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Apple partners IBM and Sun consider merger

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
IBM and Sun Microsystems, two companies that at one point in the 90s each danced around the idea of buying up Apple, are now discussing the option to merge together according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

The prospects of the two companies merging together is particularly interesting given their histories of partnerships with Apple and the acquisition plans both drew up on more than one occasion during Apple's lowest points in the early and mid 90s.

Both companies were also involved with Steve Jobs' NeXT, Inc., the company that developed what would become Mac OS X at Apple. Since Jobs return to Apple in 1996, both IBM and Sun have demonstrated new interest in working with Apple and Mac OS X, something that would only increase if the two do decide to merge.

Apple and IBM

IBM, once a key rival to Apple in 1980s as it flexed its business computing monopoly power to stomp out the Apple II with its 1982 PC, was welcomed to the personal computing market by Apple in the famous ad, "Welcome, IBM. Seriously."

"When we invented the first personal computer system," Apple's ad copy stated, "we estimated that over 140,000,000 people worldwide could justify the purchase of one, if only they understood its benefits. [...] We look forward to responsible competition in the massive effort to distribute this American technology to the world. And we appreciate the magnitude of your commitment. Because what we are doing is increasing social capital by enhancing individual productivity. Welcome to the task."

After launching the Macintosh in 1984 Apple ran another ad, this time portraying IBM as the groupthink of a totalitarian dictatorship, introducing the new Mac as a rebellion against boorish, small minded conformity. By the end of the decade however, IBM's rivalry with Apple had withered away along with IBM's PC business, which was eaten up by cloners running Microsoft's DOS.

Throughout the early 90s, Apple and IBM became tight partners in co-developing the PowerPC processor, the Taligent OS intended to eventually replace both the classic Mac OS and IBM's OS/2, and a multimedia venture in Kaleida Labs.

The reunion was based on a shared mistrust of Microsoft, which had stolen Apple's Mac interface and QuickTime code and abandoned IBM's OS/2 partnership while launching an assault on IBM's Lotus software division as it worked to craft the new Windows into an empire monopolizing the PC desktop operating system and applications.

As Microsoft rose in influence, IBM and Apple faltered. By the mid 90s, Taligent and Kaleida Labs had shuttered and Apple had hit the rocks, leaving CEO Michael Spindler desperate to sell the company off to IBM. Had that happened, Apple and its technology would likely have disappeared into rusting technology portfolios as quickly as Taligent had.

IBM and Steve Jobs

In 1988, just before it began partnering with Apple, IBM paid Steve Jobs' NeXT Computer $10 million for a license to use its futuristic NeXTSTEP operating system on the company's AIX systems. In October 1990, IBM demonstrated NeXTSTEP running on its IBM RS/6000 workstations. However, IBM lost interest in NeXT as it got busy with Apple in developing Taligent, which largely attempted to replicate NeXT's advanced, object oriented development frameworks.

By 1992, NeXT had announced its intention to port its operating system to the Intel PC, leaving IBM and its PowerPC architecture closer aligned with Apple and the Taligent partnership. HP, which had also expressed interest in NeXTSTEP, also pulled out to join Apple and IBM in developing Taligent. At the time, NeXT and the industry viewed Taligent as its principle rival, along with Microsoft's Cairo project, which was supposed to follow the development of Windows NT.

Both Taligent and Cairo turned out to be vaporware, failing to ever arrive as originally outlined. That left NeXT all dressed up to attend an object oriented frameworks party that was canceled due to poor turnout. It did however benefit Apple, which realized it desperately needed an infusion of outside operating system technology in 1996, just as NeXT was about to throw away its advanced operating system. Then Apple bought NeXT in the final days of 1996 at a cost of over half a billon dollars, converting its piles of cash into technology it could turn into a product relatively quickly, although it still took five years for Apple to release the first desktop version of Mac OS X.

Apple and Sun

Apple and Sun also had frequent encounters. In many ways, Sun was the enterprise version of Apple, selling premium specialized software (the BSD UNIX-based SunOS and then later the AT&T SVR4-influenced Solaris) on top of premium specialized hardware (originally workstations using the same 68000 of the first Macintoshes, then the SPARC processor architecture Sun developed itself, and most recently x86-based machines).

