Desde hace tiempo, ambas empresas tienen más puntos en común que diferencias en su orientación a Open Source. Una eventual absorción probablemente favorecería la actividad en Eclipse. Y quizá por el lado de IBM ampliaría su soporte a Java, creciente sobre sus equipos de rango medio (ISeries). Sin embargo, una compra tiende más a ser la absorción y eliminación de un competidor en el mercado. Dana Gardner, en ZD Net, duda de su viabilidad y realidad:
Gosling insisted the rumoured acquisition is, “Obviously just speculation at this point.”
But asked about the different cultures within IBM and Sun, and in particular their developer staff, Gosling said: “There would definitely be a culture clash. We’re definitely weirder than they are.”
“We grew up from a bunch of hippies, almost with flowers in our hair,” said Gosling.
Although the firm was founded in 1982, its proposition, which involved the peddling of open systems in general and Unix in particular -- and more recently its transition into a major contributor to the open source software movement – has given it a certain hippy, perhaps even radical culture. Especially when compared to the more proprietary computing platforms that preceded it, IBM included.
But Gosling suggested that it would still be possible for Sun and IBM staff to settle their differences: “We’re a much more grown-up company now [than when Sun was founded] with a very different group of people. We’ve become a full-on enterprise software company,” he told CBR.
Asked whether it would be interesting to try and in some way combine some of Sun’s NetBeans open source development framework technology with IBM’s rival Eclipse project, Gosling said: “It would certainly be possible. We have been partners on the Java journey for quite a few years. In many ways there would not be a huge impact on Java development.”
But in a statement that perhaps has ramifications for IBM’s rumoured acquisition of Sun, Gosling – the inventor of Java – said that the Java community is now, “Such a large community of people that nobody could control it. If anybody tried, it would ruin it all.”
Eric Newcomer pone el acento en la competencia por el liderazgo de la comunidad Java, y sí considera que existe interés de parte de IBM en la compra, particularmente si futuros desarrollos de Sun siguieran un camino distinto del que hoy otras empresas tienen embarcado:
By buying Sun IBM gains little other than some intellectual property and mySQL. IBM could have bought mySQL or open sourced DB2 or a subset of DB2 any time, if it wanted to go that route. IBM has basically already played its open source hand, which it did masterfully at just the right time. Sun, on the other hand, played (or forced) its open source hand poorly, and at the wrong time. What’s the value to Sun for having “gone open source”? Zip. Owning Java is not a business model, or not enough of one to help Sun meaningfully.
So, does IBM need chip architectures from Sun? Nope, has their own. Access to markets from Sun’s long-underperforming sales force? Nope. Unix? IBM has one. Linux? IBM was there first. Engineering skills? Nope. Storage technology? Nope. Head-start on cloud implementations? Nope. Java license access or synergy? Nope, too late. Sun’s deep and wide professional services presence worldwide? Nope. Ha!
Let’s see … hardware, software, technology, sales, cloud, labor, market reach … none makes sense for IBM to buy Sun — at any price. IBM does just fine by continuing to watch the sun set on Sun. Same for Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, HP.
With due respect to Larry Dignan on ZDNet, none of his reasons add up in dollars and cents. No way. Sun has fallen too far over the years for these rationales to stand up. UPDATE: Tony Baer likes Fujitsu as Sun savior.
Only in playing some offense via data center product consolidation against HP and Dell would buying Sun help IBM. And the math doesn’t add up there. The cost of getting Sun is more than the benefits of taking money from enterprise accounts from others. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]
Para más información, la eventual compra, analizada por The Wall Street Journal.
The hot topic of debate today is the breaking news story that IBM is in talks to acquire Sun. Dana Gardner doubts this, and a bunch of myFB and Twitter friends ask the obvious questions in their status updates: Why the heck would IBM want to do this?I haven’t seen anyone yet bring up the Java question. As co-chair of the OSGi EEG and formerly 9-year employee of a Java vendor, I have seen the battles between Sun and IBM over the control of the Java langauge up close. It has never been a pretty picture.
Recently I was asked about Jonathan Schwartz’s blog entries about Sun’s future direction and corporate strategy. The content of these entries has been subject to the usual praise and criticism, but I haven’t seen anyone talk about what’s so obviously and painfully missing - at least for someone active in the Java community and trying to push the ball forward (e.g. enterprise OSGi). Where is the talk about leading the Java community? Where is the talk about collaboration with IBM, Oracle, Progress, Tibco, and others? Where is the description of how helpful Sun is toward Apache’s Java projects (especially Harmony)?
IBM has ported many products onto the OSGi framework during the past several years, including flagship products such as WebSphere Application Server and Lotus Notes. Never mind the fragmentation in the Java community caused by the disagreement over SCA. What about Sun’s recent announcement that they were going to reinvent Java modularity in the Open JDK project, all on their own, without input, without regard to what happens to OSGi? What kind of potential change cost does that represent to IBM and all the other Java vendors who have ported products onto OSGi?
The potential acquisition of Sun has been debated so far mostly in terms of the business value Sun has - that is, in the context of where it is still making money, as if that were the main or only reason for an acquisition. But I say again, what about the unrealized potential for collaborative leadership in the Java community? Sun obviously isn’t paying attention to this, but IBM might be.