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Sun and Apple Could Have Merged 285

Firmafest writes "The Register is running a story about Sun and Apple almost merging on three separate occasions. The information was revealed at a Computer History Museum event, where Sun's four co-founders spoke about the history of the Sun company. Bill Joy said that the two comp anies almost teamed on three different projects, including sharing a user interface and the SPARC architecture." From the article: "'As far as I know we also almost bought Apple once,' Joy said. 'We almost merged with Apple two other times.' Many Silicon Valley observers have long seen links between Sun and Apple. Both companies make slick, pricey hardware and are counter-punchers in their respective markets. They also have charismatic CEO figures and strong anti-Microsoft streaks"
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Sun and Apple Could Have Merged

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:05AM (#14454202) Journal
    So Apple and Sun almost merged ... however, the way the article is written makes it sound as though we're only concerned with one thing--iPods.

    Is this the only product that Apple makes? I thought they also made fairly nice laptops.

    Yes, I know iPods are the hot thing right now, but did it talk about any of Sun's products?

    McNealy has an iPod, McNealy says iPods will be as archaic as answering machines one day, McNealy seems to think that all Apple has are iPods.

    My god, they weren't merging their mp3 players, they were talking about merging architectures and file systems.

    Is McNealy really so shallow to as to say, "I bought your media player and it's pretty good but it's going to be obsolete someday and that's why we won't merge."?

    This is the computer science industry, everything becomes obsolete! Apple is not losing money on iPods and they have other technologies to rely on.

    What do iPods and their long term reliability have to do with a merger!?

    Perhaps this article should have been titled "McNealy Speaks Out About the Mediocre iPod .... And Failed Mergers."
    • I'd be very interested to see what the folks at Apple have to say about this.
    • I think if sun and apple merged, then sun would be less interested in apples computer busness since they arleady have a similar computer busness of their own.
      • Sun doesn't make consumer hardware. Apple does. Somewhere in there, there's a golden middle whereby Apple's hardware works well on the desktop and Sun's hardware works well on the server. There are a few exceptions (e.g. some power users need high-end 3D graphics unix-workstations far beyond what exists in the consumer market), but overall I could see it being a good fit. After all, when was the last time you saw Sun producing laptops? (No, Tadpoles don't count. That's not Sun.)
      • OS/X and Cocoa on a Sparc stations? Sparc powered Mac?
        It could have worked but Apple would probably still eventually move to x86/X64.
        As much as I hate it x86 has one huge advantage. When you sell hundreds of millions of chips you can spend billions on making them better.
        Sparc are low volume as are the PPC G5 and the Power line by IBM. When you talk mips per $ X86/X64 wins. Hell I think Apple should have gone with the Alpha way back when but Digital never seemed to want to be in the mass market.
    • I think that the Sun Board and shareholders need to take McNeally away and replace him with me. What's wrong with making a few dollars in the mean while selling personal storage devices that play music before we sell networked storage and networked media players?
    • Looking at the numbers, that would be more logical. So lets ask Steve Jobs what he thinks about those Sparc, err intel, err amd, err sparc only, err intel again, err no x86 solaris anymore, err free x86 solaris, err opensource, err linux is evil, err linux support department(?) company which is loosing money. Sun just does not have any news from themselves anymore which can do anything in the market, so for the mean time, lets gossip about the popular kid on the block: Apple.
      • I think that the new Niagra based systems are a pretty good talking point.

        Not to mention the particulalry nice opteron systems that sun are churning out now.
        • The point I was trying to make with my err list is not that they do not make good products. It is more the longterm commitment which they showed so far for non Sparc/Java products will keep me away from buying Sun systems.
          Apple in a datacenter is expensive, and pretty soon useless except if you depend on OS X for your data crunching. So as desktop systemvendor apple, and server systemvendor Sun, it could be a match.
      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:57AM (#14454701) Journal
        I very much doubt that Steve Jobs has forgiven Sun for the OpenStep debacle. If Sun hadn't developed cold feet, then we would all have had a much nicer development environment for the last decade.

