So while the legalese continues to be smoothed out, sliced, diced and relegated to memory by IBM lawyers in the upcoming Big Blue acquisition of Sun Microsystems, another angle to the story came out March 24.
This is from two excellent Storage Station sources: Apparently only a short time ago, dyed-in-the-wool Sun enemy Hewlett-Packard and longtime partner Oracle got together and tendered a joint offer to purchase the ailing open-source software and hardware company. Oracle wanted the software side — all that Java, ZFS, Glassfish, Solaris, OpenSolaris, OpenOffice.org, everything — and wrote an offer for about $2 billion for it.
HP, looking at a formidable new challenge from Cisco Systems in the data center systems market, wanted to haul away all the hardware (storage, servers, SunRay virtual desktops, switches, all of it) for another $4 billion to $5 billion.
But Sun, which apparently had been shopping itself around to other companies — ironically, including HP — was able to say, “No thanks, we have another offer.”
The offer, of course, is the one now being “due diligenced” by IBM. IBM wants to keep HP as far away from Sun as possible; Sun’s IP (intellectual property) is considerable in depth and some of the most respected in all of IT.
So now we just wait for IBM to announce the acquisition for somewhere between $6 billion and $8 billion. Last we heard is that the untangling of all of Sun’s licensing could go another few days.
Those darn lawyers are certainly racking up the overtime, aren’t they?