Two years ago, Sun co-founder Bill Joy told an audience at the Computer History Museum of his personal affinity for Steve Jobs and said it was a "personal disappointment" that the two companies hadn't become closer. "There were six very close encounters," Joy noted.

Joy said Sun had worked with Apple first to develop a shared network file system and then to work out a shared graphical user interface, but both efforts failed to materialize. Sun also tried to get Apple to port the Macintosh to its SPARC processor.

"As far as I know we also almost bought Apple once. We almost merged with Apple two other times," Joy said. As was the case with IBM, Apple and Sun were affiliated by a distrust and resentment of Microsoft. Just as Microsoft had worked closely with Apple and IBM before stabbing them both in the back, it also partnered with Sun over Java before working to destroy the threat that Sun's "run anywhere" platform posed to its Windows empire.

All three Microsoft rivals later participated in US Department of Justice monopoly trial against Microsoft in the late 90s, airing out scandalous details of Microsoft's business practices into the public record. More recently, Sun acquired StarOffice and turned it into the open source OpenOffice suite to compete against Microsoft's Office dominance of the desktop productivity software market. IBM has joined Sun in offering a distribution of OpenOffice under its Lotus Symphony brand.

Sun and Steve Jobs

Following IBM's abandonment of NeXT, Sun also played a partner to Jobs' NeXT, paying $11 million to license its operating system technology in a partnership that sought to bring NeXT's user interface and development frameworks to Sun's SPARC hardware. The result of the collaboration was OpenStep, an open specification that intended to provide a common, sophisticated platform for applications that could run on NeXTSTEP (which already ran on hardware from PA-RISC, SPARC, and MIPS, to the common Intel PC) as well as the upper layer of the system running on another operating system, such as Solaris or Windows NT.

Sun also bought up Lighthouse Design, a major developer of NeXT applications for $2 million. However, Sun almost immediately lost interest in NeXT once its own Java began gaining buzzword traction in 1996, again leaving NeXT uniquely prepared to deliver a powerful, cross platform operating system with advanced development frameworks that nobody wanted. Apart from, of course, Apple.

Sun buried the Lighthouse apps, leaving Apple with the task of developing software for its new NeXT-based platform from scratch. Adobe and Microsoft were also wary of developing new software for a NeXT-based replacement to the Mac OS, forcing Apple to delay its release for nearly a half decade while it grafted support for running existing classic Mac OS code on top of the system.

IBM and Sun and the New Apple

Once Apple pulled off its successful release of Mac OS X and rebuilt itself as a consumer electronics company with the iPod, IBM and Sun expressed new interest in working with Apple to counter Microsoft's domination of the tech industry. IBM has expanded its support for Macs both on the desktop internally within the company, as well as with its server products. IBM is also interested in bringing its Lotus Notes client to the iPhone.

Sun has worked with Apple to maintain Java on the Mac platform (even as Apple has resisted all efforts by Sun to get Java on the iPhone), but most recently the collaborations have involved OpenSolaris, the open source distribution of Sun's highly regarded Solaris. Sun's sharing enabled Apple to adapt Sun's DTrace technology for use in Mac OS X Leopard, and Apple built a GarageBand-like Instruments application to make the development diagnostics and sampling tool easy to use.

Apple has also implemented read-only support for Sun's ZFS, a new open source, 128-bit file system with advanced features, into Leopard. Full support for ZFS will follow in Snow Leopard.

A merger of IBM and Sun would result in an even tighter relationship with Apple, and could even create a market for licensing Mac OS X Server on enterprise hardware and supporting that software using a services team that Apple lacks the resources to quickly assemble from scratch.
post #2 of 73
This sounds like a greatly beneficial merger towards increasing the capabilities of mac os x servers in hardware and support. Sounds good to me.
post #3 of 73
this would be amazing. three great companies can crush micro$oft right about.....now....
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #4 of 73
Good reasoning.
post #5 of 73
As I said in my post yesterday, this will be a nightmare for Java and OpenSource as IBM will ruin or kill all of Sun's excellent software products:

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=96439
post #6 of 73
Quote:
A merger of IBM and Sun would result in an even tighter relationship with Apple, and could even create a market for licensing Mac OS X Server on enterprise hardware and supporting that software using a services team that Apple lacks the resources to quickly assemble from scratch.

