IBM is reportedly in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems, a deal that would provide IBM with a raft of Web and open-source software technology"and a bunch of computer hardware it may or may not need.
The Wall Street Journal, quoting "people familiar with the matter," reported Wednesday that IBM is in talks to acquire struggling Sun for $6.5 billion in cash. Spokespeople for the two vendors didn't immediately return calls for confirmation.
IBM and Sun have been longtime and sometimes bitter competitors in the market for computer servers and software. In a keynote speech at the 2004 JavaOne trade show, for example, then-Sun CEO Scott McNealy criticized IBM for not releasing enough software to the open-source community, saying IBM suffered from "Java envy."
Acquiring Sun would help IBM accelerate its increasing adoption of open-source technology. IBM is a major proponent of the Linux operating system and has put a number of software technologies, including the Eclipse development framework, into the open-source community. Sun, of course, developed the widely popular Java programming language.
But acquiring Sun would also saddle IBM with another line of computer hardware and storage systems that are incompatible with its own. The Journal article also notes that IBM and Sun have vastly different work cultures.
This morning shares in Sun Microsystems were up nearly 65 percent to $8.20 on the Nasdaq exchange.