        One thing Sun does have which Apple needs is a fast kernel. OS X has a horrible system call overhead (caused largely by Mach port overheads, and by multiple indirection in traps), and is by far the slowest kernel I have had the opportunity to work with. Aqua on top of a Solaris kernel would be close to my ideal system. If Sun had not dumped OpenStep, I would probably be using an OpenStep/Solaris box now instead of a Mac.

    • Is this the only product that Apple makes? I thought they also made fairly nice laptops.

      Well, they are about to release a fairly nice laptop, but for the past several years they have been selling dated and slow machines becuase they couldn't properly work their newer processor architecture into a laptop. The lack of an updated/modern laptop for sale certainly put some strain on the dedicated Apple user community.

      McNealy has an iPod, McNealy says iPods will be as archaic as answering machines one day
    • Is McNealy really so shallow to as to say, "I bought your media player and it's pretty good but it's going to be obsolete someday and that's why we won't merge."?

      Yes.

  • one word... (Score:5, Funny)

    by r00tyroot ( 536356 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:07AM (#14454221)
    Snapple
  • by chriss ( 26574 ) * <chriss@memomo.net> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:10AM (#14454243) Homepage
    • Both companies were at one time the main producer of Unix workstations (Sun during the 90s, Apple today)
    • OpenStep [wikipedia.org] was the result of a collaboration of NeXT and Sun to create an object oriented API based on NeXTSTEP. It ran on NeXTs Mach/BSD OS and Solaris. After the NeXT takeover by Apple in 1996 OpenStep became what today is known as MacOS X, still running on Mach/BSD.
    • Styling: Sun and Apple (and NeXT) released workstations in (almost) cubic (Sparcstation IPX [rwth-aachen.de], G4 Cube [oamao.com], NeXT Cube [granneman.com]) and pizza box format (Sparcstation 20 [acc.umu.se], Mac LC [mac.com], NeXTstation [wikimedia.org])
    • Their Unix based operating systems are open source
    • Both are strong supporters of Java
    • Both are based in California
    • Both were founded in the context of Stanford university
    • Both tried (and failed) to grab a larger peace of the desktop market
    • Both were early integrators of network technology into their computers
    • Both have been declared dead several times
    • Both produced some of the first application servers (WebObjects [wikipedia.org], J2EE [wikipedia.org])

    Chriss

    --
    memomo.net [memomo.net] - brush up your German, French, Spanish or Italian - online and free

    • Steve and Scott are also good friends.
    • Lets get something correct, MacOS X is NOT Open Source. Never has been, never will be. Yes, Darwin may be, but MacOS X is not totally Darwin.

      Not to mention Apple DID NOT invent WebObjects, they BOUGHT WebObjects.
    • Both companies were at one time the main producer of Unix workstations (Sun during the 90s, Apple today)

      Um, just because OSX is Unix-based does not make a Mac a Unix workstation. Unix workstations were traditionally used for engineering and 3-D visualization tasks, (c.f. Abaqus, NASTRAN, Catia, Adams, ANSYS, Cadence). Not that current Macs couldn't handle these tasks, but the software isn't available. No workstation-class software -> not a workstation.

      Doesn't mean they're not nice machines, though. I
    • Apples need Sun to grow.
    • OpenStep [wikipedia.org] was the result of a collaboration of NeXT and Sun to create an object oriented API based on NeXTSTEP. It ran on NeXTs Mach/BSD OS and Solaris. After the NeXT takeover by Apple in 1996 OpenStep became what today is known as MacOS X, still running on Mach/BSD.

      It is worth noting that OpenStep also ran on windows. In the Apple era, this was briefly known as "Yellow Box".
  • I'll say it again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:10AM (#14454245)
    Both companies make slick, pricey hardware...


