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IBM and Sun: Good for Unix and Linux, Bad for HP?


Netstat -vat by Sean Michael Kerner (bio)

A command line view of IT


IBM and Sun Merger Talks
From the "Wouldn't that be something" files:

IBM is reportedly in talks to acquire Sun for a whopping $6.5 billion. At this early stage, its not known whether this is a fact or just a rumor.

But just for the sake of argument, let's consider what a powerhouse IBM Sun would be. In my opinion, it would be a boon to both the Unix and Linux markets.

Between the two of them, they control two-thirds of the Unix market with AIX and Solaris. They also control a large portion of the big server market, with IBM's POWER and Sun's (NASDAQ: JAVA) SPARC architectures. The only company in the Unix space that effectively competes against Sun and IBM is HP, so as a result, an IBM-Sun combo would be a major challenge.

Then again, it wasn't that long ago that HP bought Compaq for $25 billion (and remember, Compaq had DEC). So it terms of size and scale, IBM (NYSE: IBM) acquiring Sun is a smaller deal and may perhaps even finally be IBM's attempt at catching up, as it were. Bringing AIX and Solaris under one roof will help to consolidate Unix's position instead of fraying it with competition.

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