already invested quite a bit into supporting.

        3. Oracle needs to expand their product line beyond just the database to continue to grow. There is more growth potential in the rest of the datacenter than there is in database software.

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          3. Oracle needs to expand their product line beyond just the database to continue to grow. There is more growth potential in the rest of the datacenter than there is in database software.

          You make a valid point, but you seem to have forgotten that Oracle already owns PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and BEA.

        • agreed except for (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:34PM (#27663377) Journal

          This statement:

          Sun way trying to get it when they bought MySQL

          Perhaps you didn't mean to compare DB2 to MySQL, but saying MySQL would serve the same place in the product lineup is deeply silly, at best.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It will probably be just like every other merger of companies that should fit well together... it won't.

        Oracle has been buying up a lot of companies recently. The general consensus [cio.com] seems to be that they've had a good merger and acquisition strategy and that they have pulled them all off well.

      • by jimpop (27817) *
        IBM didn't need Sun...

        Correct, but more importantly: IBM didn't need some others to have Sun.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gregorio (520049)

      Microsoft didn't need another addition to their roster of stuff they've co-opted, and IBM should be doing more development instead of acquisitions.

      Microsoft could never buy Sun. Buying a Java and Unix vendor would only give them two options:

      Keeping the products: I mean, no.
      Phasing out the products: That would be a waste of money, as Java would simply find a new leader and Solaris is open-source now, just like Java. Big antitrust issues would arise too.

    • by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:04PM (#27662811) Journal

      IBM saved themselves another Rolm disaster. If they'd bought Sun, they'd have to write down 80% of it within five years.

      -jcr

    • IBM should be doing more development instead of acquisitions.

      Why? And why shouldn't Oracle be doing the same?

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:31PM (#27662273)
    That Ballmer had no prepared spin is amazing.

    There was an article published online several months ago explaining why Oracle and Sun were a good fit. All of Oracle's application server architecture is built around Java. J2EE rules the Oracle roost. Oracle will pull the plug on selling servers, they wanted Java and Solaris. Solaris gives them SIGNIFICANT leverage over Redhat when working deals for large installs of Oracle. They can bundle a complete solution, even down to the hardware and lock EVERYONE else out of big deals.

    Lots of analysts saw this as a possible deal, and McNealy was extremely arrogant in walking away from IBM so you had to figure something was up.

    Sounds like the brass at Microsoft is suffering brain drain of its own. I bet Schmidt over at Google already knew exactly what was going to happen.

    Old and slow Ballmer.... old and slow...



    ...developers, developers, developers, developers.....ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • by Sockatume (732728) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:47PM (#27662565)
      I imagine a heavy-set bald man standing in his office with a chair held above his head, ready to strike an rubber tree, when the messenger arrives. He pauses, bewildered, and softly puts the chair down to sit pensively, shaken to his very core.
    • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:16PM (#27663003) Homepage

      McNealy was extremely arrogant in walking away from IBM so you had to figure something was up.

      Yeah. I mean, it's not like McNealy's ever been arrogant in the past....

    • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:18PM (#27663055) Homepage

      Months ago? Lots of analysts? Hmmm. I think maybe it's easier to "foresee" this type of stuff in hindsight.

      Not to toot my own horn, but I predicted Oracle would buy Sun [infoworld.com] before the deal was announced -- but I didn't do it months ago. I didn't hear anyone else talking about it months ago, either. And when I made the prediction, the consensus here on Slashdot [slashdot.org] seemed to be that it was a terrible idea. So if you can point to some references from months ago I'd love to see them. I don't think anybody was really even thinking much about Oracle/Sun before the talks with IBM made the news -- I know I wasn't -- especially considering that Sun had consistently maintained that it was doing fine and didn't need any help from anybody.

      So it doesn't completely surprise me that Ballmer didn't see this coming -- though maybe he's not as shocked as he's pretending to be. By acting surprised, he makes it sound like he wouldn't have made this deal himself, which makes it sound like he might not think the deal is a good idea, which is a totally self-serving position for Microsoft to take.

      It does seem a little strange that IBM is acting surprised, though. By all accounts they had exclusive rights to negotiate with Sun for a set period of time, and they let that period elapse. What did they expect? Maybe they didn't believe Sun would be able to leave the table and arrive at a firm deal with a different suitor so quickly, but that seems a little foolish on their part, if it's true.