    I'll say it one more time, and make sure you pay attention:

    Dollar for dollar, Apple hardware is a bargain. It's not "pricey"... calling something pricey implies it costs more than it's worth. Apple hardware is worth every penny, and I'd say you'd have a really difficult time building comparable equipment for significantly less cost. And when I say comparable, I mean comparable. For example, you can't compare XServe RAID to the cheapass RAID card and 10 drives you coddled together from crap you bought at ComputersRNeat.com.

    • You are associating false value to the product. If the product specifications are comparable the systems are comparable. Nobody in the history of Mac Fans has been able to prove on a slashdot forum that a decent (not their crap economy models) Mac can be had in the ballpark of a pc.
      • Go right to the top end, spec out a Quad G5, couple of gigs of ram, 7800GT

        then spec out a dual Opteron 280 box (so Quad cores in total), match the rest of the specs as closely as possible

        I've done it a few times and it's almost always a complete wash.
      • Oh please (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've seen such comparisons over and over in this forum, and the Macs almost always come out on top for overall value. When you include all the hardware specs the prices are close; Macs are perhaps a couple hundred more. That's putting quality issues aside -- just put a cheap 20" LCD monitor next to the one that comes standard on the iMac and tell me you're getting the same deal. You're not. Then add in the software and the price difference is negligible if it exists at all. That's TCO aside -- Macs are
      • Specifications are just marketing babble for tech geeks, and fall into the same category as statistics on the truth scale. It's not difficult to produce two systems with the same specs (especially if the choice of specs is carefully selected), and have one be a cheap-ass collection of poorly integrated parts with a wobbly power supply and buggy mobo that will blow a few capacitors next year and fry half your components (your average discount no-name frankenpc), whereas the other is an over-engineered, full
    • Now that Apple is switching to Intel hardware we will know the truth. I think we will see similar hardware in apple and non-apple platforms, and we will see the prices, and truth will be told.

      Personally I believe people who buy into Apple pay a premium for their hardware and their OS. It is simple economics - smaller market share, they have to make a higher yield per machine to make enough money to stay afloat, whereas Microsoft/Dell/*insert notebook manufacturer here* can stay afloat on much thinner margi
      • of course, as someone else pointed out before, the macheads might now go claiming that "sure it's intel, but it's _apple optimized_ intel..."

        • I'd just like it if they used "open" hardware in their systems so I could buy a 17" Apple Powerbook - with a higher resolution screen having its graphics pushed by an nVidia graphics chip - and dump a copy of Gentoo on it.

          I've been trying to find the right laptop for me for ages now, and Apple's stuff comes pretty close but I've read a lot of accounts where by the hardware in their laptops doesn't have very good open support, e.g. the wireless chipset.

          I also think that 1600x1050 isn't a high enough r

          • I know what you mean. I got a powerbook here from my work, and may soon have the opportunity to get a new laptop. I don't think it'll be a powerbook (or macbook) again... OSX is alright, but I'm a linux guy, it's what I work with, and what I prefer for various and sundry reasons. You can of course get linux to work on them, but it's really not all that functional (no wireless, single button for the mousepad, no DRI support (at least on the PPC models)). I'm open to alternative suggestions.
    • I'd say you'd have a really difficult time building comparable equipment for significantly less cost

      Only if you include the cost of scrounging around in "recycled pc" stores and trying to find clearance items from five years ago. My experience with recent Mac hardware indicates that it has similar performance to what you found on the PC side in 2000-2001.
    • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @01:34PM (#14455752)
      Dollar for dollar, Apple hardware is a bargain.

      Oh, I'm one Linux geek who's always admitted that Apple gives you something for your money. Had a job using Apple machines for a couple years, and I check out floor displays of Apples every time I wander by one. It's just that, to us Linux geeks who dumpster dive for 686 chips and 10-G drives and Dell shells behind dwellings of Windows lusers (who are chucking their old hardware like Kleenex), anything more expensive than "free" is pricey. To be a Linux user is to see it *rain* perfectly good hardware every day! What, people go into stores and *pay* for these things? Heck, I gotta shovel 'em off the lawn!