I doubt it changes anything. Apple's abrupt departure from the PPP alliance took IBM by surprise and I'm sure there's still a bit of animosity there.

IBM losing Mark Papermaster to Apple doesn't help either.

Apple's refusal to support JAVA likely didn't help relations with Sun even though ZFS and Dtrace probably eased the bruised egos.

In the end I'd rather have an Apple-Sun merger but I can understand why Apple doesn't want to go down that road.
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post #7 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I doubt it changes anything. Apple's abrupt departure from the PPP alliance took IBM by surprise and I'm sure there's still a bit of animosity there.

IBM losing Mark Papermaster to Apple doesn't help either.

Apple's refusal to support JAVA likely didn't help relations with Sun even though ZFS and Dtrace probably eased the bruised egos.

In the end I'd rather have an Apple-Sun merger but I can understand why Apple doesn't want to go down that road.

An Apple takeover of Sun would make sense for Java developers, and would be infinitely better than a takeover by IBM.

Apple could run Sun as a separate division and simply finance them for the 6 months needed for its could computing and other initiatives to take off. Apple could then borrow Sun's engineers once in a while. This would keep Sun's open source projects and their R&D alive instead of sitting idly by and allowing IBM to ruin them or kill them off.

It's not like Sun is losing money. They made an operating profit last quarter and only lost money because of one-time charges.

In the meantime, they are positioning themselves as the open source vendor of choice, and Apple would benefit enormously from companies that go the open source route, and realize they need a one-stop shopping vendor to provider hardware and support.

Apple would also gain instant credibility in the enterprise server market, where Sun is very strong but where Apple has no presence.
post #8 of 73
Ballmer, be afraid, be very afraid!
post #9 of 73
If Sun really is in such trouble, I wonder why Apple wouldn't take the helm... The only reason I can think of is that Apple is focused on non-business computing. The iPhone, however, opens Apple up to business computing and potentially, enterprise level managment. With Sun's able developer community and distribution frameworks, it would be the infrastructure push Apple needs to expand.

I hope IBM doesn't make the deal... they don't have a great reputation with Apple after the dropping of powerpc... and I don't want OpenSolaris scrapped.
post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MShock View Post

If Sun really is in such trouble, I wonder why Apple wouldn't take the helm... The only reason I can think of is that Apple is focused on non-business computing. The iPhone, however, opens Apple up to business computing and potentially, enterprise level managment. With Sun's able developer community and distribution frameworks, it would be the infrastructure push Apple needs to expand.

I hope IBM doesn't make the deal... they don't have a great reputation with Apple after the dropping of powerpc... and I don't want OpenSolaris scrapped.

Probably for the same reasons Apple has tepid interest in Enterprise level computing. They don't seem to feel comfortable in this arena. I agree with JavaCowboy and Apple Sun merger could work with the right amount of Sun Autonomy and of course sharing of technology.

Apple alone could sway big numbers simply by using Sun on the backend for their Datacenters. Sun's storage hardware is solid (StorageTek stuff freshened up) and Sun is more into support services than Apple which is why they do not fear open source.
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post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

An Apple takeover of Sun would make sense for Java developers, and would be infinitely better than a takeover by IBM.

Apple could run Sun as a separate division and simply finance them for the 6 months needed for its could computing and other initiatives to take off. Apple could then borrow Sun's engineers once in a while. This would keep Sun's open source projects and their R&D alive instead of sitting idly by and allowing IBM to ruin them or kill them off.

It's not like Sun is losing money. They made an operating profit last quarter and only lost money because of one-time charges.