    • by GiMP (10923) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:19PM (#27663059)

      I'm expecting that Oracle has some interest in keeping the hardware around. Don't underestimate the requirement for storage for databases! There is a business case for Oracle to provide "Database Optimized" servers and storage (SAN, DAS). Storage in particular is very important to Oracle. They've contributed the OCFS clustering filesystem for this reason. More importantly and relevant, Oracle has been sponsoring Btrfs development, as an alternative/competitor to ZFS. So yes, I think the hardware will definitely stick around, at least enough that Oracle can provide turn-key solutions based on ZFS, Dtrace, and iSCSI.

      Oracle being in control of both ZFS and Btrfs is a bit scary since the aspect of competitive advancement is gone (there is no other product they have to keep "one step ahead of"), and it is likely that we'll eventually see one of them wither and die. However, in the short term it might make both filesystems better.

    • Sounds like the brass at Microsoft is suffering brain drain of its own. I bet Schmidt over at Google already knew exactly what was going to happen.
      Old and slow Ballmer.... old and slow...

      I am guessing that Ballmer and MS thought that Sun was essentially dead as in Netcraft confirmed dead. They probably didn't figure on competing with Sun (Java and Solaris) as part of any future strategy. Yes, I know Java is open source now but someone like Oracle which runs a lot of Java will ensure it is continually de

    • by jd (1658)

      He'd imparted all the spin to the revolving chair in his office.

      (NB: We need 2^64 chair jokes on this story. Please contribute. CmdrTaco might thank you.)

    • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:46PM (#27663609) Homepage Journal

      Old and slow Ballmer.... old and slow...

      Oh please. Yeah, there were people who predicted this. There were also people who predicted that Sun would go to Apple, Lenovo, or Acer. It wouldn't surprise me if somebody predicted that SourceForge would buy it for the sole purpose of upgrading Slashdot's hardware!

      There are so many BS predictions out there, it's darned easy to miss the ones that actually make sense. Everybody I know was caught flatfooted by this. There are lots of good reasons to think that Oracle couldn't or wouldn't buy Sun: their partnership with HP, the difficulty of borrowing money right now (IBM was going to use its cash reserves, which isn't an option for Oracle), and the difficulty Oracle will have maintaining good relationships with the hardware companies it depends on — which are now its competitors.

      Hindsight is always 100% accurate. So what?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bheading (467684)

      Who says Ballmer hadn't though about it ? Why put out a statement informing the world that you have spent lots of time thinking about it, and possibly reveal the fact that you're afraid ?

  • by JamesP (688957) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:31PM (#27662275)

    The Emperor: You have paid the price for your lack of vision.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086190/quotes [imdb.com]

  • Will my understanding of OpenOffice Base become passe before I finish coding the perfect softball coaching database app?
  • by saintory (944644) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:37PM (#27662367)

    Does this give Oracle the ability to offer total package "solutions" to their customers? Do they no longer need to go into a meeting with a potential or existing customer with a preferred hardware vendor at their side to make a co-deal? IMO this gives a lot of power to Oracle and sets up against each other two massive players in the development market.

    I'm surprised that Microsoft didn't bid on Sun. I would speculate that they would want Sun for the MySql and Java markets. Had they bid and won they would control a vast proportion of the development market, from Database through to front-end, and over the next release or two of Visual Studio could unify Java and C#. As for the hardware, they could have spun it off to an interested party at an attractive price. IMO since Bill Gates left there's been a vision vacuum and the company is scrambling to find it's path through brute force instead of innovation and this is why they didn't entertain an offer.

  • Surprise! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by toyjoy (765596)
    Yeah i understand Balmer and Big Blue concernes cause this could mean that Oracle will be definetly a big player now in someother areas that they don't a big role and could become bigger than them specially in the application servers area and enterprise solutions
    I hope that the news about the losses of jobs in Sun will not be confirmed and that Oracle get the transition right.

    On the other hand, big blue are knocking with their heads in the wall because if they didn't have given up on Sun's buyout they
  • by unitron (5733) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:41PM (#27662447) Homepage Journal

    ...said that it was all about Oracle getting their hands on MySQL to keep IBM from doing so.

    I wonder if they're going to turn around and start trying to unload the parts of Sun that they don't want. I look forward to seeing what Robert X. has to say about it.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:45PM (#27662505) Homepage

    They're the "number 2 software company," but they didn't have anything like the JDK or a real OS to call their own. Now they have Java, Solaris and MySQL, plus they have access to all of Sun's customers.

    Many of my customers would have loved to see this go through because then they could buy an entire package from a single company, and it'd probably be cheaper. Systems integration costs a lot of money, and if Oracle can streamline this down to the point where a lot less labor is needed to deliver and configure an enterprise setup, then they'll succeed handsomely.