  • by IAAP ( 937607 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:10AM (#14454250)
    FTFA [bold was done by me]"There's a pendulum thing where stuff is on the client side and then goes back into the network where it belongs," McNealy said. "The answering machine put voicemail by the desk, and then it went back into the network."

    Apple was founded on being a personal computer maker. It was founded to put control of the machines into the users hands. Yes, networked computers aren't mainframes, but McNealy seems to have thes attitude that computing should be centrally controlled or stored.

    • Computers should not be in the hands of users, nor on their desktops. Ever.

      A terminal is all any user needs, or should have. Sure we are talking fancy quick graphical termnals and not VT100s, but a terminal just the same.

      Giving the first average user his own computer was the worst day in IT history.
    • Sun's main customers are the manufacturing, banking and federal sectors. When you're managing large networks of 300+ workstations plus servers, all of which need to have identical releases of software, having centralised control and storage is essential to keep costs down. You don't want to have a bunch of technicians tied up over one computer, trying to figure out why a PDF file won't print to the nearest laser printer or why E-mails can't be read.
  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:11AM (#14454263) Homepage Journal
    "Slick" describes Apple perfectly, but isn't a word I'd use to talk about Sun stuff. Sun's hardware is pricey but not because of its looks. It's because it's built like a tank. Apple is all about style, Sun is about rock solid workhorse machines. I think they're both better off as separate companies.
    • Apple and Sun desktop systems looked somewhat similar 15 years ago (back when these mergers were being talked about). Compare an IPX to a Mac LC -- both are lego-ish beige plastic.

      If I recall the story, Apple made an insulting low offer to buy Sun in the late 80s, and Sun returned the favor by making an insuliting low offer to buy Apple during the beleaguered 90s.
    • by Zemplar ( 764598 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:32AM (#14454452) Journal
      "Apple is all about style, Sun is about rock solid workhorse machines. I think they're both better off as separate companies."

      On the hardware side, perhaps you are right. However, and this is a big one, I firmly believe that if Apple and Sun collaborate OS X desktop UI and applications on top of Solaris 10 that is would be an awe inspiring DESKTOP AND SERVER OS for both to use on their respectivley designed hardware niche.

      Imagine the inroads the new hybrid OS could take into corporate computing!
      • Or Apple pays Sun to port the Sun Ray Server software over to MacOSX Server :) Assuming OSX Server can support something like this (multiple simultaneous interactive desktops), that would rock.
    • by Thrudheim ( 910314 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:56AM (#14454694)
      Have you ever picked up a PowerMac G5 desktop? Damn, it is one heavy computer! I think "built like a tank" is a pretty fitting description. When you open up the case, moreover, you can see the attention to detail. Everything fits together so well, cables are neatly tucked away, spare screws are provided for an additional drive, it's really nice. It is not just "slick."
      • Have you ever picked up a PowerMac G5 desktop?

        No, but I do have old apple and sun machines, probably from closer to the times this was a possibility.

        Damn, it is one heavy computer! I think "built like a tank" is a pretty fitting description.

        I've never met an Apple I could compare to a tank. They're too...graceful, though that's not exactly what I mean.

        When you open up the case, moreover, you can see the attention to detail. Everything fits together so well, cables are neatly tucked away, spare screws ar

    • Sun have in the last ten years produced some crappy hardware - not very well built, not reliable enough for the extra cost.

      However, they really pulled themselves up in the last five years and produced some much better kit. The SunFires are quite solid, the Opteron boxes are really nice.

      Shame that Apple didn't at least tie-up with Sun to do OSX on their new Opteron boxes - how hard can it be, they've already ported to Intel/x86?