In the meantime, they are positioning themselves as the open source vendor of choice, and Apple would benefit enormously from companies that go the open source route, and realize they need a one-stop shopping vendor to provider hardware and support.

Apple would also gain instant credibility in the enterprise server market, where Sun is very strong but where Apple has no presence.

Agreed. As a Solaris certified sysadmin, I see both companies complementing each other.

Apple has little penetration of server hardware and Sun has some terrific technologies for enterprise needs...
post #12 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

An Apple takeover of Sun would make sense for Java developers, and would be infinitely better than a takeover by IBM.

Apple would also gain instant credibility in the enterprise server market, where Sun is very strong but where Apple has no presence.

Absolutely.

That would also give Apple control and ownership of Sun's excellent (and FREE) VirtualBox virtual machine software. It would make a great extension to the capabilities of Boot Camp. Plus, with Apple's programming and interface genius, they could make it much easier to setup, use and maintain.

One of the best features of VirtualBox is the ability to install ANY Intel processor based OS on an EXTERNAL hard drive. There's no need to clog up an internal drive with Windows or Linux, etc.

I had to do this for a client that only needed Windows to run the archaic AIA Contract Documents software, which also requires Word for Windows to run. Setup is clunky, thanks to Windows, but it works really well.

http://www.virtualbox.org
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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post #13 of 73
Say goodbye to most of Sun's open-source stuff. Although ZFS is popular enough that somebody will fork it when IBM changes its license.
post #14 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Say goodbye to most of Sun's open-source stuff. Although ZFS is popular enough that somebody will fork it when IBM changes its license.

If ZFS is put up for sale, let's hope that Apple uses some of their cash reserves and buys it.

Once Snow Leopard is released, Apple should (arguably) have the largest and certainly most visible, accessible and broad deployment of ZFS... Snow Leopard Server at least, until it makes it to Mac OS X proper.
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

Apple could run Sun as a separate division and simply finance them for the 6 months needed for its could computing and other initiatives to take off. Apple could then borrow Sun's engineers once in a while. This would keep Sun's open source projects and their R&D alive instead of sitting idly by and allowing IBM to ruin them or kill them off.
...
Apple would also gain instant credibility in the enterprise server market, where Sun is very strong but where Apple has no presence.

I too would much rather see Apple buy Sun (or invest heavily).

Apple doesn't do much in the Enterprise space - and Sun could easily become the "Enterprise Computing" division. Keep Sun setup as is and roll in the Mac Pros, Xserve, etc. Make them responsible for everything in business.

They could even own 80% of Sun and have a great business play going forward.
post #16 of 73
OpenSolaris Project: Crossbow: Network Virtualization and Resource Control

Quote:
Introduction to Crossbow

Crossbow provides the building blocks for network virtualization and resource control by virtualizing the stack and NIC around any service (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, NFS, etc.), protocol or Virtual machine.

Each virtual stack can be assigned its own priority and bandwidth on a shared NIC without causing any performance degradation. The architecture dynamically manages priority and bandwidth resources, and can provide better defense against denial-of-service attacks directed at a particular service or virtual machine by isolating the impact just to that entity. The virtual stacks are separated by means of H/W classification engine such that traffic for one stack does not impact other virtual stacks.

Project Crossbow is next step in the evolution of Solaris networking stack and brings bandwidth resource control and virtualization as part of the architecture itself instead of the usual add-on layers which have heavy overheads and complexity.

See HP Virtual Connect

This stuff's a must for efficient virtualization.
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post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

An Apple takeover of Sun would make sense for Java developers, .


what use is Java to Apple? They would chuck it in the bin if they had any sense. Which they do.

EDIT: Sorry thats an inflammatory remark, they certainly wouldn't "chuck it in the bin" but it's also of little use, and they would waste few resources on it.
post #18 of 73
Didn't IBM offer to buy Sun yesterday for $9.00 or so a share?

Skip
post #19 of 73
Hey! Steve McQueen what the hell is, ``Apple partners IBM and Sun consider merger?''
post #20 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

what use is Java to Apple? They would chuck it in the bin if they had any sense. Which they do.

