Ever since the Oracle/Sun deal was announced (see my comments here), the rumor mill has been working fulltime on the issue of what Oracle will do with Sun’s Hardware business. Last week, in an interview here, Larry Ellison tried to put rumors of the imminent demise of Sun’s hardware business to rest. The gist of the interview is Oracle is going to embrace Sun’s hardware business with the zeal of a convert.
Unfortunately, the effect of these protestations of undying hardware love were somewhat undermined this week when Sun made the details of it’s courtship of Oracle public (see here for the gory SEC details). Apparently, all Oracle really wanted was part of Sun’s software business and a minority stake in the company, apparently Sun turned that idea down.
Plan B was to go in with an unnamed hardware company (HP according to most sources) with Oracle taking the software and HP getting the hardware business. That plan failed as well, leaving Oracle with two choices, walk away, or buy Sun with its hardware baggage and all, and sort it out later.
Apparently buying the entire company was preferable to walking away. Subsequently, on the road to Santa Clara to finalize the deal, Larry had a religious experience and became a born again hardware geek.
Of course, you cynics out there might be thinking that Oracle had to say nice things about the hardware business, at least for now. The last thing they want is to confirm a Sun customer’s worst nightmare and SPARC a mass exodus.
Posted by: Nik Simpson