      On the other hand, with both Apple and Sun moving to relatively commodity h

  • by nodnarb1978 ( 725530 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:13AM (#14454280) Homepage
    They also have charismatic CEO figures and strong anti-Microsoft streaks Another common factor: Both CEOs have known Reality Distortion Fields. Could two such personalities coexist? I'm reminded of what happened between Jobs and John Sculley.
  • by Jay Maynard ( 54798 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:20AM (#14454330) Homepage
    An Apple-Sun merger could have been good or terrible.

    We could have had OS X on Sun hardware for years by now.

    We could have had OS X based on Solaris.

    Which is a bug and which is a feature is left as an exercise for the reader.
  • Interesting comment from McLealy:

    "Your iPod is like your home answering machine," McNealy said. "I guarantee you it will be hard to sell an iPod five or seven years from now when every cell phone can access your entire music library wherever you are."

    I don't really agree with the reason (networking), but I do agree that eventually the iPod is going to lose some steam. Presumably they have a few things in the pipeline to potentially be "the next thing", the leading contender being a move into the living roo

    • While computer power and storage can be seen to double every 18 months, the same cannot be said for RF spectrum. There are hard limits to how much data can be packed into a given wireless network. Using the cellular network as a personalized radio station with iPod-level audio fidelity is more than a few years off. Voice calls only need ~8kbps, and carriers already have capacity problems.
  • Far be it from me to be in the minority, but I bet the combination would work out just fine. Imagine Sun workstations with actual style and imagine Apple on a network scale. They might be polar opposities as far as technological bent goes but that's what makes the merger such a sweet idea, for they would be complementary. As opposed to say the HP (fairly good company) and Compaq (black hole company) merger, which really doesn't seem to have borne much fruit and sent Carly Fiorina to her tropical island hide
  • by Ravenscall ( 12240 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:27AM (#14454396)
    I want my iSPARC and iFire.

    Mmmm, laptop with Sun chips....*drool*
  • Still possible? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Meoward ( 665631 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:28AM (#14454415)

    I do remember the dark days of '97 when Apple was practically begging to be bought out by Sun. Fortunately, then-CEO Michael Spindler faded away shortly afterward.

    The business models of both companies were wildly different, and to some extent still are. But now, I wonder if AAPL should snatch up SUNW for a song.

    Apple wants to be a server company too, but can't quite crack the market, even though they have solid server hardware and a decent server OS. The only thing keeping Sun afloat today is their user base as a server manufacturer. So far, sounds like a match. And Sun shareholders would get a more refined CEO in the bargain once McNealy bolted.

    The biggest challenge though, is probably insurmountable, and that's product line integration. Sun may be gasping, but Solaris still has a strong presence out there. I can't imagine a forced migration to OS X Server would please sysadmins, even if they get to keep their SPARC-based servers. Which server hardware and OS would "Snapple" sell? Would SPARC and Solaris be end-of-life'd in such a scenario?

    So.. I'm not sure. If Sun is in serious trouble, Apple might have a case for rescuing a captive market. But ithe size of Sun's customer base would have to justify the hurdles involved in integrating the acquisition.

    • Re:Still possible? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tony ( 765 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:42AM (#14454532) Journal
      I can't imagine a forced migration to OS X Server would please sysadmins, even if they get to keep their SPARC-based servers.

      It wouldn't just not please sysadmins; it would alienate them. Solaris is good. It's solid, scalable, and flexible. OS X is decent, to be sure; but it is still at heart a desktop OS, BSD roots notwithstanding. Sun makes great hardware and damned good software. It's their business that sucks.

      Apple's best bet would be to buy Sun and keep Solaris on their high-end servers, and make some fan-fucking-tastic mid-range servers / high-end workstations based on Solaris + ( OS X - Darwin ).

      Problem is, Apple is currently a consumer electronics company. Their computers are enjoying a renaissance mostly because of the dominance and hip-factor of the iPod, and not because of the superior quality of their hardware and OS -- if people wanted quality, Budweiser would not be the King of Beers.