    I've also seen a lot of people bring up MySQL as an issue, but I bet Oracle actually wanted MySQL. Oracle's DB and MySQL don't compete in most areas, and MySQL can be an excellent rear guard product used to keep SQL Server and PostgreSQL at bay. Oracle has a huge services arm, so it's only natural that they will be able to find a way to fit MySQL into many configurations where Oracle DB would not be as good of a fit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sunderland56 (621843)
      Now they have Java, Solaris and MySQL, plus they have access to all of Sun's customers.

      But, Sun is a hardware company - many/most of those customers were buying hardware. Oracle is a software company, only interested in the Java/SQL bits.

      What are the chances that Oracle will sell off the hardware line? Maybe to Rackable, who seem to be buying up other dead 1990's workstation manufacturers lately....
      • Um, Sun sells a hell of a lot more than workstations. I'll take Sun servers in the datacenter over Dell/HP if given a choice.

        If this goes through, I really hope Oracle keeps the coolthreads architecture.

      • by Sun.Jedi (1280674) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:27PM (#27663239) Journal

        But, Sun is a hardware company - many/most of those customers were buying hardware.

        You don't buy SPARCs to run Linux.

        The Enterprise solution on DELL/HP (either (L|W)Intel or AMD) may be cheaper on the front end, but as with anything else, you get what you pay for.

        I have no real passion or hatred for Linux, but I find the Intel/AMD hardware are just toys compared to the Sun gear. I support 100 or so RedHat/Oracle 9i/10g instances on Dell. I spend the majority of my time fixing Dell issues, as opposed to fixing Sun issues.

        What are the chances that Oracle will sell off the hardware line?

        I sincerely hope Oracle leverages Sun hardware, and does not spin it off. In addition to Java, MySQL, ZFS, and Dtrace the HW side is a real nice bonus to this deal. It gives Oracle something that MS doesn't have... control of the hardware, which will negate the device driver issues MS faces with whatever OS they drop on the shelves.

      • by eclectus (209883)

        Sun is as much a SOFTWARE company as a hardware company. Sun makes a TON of money licensing Java, and while Sun 'gives away' much of its software, support contracts on that software rake in a pretty penny as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fm6 (162816)

        So they're a software company. Where is it written they can't branch out? In effect, their salespeople are already selling hardware, because IT application deployments are almost always hardware/software stacks. The difference is that before Oracle salespeople had to hand off the hardware purchase to a hardware partner — along with its commissions.

        Oracle is claiming that Sun will add $1.5 billion a year to their profits — starting in the first year. That number may or may not be realistic, but i

  • Uh, no (Score:5, Informative)

    by afabbro (33948) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @12:46PM (#27662519) Homepage

    I guess IBM must be regretting

    I don't think so, since they indicated that after deeper examination and further consideration, they weren't interested in Sun at any price [yahoo.com].

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I guess IBM must be regretting

      I don't think so, since they indicated that after deeper examination and further consideration, they weren't interested in Sun at any price [yahoo.com].

      Yes, and I am happy of not winning the lottery last weekend because I would not know what to do with all that money.

      Suck it IBM!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jvkjvk (102057)

      Oh, right. They spent all that time and effort up to and including actually making an offer without any "deeper examination". They had all the time necessary to examine the fit and they chose to make an offer.

      Oh, you mean "further consideration" after Sun rejected their offer?

      In this "futher consideration" they weren't interested anything other than coming up reasons why their failed offer didn't make sense, in hindsight, after being refused. It only means they are tyring to save face. Or sour grapes.

      Ci

  • "They did what? ... Gosh, I don't know whether to throw a chair, or dance like a monkey!"

  • or not (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:04PM (#27662817) Homepage

    Okay, I'll make the argument to the contrary: that IBM currently has every reason to be giving their Evil Laugh a big workout right now.

    The NY Times this morning has an article saying that basically this is all about Oracle wanting to get into the business of designing, selling, and maintaining integrated systems for businesses that don't want to have to deal with a zillion vendors and bake their own setups. This is essentially what IBM is already in the business of doing. IBM already has a thriving business model where they set up their customers with software and hardware, and a lot of the software they use is open-source.