EDIT: Sorry thats an inflammatory remark, they certainly wouldn't "chuck it in the bin" but it's also of little use, and they would waste few resources on it.

WebObjects uses Java. Move along.
post #21 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Say goodbye to most of Sun's open-source stuff. Although ZFS is popular enough that somebody will fork it when IBM changes its license.

OpenSolaris, ZFS and Java are open sourced.
post #22 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

I too would much rather see Apple buy Sun (or invest heavily).

Apple doesn't do much in the Enterprise space - and Sun could easily become the "Enterprise Computing" division. Keep Sun setup as is and roll in the Mac Pros, Xserve, etc. Make them responsible for everything in business.

They could even own 80% of Sun and have a great business play going forward.

Buy Sun. Gut the redundancy in staffing, restructure for a subsidiary of Apple. Develop an Enterprise Roadmap for cross pollination.
post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

WebObjects uses Java. Move along.

writings been on the wall for that technology for some time.

WebObjects is actually a fine example of Apples attitude towards Java.
Apple dont give a monkeys about Java, and thats that.
post #24 of 73
Apple isn't buying Sun. They show no interest in selling long-term services contracts to enterprise on small, but steady margins, which is the bulk of Sun's business alongside a shrinking hardware arm. Think about it - exactly how interested does Apple seem in selling Macs to enterprise these days? Why on earth would they get back into that market when the margins on selling to consumers are so much higher?

It's a shame, because they could call the merged business Snapple.
post #25 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Buy Sun. Gut the redundancy in staffing, restructure for a subsidiary of Apple. Develop an Enterprise Roadmap for cross pollination.

I totally agree. Sun as a subsidy like FileMaker would make sense. Sun could maintain a level of autonomy, develop open-source projects (which are awesome), and could rub off on Apple. Apple could spruce up Sun's developer community with some organization and looks - make the iPhone operable with Solaris, and be set. Seriously, I could see hospitals, schools, law firms, etc. really benefiting from Sun's tech and Apple's ease of use. That would be huge competition to MS who dominates these arenas.
post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by MShock View Post

If Sun really is in such trouble, I wonder why Apple wouldn't take the helm... The only reason I can think of is that Apple is focused on non-business computing. The iPhone, however, opens Apple up to business computing and potentially, enterprise level managment. With Sun's able developer community and distribution frameworks, it would be the infrastructure push Apple needs to expand.

I hope IBM doesn't make the deal... they don't have a great reputation with Apple after the dropping of powerpc... and I don't want OpenSolaris scrapped.

I agree. I do not see an acquisition of SUN by IBM creating a closer relationship with Apple. I see it as further marginalizing Apple in the enterprise market.

Even though Apple have made strides in the enterprise market that are not widely realized, Apple have never made the corporate client a true priority. On the other hand, if companies were buying SUN servers and such, it would be logical for them to integrate Apple desktops and laptops into their structure. Apple's servers would fit into the structure where appropriate as well. It would be win-win. Solaris/OS X is a winning combination.

I believe that Apple, which has the cash, should acquire SUN and work on integrating both hardware (and design) and operating systems so that SUN could, in essence, be the Apple Enterprise Division. I think the history and culture of these two companies are a better fit than either with IBM. Apple could continue to do what pleases them in the consumer market and benefit from the wealth of experience at SUN at the same time and vice versa.

That said, I think that IBM would want to work with whatever company emerged because it would suit their interests to sell software to run on the Apple/SUN hardware even though IBM is in competition with them for hardware sales. Please not that SUN have recently entered into agreements with HP to sell SUN's OS preinstalled on HP servers so it should be clear that SUN is flexible enough to face the realities of a market which, in many segments, has avoided their proprietary hardware.

This may be Apple's last chance at SUN, unless, of course, IBM makes such a mess of it that it spins off the wreckage in a few years.
post #27 of 73
buy sun!
The world belongs to who wants it , now who deserves it.
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post #28 of 73
Quote:
...applications that could run on NeXTSTEP (which already ran on hardware from PA-RISC, SPARC, and MIPS, to the common Intel PC)

NeXTSTEP never made it to MIPS. The four architectures (fat binaries) were PA-RISC, SPARC, X86, and 68x Motorola (the original NeXT Machine processor). A lot of people had hoped to see NeXTSTEP run on SGI hardware, and there were rumors of that happening, but we can look back now and see that that would have been a financial dead end.