      I'm not sure what Apple could really bring to the Sun Server market, other than a certain amount of glamour that is currently missing. Although I think if Sun servers had some great case designs, they'd sell more.
      • Re:Still possible? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:08PM (#14454816) Journal
        Solaris is good. It's solid, scalable, and flexible. OS X is decent, to be sure

        OS X is decent above Core Foundation. Everything below there is clearly designed by theoreticians. There are a lot of design decisions that make the kernel look nice on paper (lots of layers of abstraction, nice separation of policy and mechanism), but kill performance. Recent versions have eroded some of the nice design in favour of performance, leaving a kernel that is neither elegant nor fast. OS X with a Solaris kernel would be a very nice system, especially with a Sun Ray-like system working with Quartz. The only major problem is that quite a few of the higher-level systems make direct use of Mach ports, which would require some emulation (although Solaris STREAMS could easily be used as a substitute, since they have similar features - but with actual performance).

    • "The biggest challenge though, is probably insurmountable, and that's product line integration. Sun may be gasping, but Solaris still has a strong presence out there. I can't imagine a forced migration to OS X Server would please sysadmins, even if they get to keep their SPARC-based servers. Which server hardware and OS would "Snapple" sell? Would SPARC and Solaris be end-of-life'd in such a scenario?"

      Apple's offerings are very user-friendly although OS X Server does not have many of the strong enterprise f
    • OS X server is ok for low impact servers - but anything needing a large number of simultaneous connections runs afoul of the Mach/BSD hybrid's threading issues.

      And in the end an enterprise server OS has no business having a GUI at all.

    • Re:Still possible? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by stevesliva ( 648202 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:03PM (#14454762) Journal
      The biggest challenge though, is probably insurmountable, and that's product line integration.
      Interestingly enough, IBM has needed to forge that path with its own legacy systems-- the S/390 now System Z mainframes, the AS400 now i5 midrange, the RS6000 now p5 RISC machines, and the x86 xSeries servers and blades. HP also dealt with Alpha and PA-RISC architectures... and HP-UX and whatever DEC's flavor of Unix is.

      If Snapple were to take a page out of IBM's book, Solaris would run on all the Sun hardware, OS/X on all the apple hardware, and Linux on everything. Truly overlapping hardware capabilities (SPARC/G5 AMD+Sun/Apple+Intel) would eventually be merged, but unique hardware capabilities (T1) would be allowed to stay in a given product line. But what is most interesting is the extent to which disparate product lines can be maintained over decades and produce steady revenue from happy customers. Don't tell them they have to change anything, and if they want a new box, it'll run everything the 15-year old doorstop chugging away in the closet did.

      If Snapple were to take a page out of HP's (Carly's?) book, they'd try to to migrate everything to Itanium, and trade all the Alpha (err, Sparc) designers to Intel.

  • by vistic ( 556838 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:29AM (#14454425)
    I honestly don't think a merger would have worked before with Apple's previous CEOs who basically sucked pretty bad. Apple would have just stopped being "Apple."

    Maybe now with Steve Jobs and a healthy Apple brand it could work and Apple could use some of Sun's technology and strengths for something interesting. But not prior to Steve Jobs joining, he steered the company back to good health.

    I also think an Apple transition to x86 wouldn't have worked before Jobs for similar reasons. Under previous management at Apple, I can imagine Apple transitioning to x86, and then asking itself why they bother making a different operating system for their hardware, and abandoning MacOS entirely. The previous Apple CEOs were really dragging Apple down and almost killed it.
  • by swid27 ( 869237 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:36AM (#14454480) Homepage
    Low End Mac has more information about the Apple/Sun dealings here [lowendmac.com] (yes, I'm well aware that this article was featured on /. a few weeks back) and here [lowendmac.com].
  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:36AM (#14454483) Homepage
    They also have charismatic CEO figures and strong anti-Microsoft streaks"

    Yes, Apple has such an anti-Microsoft streak that they force a Microsoft employee to share the stage with Steve Jobs at his MacWorld keynotes so they experience the reality distortion field [wikipedia.org] before demoing their latest version of Microsoft Office for Mac. To further show Apple's contempt for Microsoft, Jobs just released an iMac that will be able to boot Windows Vista [engadget.com].

