You know in the old movies, when the reporters are all sitting around in the press room, playing cards and smoking cigarettes, waiting for the verdict to come in from the jury at the big trial? That's the way IT and business journalists are feeling right about now in covering the alleged IBM acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
The designated chirper in this story -- oh yes, there's definitely one in the room with the negotiators, and he/she has been instructed to call the Wall Street Journal or Reuters only -- has been quiet lately because the talks supposedly have been broken off. But the word on the street is fairly unanimous: This deal isn't over until it's over -- and it ain't over, yet.
No statements have been forthcoming from either company, and of course it would be illegal to release anything to the public at this time, before anything is written into officiality. We know that.
But in the absence of good information, sometimes any kind of information begins to look good -- until you actually read it.
Sun, in its first public recognition that anything is going on behind the scenes, made available a note to eWEEK April 7. This note described a message CEO Jonathan Schwartz delivered in a video April 7 to Sun employees. Here's the note [and don't expect too much here]:
"Sun can confirm that CEO and President, Jonathan Schwartz, addressed company employees today via a video to outline Sun's commitment to them, to customers, partners and shareholders. Although he could not comment on recent rumors and speculation, he outlined Sun's core strategy of delivering differentiated innovations to customers. Sun's powerful and compelling technology portfolio is driving the convergence of datacenter infrastructure and establishing the foundation for cloud computing. He closed by reiterating Sun's commitment to acting in the best interests of customers, shareholders, and employees and said that Sun will continue to do what has always defined the company: innovate for customers."
Well, I'm glad that's all cleared up. One of the biggest IT business stories of the decade is in progress, and this what we get. By the way, the WSJ, Bloomberg and God knows who else actually wrote news stories about that message.
Is he saying between the lines something like this: "Don't worry, Mother Sun will always be here, and no Impersonal Bigshot Machine is going to take us over." Don't know that. Is he saying: "In case you were wondering about it, we're not going to stop developing new products." Don't know that. Or how about this: "We thought about dropping our commitment to our customers, but decided against it." Don't know that, either.
So that's it from the Sun-IBM acquisition beat today. This is The Station, outside the Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, Calif. Looks like it'll be a long night.