Interesting rumors about the Sun/IBM deal
While the fact I'm a member of the NetBeans Dream Team prevents me from revealing some reserved news, I've got some hints from a private contact of mine, in Italy - so I think I can tell you some details without infringing any secrecy commitment.
Since when the WSJ anticipated the first rumors about the Sun/IBM deal, lots of analysts started speculating which would be the most important Sun assets that IBM is interested to buy. While there are no doubts that one of the primary interests is about Java IP, some put the focus on the server line, others on some innovative parts of Solaris (e.g. ZFS) or specific software in Sun's portfolio such as the Identity Server.
My private contact has access to a senior IBM manager, who comes from Italy but has been working in the USA offices for years. The manager allegedly revealed him that the primary IBM interest is indeed NetBeans. Not to shut it down, as some fear, but to make it the primary reference IDE for the Java world - in fact, as NetBeans is getting OSGi compatibility this year, IBM realized that Eclipse now can't stand the competition, as NetBeans is a much superior product.
My contact gave me some other hot detail. The primary site for NetBeans development would stay in Prague, and a specific spin-off company would be created. The (provisionary?) name of the new company would be "Sole" (*), the italian translation of the word "Sun", which would avoid some trademark issues, while preserving a sort of continuity with the current NetBeans owner.
Who knows? As usual, these rumors can't be easily confirmed, so we just wait and see...
(*) Indeed, some assert to have seen the name of the new company printed in some reserved document, and swear it is rather "Sola" - could be a transcription problem due to the bad pronounce of the italian word?