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IBM's loss is Oracle's gain

Sun has been shopping around for a buyer to help it turn around its falling profits and margins for a while. IBM and Sun were in talks over a potential deal -- IBM offered Sun $9.40 per share and the offer was met with resistance by Sun's board.

That resistance led IBM to walk away from the negotiations. The Wall Street Journal reports that Oracle has now agreed to purchase Sun for $9.50 per share. The value of the transaction is $5.6 billion and excludes Sun's cash debt. Sun reportedly had about $2.6 billion in cash and short-term investments and $700 million in long-term debt as of December 28, 2008.

A Sun/Oracle merger makes sense with Sun servers being sold with Oracle database software for a long time. Buying Sun will allow Oracle to offer complete solutions of hardware and software to businesses looking for a one-stop shop.

Other than the issue with IBM offering less than Sun's board wanted for the company, reports had IBM being concerned about antitrust issues stemming from the purchase. Oracle is believed to have less of an antitrust issue since it has fewer businesses that compete directly with Sun.

Oracle executives believe that the purchase will pay off quickly for the company despite the fact that Sun has been posting losses for the last three quarters. Sun is expected to add more than $1.5 billion to Oracles operating profit excluding charges and other items in the first year with that number growing to over $2 billion the second year after the purchase.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some analysts were stunned by the purchase. AMR Research analyst Bruce Richardson said, "The last thing you expected was a database-software company to buy a hardware customer base."  

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RE: A dime more a share...
By omnicronx on 4/20/2009 3:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
A few years ago, the idea of writing a desktop app using Java was within the realm of reason.
I 100% disagree, if anything it makes much more sense, as the little extra overhead that java requires is no longer an issue with the powerful machines of today. This is what most developers complained about.

Java really has not lost any momentum either, in fact it is .net is still catching up. Hibernate and Spring are vastly superior to anything .net has to offer, (and subsequently, have been ported to .net, although not nearly as robust).

Furthermore .net programmers are dime a dozen, I just wish I knew that before going through 4 years of school. Everywhere I applied in different cities, Java entry level developers got as much as 20% more salary, with this rising significantly for senior developers. Lucky for me, I have been learning Java myself for the past 8 years and decided to make the switch from C# (which really is not that much of a switch at all).

And don't get me started on web tier apps, this is where you will see most of Java's advancements in the next few years (and this is what the most skilled Java programmers have been moving to)

As for desktop Apps, although it requires more coding than the simplistic .net, the Swing Application Framework has been nothing but great to me.

Before the .net framework became popular you may have had a point, the latest and greatest of .net is not native to all windows machines, thus the JVM requirement that everyone also complains about is becoming less and less of a issue.

RE: A dime more a share...
By TomZ on 4/20/2009 4:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
Well, obviously I disagree. First, I've programmed in Java+Swing and WinForms, and there really is no comparison. The development experience and the final result is far superior in WinForms. Swing apps are slow and ugly, unless you're willing to invest thousands of hours to write code to make up for the shortcomings as some commercial app vendors have. No thanks.

Plus there are lots of very robust third-party commercial controls available for WinForms. In Java, there's, well, mostly shareware...which means apart from some gems here and there, it mostly sucks.

The next problem with Java desktop is the terrible installed base of JDK, not to mention a "recent" version. That was the biggest issue we had, was lots of customer complaints about having to install the JDK. At least with .NET it is integrated with newer versions of the OS and pushed by Microsoft Update to older versions.

I do like the "run everywhere" (or "debug everywhere" as it's been called) aspect of Java. That is perhaps the only advantage of Java for desktop. But since most desktops are also running Windows (especially in the corporate world), it becomes a moot point.

RE: A dime more a share...
By omnicronx on 4/20/2009 5:02:58 PM , Rating: 1
All depends on what you are trying to do. I will never again attempt to make a DB frontend using .NET. Java is far superior in just about every way, in this case it is not slow compared to .net, and being a DB frontend, how 'ugly' it is does not really matter.

Would I make a mainstream desktop application using Java, probably not, .net is far more robust in this case.

P.S You are kidding about free WinForms controls right? There are a ton more shareware WinForm controls than its Java equivalents. Furthermore they are usually free in Java as long as you are not selling a product using the technology (in which the source is not included), i.e you usually won't pay anything if it is in house software.

There are also many simple things missing from .net such as their lacking FTP api. In the past 2 years with Java, I have paid for the Java Service Wrapper which is more than worth it, everything else was open source and free. In my first year as a .net programmer I had to buy countless controls and other plugins.

RE: A dime more a share...
By AlexWade on 4/20/2009 9:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore .net programmers are dime a dozen, I just wish I knew that before going through 4 years of school. Everywhere I applied in different cities, Java entry level developers got as much as 20% more salary

Are you serious? Wow. When I came out of college, I did my best work in Java. In fact, I had a project so good I was accused of cheating (without proof by my professor). It was a calculator in Java that would solve equations and give an exact answer. No 0.3333, but 1/3. I came out of college and couldn't get a job, this was 2003. It all worked out in the end because I started my own business making web pages, which was my second best work. Now have a great schedule in that I don't have to get up early and deal with traffic.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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