  • market caps (Score:2, Informative)

    by derniers ( 792431 )
    way back when Sun's market cap (now about 11 B) was bigger than Apple's (now about 72B), just two years ago the market caps were about the same
  • old friends (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:40AM (#14454515)
    <Sun> Hey Apple how's it going?
    <Apple> Go away loser.
    <Sun> Come on, you know you wanted to hook up with me
    <Apple> Yea, whatever *puts hand up*
    <Sun> You know we could have killed Intel with Sparc
    <Apple> Uh huh, haven't you been paying attention? I *LOVE* Intel now
    <Sun> *whine* don't be like that, I ALMOST BOUGHT YOU
    <Apple> Uh huh, all talk, no action
    <Sun> HEY EVERYONE, I KNEW THIS BITCH BACK WHEN SHE WAS A THREE DOLLAR WHORE, SHE'S MINE STILL
    <Apple> Someone call security and get this loser out of here

    * Security runs in and grabs Sun by the shoulders *
    <Security> Sorry, private party, you're not on the list, you're gonna have to leave
    <Sun> Get your hands off of me

    * Sun storms out *

    <Java> Sun baby, come on over my place
    <Sun> Oh gawd, not you again, you're looking pretty beat up baby, every time I talk you up I look like an idiot

  • back in the mid 90's when SGI was riding high and Apple was fading into the sunset.
  • As a general comment - I'm not sure how I feel about the two companies merging. Yes they are similar in some ways - but they both have their own distinct "feels". I have a feeling that the company that was left after a merge would have ended up as a watered down mix of both that would ultimately fail.

    Now on to this crap:
    "There's a pendulum thing where stuff is on the client side and then goes back into the network where it belongs," McNealy said. "The answering machine put voicemail by the desk, and t
    • Okay, ZFS, looks great. Pity your solaris on x86 has such piss poor hardware support but nice of you to open it up so that people who understand PC (Linux) can do it on a proper kernel with support for lousy IDE cards.

      Java? Well I still have a bit of hatred left about applets and it would be nice if you could get it to be a bit less of a memory hog in gui mode BUT I suppose it is nice that some apps I use can run almost anywhere. Provided that I got more memory then god but lets not be mean.

      The networked

  • by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @11:46AM (#14454572) Journal
    Well the point is they didn't merge (and nor did Apple and IBM), so what else is new.

    This sound more like some kind of hopeless, unrequited longing for a beautiful girl. Apple has style and pizzaz and Sun doesn't, but oh how Sun longs for them! The chairman of Sun recently spoke of having an "iPod moment" around something or other, probably a new line of servers or piece of software. It wasn't, but I think we can guess where he was coming from.
  • I remember not all that long ago schwartz suggesting in an open letter just that. I thought it was just wishful thinking/postering, but maybe he really meant it. Got to admit, it would be an interesting merger of technologies.
  • Sun buying out Apple or Sun merging into Apple?

    In either case, I think that would have spelled disaster for these companies.

    Apple doesn't have the mindset to enter the server market. Apple's server offerings have been novel toys in the industry, but few would agree that Apple has truely offered any server product worth its salt. Having Apple absorb Sparc and Solaris server technologies probably would have killed off those Sun products.