Also,

Quote:
Full support for ZFS will follow in Snow Leopard.

As far as anyone can tell, ZFS will only be native on Snow Leopard Server, not the client (desktop) version. And even then it's not clear whether it will support booting or just work on data-only disks.

Nonetheless, ZFS should continue to develop further regardless of what happens to Sun.
post #29 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Keep Sun setup as is and roll in the Mac Pros, Xserve, etc. Make them responsible for everything in business.

Earlier on Apple offered a file server running AIX:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Network_Server

That was a short-lived novelty, but certainly not Apple's first foray into Unix:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A/UX


What's amusing to contemplate are all the various architectures and OS technologies that Apple/NeXTSTEP have had to deal with. Consider the Mac platform alone:

'Classic' Mac OS on 68xxx > PowerPC > OS X (Mach/BSD) > (32-bit - 64-bit) > Intel architecture.

Now imagine incorporating Solaris (System V Unix) and/or SPARC into the mix. It's the platform transition that never ends!
post #30 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A merger of IBM and Sun would result in an even tighter relationship with Apple, and could even create a market for licensing Mac OS X Server on enterprise hardware and supporting that software using a services team that Apple lacks the resources to quickly assemble from scratch.

RoughlyDrafted,
I don't get how you come to this conclusion. IBM and Sun both have their own OSes (especially server based!), Apple hasn't licensed Mac OSX or Mac OSX Server to anyone, yet you think that IBM merging with Sun could lead to Mac OSX Server on IBM+Sun hardware?

I'm a hypnotherapist... one method of hypnosis is to say 3 true & verifiable things and follow up with a suggestion - this is MUCH more likely to be accepted as fact. I find your articles often like this yet also mostly insightful - so I'd like to be corrected if there's more to this leap of yours than wishful thinking. Is there?
post #31 of 73
Adobe has never been this cheap for more than 5 years (a few days ago it was going for $10 a share!), Apple should buy Adobe.
SUN and especially IBM are both old-farts.
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post #32 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Adobe has never been this cheap for more than 5 years (a few days ago it was going for $10 a share!), Apple should buy Adobe.
SUN and especially IBM are both old-farts.

That is a darned good way to get Adobe to code Photoshop in Cocoa for (64 bit) Snow Leopard!

It might even give Steve the revenge he seems to want in his spat with Adobe about Flash!

It would be a coup to buy SUN and Adobe!
post #33 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Adobe has never been this cheap for more than 5 years (a few days ago it was going for $10 a share!), Apple should buy Adobe.
SUN and especially IBM are both old-farts.

Adobe had to buy Macromedia because print publishing is waning. The Seattle Post Intelligencer printed its last issue this week. Another paper in Denver stopped printing this year.

There is little biz opportunity in buying Adobe. Adobe is the 1600lb Gorilla in the market but the profit potential is static as compared to something as explosive as selling a bajillion of iPhones.

Adobe makes no sense whereas Sun makes sense because they compete in areas where Apple simply isn't competent. Enterprise.
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post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

,I don't get how you come to this conclusion. IBM and Sun both have their own OSes (especially server based!), Apple hasn't licensed Mac OSX or Mac OSX Server to anyone, yet you think that IBM merging with Sun could lead to Mac OSX Server on IBM+Sun hardware?

I'm a hypnotherapist... one method of hypnosis is to say 3 true & verifiable things and follow up with a suggestion - this is MUCH more likely to be accepted as fact. I find your articles often like this yet also mostly insightful - so I'd like to be corrected if there's more to this leap of yours than wishful thinking. Is there?

Both IBM and Sun already sell multiple OSs, their own proprietary stuff and Linux.

