Thursday, November 6, 2008

Don't Let The Sun [Microsystems] Go Down On Me

I got to thinking about Sun Microsystems after reading a Motley Fool article entitled "Meet the New Sun, Better Than the Old Sun":
"Sun Microsystems ain't what it used to be. Once a premier purveyor of enterprise-class Unix servers with a little bit of software on the side, the new Sun relies on virtualization-friendly blade servers, storage arrays, and open-source software. And that's probably a good thing... Big-iron server sales are dropping like hot potatoes. Sun's workstations haven't been much of factor for years."

I broached the above topic with a buddy of mine and we pondered ways that Sun could change their downward slide. Sun does indeed have an arsenal of hardware and software assets, but how long will it realistically take them to right the ship? Or do they need to be acquired in order to start heading in the right financial direction?

With that said...
what do you think of Apple as Sun's savior?

My initial reaction to this was...Apple's brand is all about shiny, elegant, and easy to use hardware and software objects, so how much of Sun's offerings would be worthy of the Apple brand? Let's assume the virtualization-friendly blade servers, storage arrays, and open-source software that Motley Fool mentioned above are worthy, how would such a move help Apple?

It would help Apple in its fight with Microsoft...on many fronts.

Part of Microsoft's strength has historically come from the sheer number of developers it has creating applications that target its platforms. I still crack up every time I watch the classic "Developers, Developers, Developers" Steve Ballmer video.

BUT...have you noticed the sea change that has happened over the past two years? I see nothing but oceans of Mac laptops at all the developer events going on. Apple has become the new cool for developers.

And if Apple, by acquiring Sun, was to inject some of its MOJO into Java...well that could inflict further pain on Microsoft. Moreover, an acquisition of Sun would position Apple nicely in the emerging cloud-platform market (see Microsoft's Azure Services Platform for where they're headed).

I, like many, would love to see the Sun rise again somehow. In these trying financial times, can they do it on their own, or do they need someone like Apple to get them through the difficult times?

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