    Sun would have destroyed Apple's innovation and creativity. Sun spent
  • As a mac/unix geek from the 80's, I thought nothing would be cooler than merging sun and apple duing the mid-late 90's when these rumors cropped up. Apple was struggling and unable to find a suitable replacement for MacOS "classic". How cool would it have been to Appleize Solaris with Mac UI on top and solaris underpants! That was then.... High flying sun stock from those days is now worth about 10% of what it was. Sun is clinging to life in a dying market and Apple is now one of the biggest unix vendor
  • by chobee ( 555901 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @12:06PM (#14454797)
    "There's a pendulum thing where stuff is on the client side and then goes back into the network where it belongs," McNealy said. "The answering machine put voicemail by the desk, and then it went back into the network." While I do understandthe pendulum analogy, I think the answering machine is a terrible example. When I get home and want my messages I want the ease of hitting a button, pushing forward button to go to the next message, erase button to get rid of it etc. I don't want to have to pick up my phone, hold it to my ear, take the phone away from my ear to push 7 for next message or 76 to backup or 84 to delete or whatever combination needed to navigate. I have this service on my phone right now. I finally convinced some tech at the phone company I DIDN'T want this crappy service. I only have it cause the bundle I buy has it and its still cheaper than buying unbundled. The way the tech fixed the problem is he set my answering option to answer after 99 rings or something. I really hated picking up the phone and hearing the stutter dial tone saying I had a message and I knew I was never going in that system to get it. I hate to sound like an apple commercial but I just want shit to work. My life is complicated enought without dealing with the remote answering machine.
  • It's down in black ink, for many years, in several books, about Apple's many attempts to merge with, oh, IIRC, IBM, Sun, Motorola, ATT, Olivetti, Dairy Queen, and Dunkin Donuts.

    Okay, I added the last three.

    Anyway, this ain't new and it aint news.

  • Has this writer ever seen Scott McNealy, much less heard him speak?
  • Yes, we all know about how later versions of NEXTSTEP (then OpenStep) ran on SPARC, but how many people remember Apple's "Macintosh Application Environment"?

    This was a complete Mac emulation environment that ran on Solaris/SPARC and HP-UX in the mid '90s. It only ever emulated a 68LC040, so by the time it was discontinued in 1998, nobody cared. It is an interesting nexus, though, between Apple and Sun (and HP, where Woz first met Jobs).

    http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/1995-03/sunf lash.950314.13593.htm [sun.com]
  • I think Sun and Apple merging would have been a horrible idea; the corporate cultures of the two companies are completely different. And instead of getting the best of both worlds, you probably would have ended up with products giving you the worst.
  • Sun and Apple almost merged. Until they realized that the resultant name, Sunapple [snapple.com], might turn people off of their products.
  • I just can see it:
    Both SUN and Apple are dead!
  • by PierceLabs ( 549351 ) on Thursday January 12, 2006 @01:07PM (#14455417)
    and has been spiralling Sun turd style down the toilet for years. The company has a decreasing number of products that actually generate money because McNealy believes that his enemy is still Microsoft and the best way to defeat Microsoft is to give products away for free. I honestly think he needs to evaluate his business model for both software and hardware while Sun still has cash reserves and brands that the market cares about because he is pissing away a lot of goodwill with his ludicrous 'unique selling proposition'.
  • by CFD339 ( 795926 ) <andrewp@IIItheno ... inus threevowels> on Thursday January 12, 2006 @02:15PM (#14456183) Homepage Journal
    Scott M. couldn't have shared power with Steve J. Hell would freeze over first. Imagine the conference room discussions!

    Steve: Check this out! Its stunning! It looks great, it works great. Its fast and reliable and it does something nobody else can figure out how to make money with.

    Scott: Cool! Lets give it away to piss off microsoft!

    Steve: No no, we can SELL this. We can make money on it.

    Scott: Yeah, but how does that help our primary goal?

    Steve: It does, I just said it would be profitable.

    Scott: So what? It doesn't hurt Microsoft! Forget it. Give it away so nobody else can make money with the same kind of thing. In the long run we'll win because we'll hurt Bill.

    ****** End of merger plan *******

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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