Why would they license Mac OS X Server too? Because there is a market for serving Macs in higher ed and increasingly, to serve push messaging to corporate iPhones and other easy to mange wiki/blog/iCal Server/Podcast Producer style applications unique to Apple that aren't all available to AIX/Solaris/Linux.

Why would Apple license Mac OS X Server to IBM/Sun when it shows no interest in licensing Mac OS X to Dell and HP and Pystar? Because Apple's money comes from consumer hardware, and the company hasn't been able to break into enterprise sales and demonstrates little interest in doing so.

How much money does Apple make designing and building the Xserve? It's a vanity product. Why not cede that business to Sun, and collect licensing revenue from a NEW market, just as it gave up trying to sell the Xserve RAID and delegated those hardware RAID sales to Promise?

Apple also "licensed" the iPod to HP (or more accurately "franchised") because HP could (at the time) sell it to a wider audience of PC buyers. So there's plenty of reasons why Apple would license Mac OS X Server to a broad audience that does not compete with its current sales.

Additionally, Mac OS X Server costs $500 to $1000 per license. Mac OS X costs $129. When you buy a PC, you pay a ~$30 Microsoft tax. When you buy a PC Server, you pay $1000 (or more) for a Windows Server license separately. You then shell out thousands for CALs.

That reality results in desktop PC licensing making no sense for Apple to enter (it can't make any money giving up its profitable Mac hardware sales for $30 licenses sold to Dell), but leaves enterprise server sales a lucrative licensing opportunity where Apple risks very little. It has no real Xserve volumes to lose, and Sun could offer a variety of different hardware to enterprise customers (Apple only has one Xserve, a 1U machine).

Sun/IBM could gain a new way to sell hardware, and risk little from 'losing sales' of AIX or Linux or Solaris, because first, there's little overlap and new markets to enter, and secondly because Sun makes its money from hardware, not its OS, while IBM makes money on service, not AIX. That's why both started supporting and distributing Linux - they don't make money on software.
post #35 of 73
It's not a merger - it's a BUYOUT. Nobody buys IBM. No one. And Roughly Twisted turns it into another article about Apple.

This is not only typically skewed Dilger history - it's outright nauseating.
post #36 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

RoughlyDrafted, I don't get how you come to this conclusion.

It's the prescription medication. Someone please tell AI to fire this jerk.
post #37 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairly View Post

It's not a merger - it's a BUYOUT. Nobody buys IBM. No one. And Roughly Twisted turns it into another article about Apple.

This is not only typically skewed Dilger history - it's outright nauseating.

Your comments are inappropriate and ridiculous.
post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Adobe had to buy Macromedia because print publishing is waning. The Seattle Post Intelligencer printed its last issue this week. Another paper in Denver stopped printing this year.

There is little biz opportunity in buying Adobe. Adobe is the 1600lb Gorilla in the market but the profit potential is static as compared to something as explosive as selling a bajillion of iPhones.

Adobe makes no sense whereas Sun makes sense because they compete in areas where Apple simply isn't competent. Enterprise.

Adobe started in the publishing business, now it's more internet: Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, ColdFusion, Air, AfterEffects, and other bajillion patents and technologies makes Adobe one of the most modern software companies. Also lets not forget Premiere among other things.
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post #39 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince View Post

Your comments are inappropriate and ridiculous.

Typical Dilbert.

Here's a link to the real story. Which you would not provide.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123735970806267921.html

"I Led Five Lives": the harrowing story of a disturbed personality. In five parts. Daniel Eran Dilger, Prince McLean, Sara McNamera, Tara Fae, Michael Tooley.

Get professional help, Dilbert.
post #40 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Buy Sun. Gut the redundancy in staffing, restructure for a subsidiary of Apple. Develop an Enterprise Roadmap for cross pollination.

You need to learn how to write a real business plan.

1. Buy Sun.
2. Gut the redundancy in staffing.
3. Restructure as a subsidiary of Apple.
4. Develop an Enterprise Roadmap for cross pollination.
5. PROFIT!!!

I guess they didn't teach you that in your fancy MBA classes!?!!?
</sarcasm>
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