Driving in this morning, I heard the news that IBM is in talks to buy Sun for $6.5 billion. Given the long-standing and fierce arch rivalry between these two, this is one acquisition/marriage that I would have never dreamed of happening.
As a former IBMer, I witnessed the competitive fervor, but in the corporate world, as in life, I know that nothing is forever. In June 2008, IDC reported that Oracle maintains its lead in the database market at 44%, followed by IBM at 21%, Microsoft with 18.5%, Sybase 3.5% and Teradata 3.3%.
Will this deal be approved – giving IBM 51% of the market if you add MySQL’s marketshare to the list? If so, what impact will IBM have on the future of open source products – particularly java and MySQL as well as Sun’s Identity Manager products (in my opinion, Sun has some of the best engineered computing talent and products available)?
Does the Tweet by dushyanth sum it up with “Sun was like the stupid kid on the block with the cool Pool (Java). IBM will be the mean rich kid with the Pool.” Will IBM continue Sun’s industry-leading stewardship of open source solutions?
My gut tells me the combination may seriously dampen a great set of open source accomplishments at SUN. Here’s hoping that post-acquisition, IBM continues Sun’s tradition of being a good steward by strongly supporting and delivering great software to open source for the benefit of the technology industry at large.
FYI – Feb. 25, 2009 – IDC Worldwide Server Market Server market share IBM $4.9 billion – 36% HP – $3.9 billion – 29% Dell – $1.4 billion – 10.6% Sun – $1.2 billion – 9.3%
FYI – June 27, 2008 – IDC Database Market Database market share Oracle 44.3% IBM 21% Microsoft 18.5% Sybase 3.5% Teradata 3.3%
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