In a recent SEC filing, Intel CEO Paul Otellini made a few comments regarding the recent news that IBM has expressed interest to open their [very large] wallet and merge [*cough*... purchase] Sun Microsystems. The original comments came during an employee webcast last week discussing Intel’s stock options program.
Oh, I don’t know if the Cisco entry spurred IBM. I think (a) cheap Sun price–a low price–spurred a lot of interest. I can tell you that Sun was shopped around the valley and around the world in the last few months. A lot of companies got calls or visits on buying some or all the assets of the company. It looks like IBM is in the hunt now. And at a hundred and some odd percent premium, I suspect they’ll get it.
I don’t think it had anything to do with Cisco. I think IBM is trying to consolidate architectures. IBM has the strongest Java license in the industry. By picking up Sun–which is the creator of Java–they really consolidate their position not just in Linux, but also in Java.
I think the stuff on Solaris and SPARC is likely to see EOLs over time through the IBM acquisition. But no strategic reason for IBM to maintain that except to attempt to convert the very large Sun SPARC Solaris base to power. I think that would be their most likely strategy as part of this.
Is it good or bad for us? I don’t know. I’d rather have Sun be independent, I guess.
These are interesting comments coming from the CEO of the largest silicon company in the known universe. Intel launched their latest line of Xeon x86_64 processors, codenamed Nehalem, today at noon PST to much fanfare. The folks in enterprise and HPC circles have been anticipating the new silicon to perform quite well. As such, Intel is poised to bring in quite a bit of cash in the upcoming two quarters while Nehalem still sells at a premium. So why the glum remarks from Otellini? A merger between two of the top five server manufacturers will create quite a juggernaut for pressuring Intel to lower their prices based on sales volume.
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