    By buying Sun, Oracle gets a bunch of software. But OpenSolaris, MySQL, Java, and OpenOffice were all already open-source. Well, nothing was stopping them from selling customers a setup that used MySQL, Java, and OpenOffice, even before they bought Sun. That's what IBM does already. You could argue that Oracle gets more control now over these things. Well, yeah, except that because they're open source, they can always be forked, and they'll always be in competition with other open-source projects. Suppose that Oracle, for example, lets MySQL languish for fear of making it compete too effectively with Oracle Database. Well, the OSS community could then fork MySQL, or simply switch to alternatives like Drizzle (low end) or Postgres (high end).

    By buying Sun, Oracle also gets a hardware operation. But Oracle has no experience in the hardware business.

    There's also the argument that buying your competitors is an easier way to grab market share than out-competing them or out-marketing them. That was a sane argument for buying PeopleSoft. But OpenSolaris, Java, and OpenOffice, and Sun's hardware weren't products that were competing with Oracle's products, and MySQL wasn't really competing in the same arena as Oracle Database either.

    • Re:or not (Score:5, Informative)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:18PM (#27663049)

      By buying Sun, Oracle also gets a hardware operation. But Oracle has no experience in the hardware business.

      But Sun does. And, you know, all those people who work for Sun and constitute that experience are, when the deal is complete, Oracle employees, Oracle just needs to keep them and leverage their experience. This isn't entirely unheard of in acquisitions -- you acquire a firm that has experience you want, and then keep the people with the experience in a position to make use of it. Its not always just about acquiring an IP portfolio. Heck, sometimes its as much about acquiring the people and their experience as the IP portfolio. Two notable examples of this are acquisitions of Steve Jobs-run firms -- Apple's acquisition of NeXT and Disney's acquisition of Pixar.

    • By buying Sun, Oracle also gets a hardware operation. But Oracle has no experience in the hardware business.

      If they buy Sun, they have entire business unit that has experience in the hardware business. If they (Oracle) are smart, they won't try to change how the new (to Oracle) business units run, and will listen to the people in those units when it comes to how to run them.

      But having been on 2 different occasions part of a company that was acquired by another, I have no faith that Oracle will do the smart thing when merging them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by eclectus (209883)

      By buying Sun, Oracle gets a bunch of software. But OpenSolaris, MySQL, Java, and OpenOffice were all already open-source. Well, nothing was stopping them from selling customers a setup that used MySQL, Java, and OpenOffice, even before they bought Sun. That's what IBM does already. You could argue that Oracle gets more control now over these things.

      Not only that, but they don't have to reinvent the wheel with a support organization for those products. They just bought one. Sun Support has always been a money maker for Sun.

      (Caveat: I work for Sun Support. I personally am looking forward to being Oracle. Much better than having to take the Blue Pill(TM) of IBM)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:08PM (#27662865)
    IMHO Oracle's track record on incorporating businesses w/o mucking things up is lackluster at best.

    JRockit, the old BEA product that was (is?) the best server-side JVM is difficult if not impossible to download individually now that Oracle owns BEA. Are we going to have the same issues trying to download the sun JVMs? Is the newly open-sourced JVM going to become closed source again?

    How about the impact to the various Java committees, etc? Will hostility towards Oracle negatively impact them? Oracle obviously has it's own goals for Java and J2EE (to make things easier for them), but how will these goals conflict with the goals of the other community members?

    I think that while it might have been a good purchase for Oracle that it will probably be a negative move as seen by the Java community...
  • by 8127972 (73495) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:21PM (#27663109)

    They control the Oracle experience from end to end and lock everybody else (read: Microsoft) out. Ballmer likely came to that conclusion and said "oh shit." That's why he's at a loss for words.

  • The Reason (Score:5, Funny)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @01:25PM (#27663195) Homepage Journal

    The reason Ballmer was speechless is he forgot Oracle was still around or was suprised Oracle had that kind of money. Take your pick...

  • But apparently Ballmer, who is rarely at a loss for words, didn't exactly have a sound byte at the ready.

    This journalist is a true newbie in this field. Haven't he heard what happened when Ballmer loss for words last time? He expressed his gentle feeling with body language. [battellemedia.com]

    It's not a sound byte he was not ready, it's a chair.

  • This information for chronic trollers and all interested parties at Slashdot. So before you talk about what you do not know, here's a link [oracle.com]:

  • by SignalFreq (580297) on Tuesday April 21, 2009 @02:43PM (#27664673)
    Seems obvious that Sun was in talks with Oracle at least as early as February (when Monty Widenius left). I'm sure that Oracle and Widenius are mutually exclusive and may be the real reason that he left (or was asked to leave) Sun.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

Working...