Skip to main content

Speculations for 2010, Part 1: Oracle and Sun

Posted by editor on December 23, 2009 at 8:37 AM PST

At this time of year, with so many of the world's cultures celebrating holidays, winding down their daily work schedules, it's natural to think about the past year, try to gain a little more perspective on what actually happened and its import, then look forward to the coming year...

As 2009 comes to a close, for me there are some events and trends that stand out, that I believe will affect what happens in 2010, along with situations that came about in 2009 that will reach some kind of resolution in 2010.

In the latter category, of course, Oracle's acquisition of Sun is a primary example. The way things have played out, with the EU's decisions to delay approval of the acquisition, the global economy's slow recovery, the U.S. economy's even slower recovery (no recovery thus far if Federal spending is subtracted from the equation) -- by the time the acquisition goes through in 2010 (if indeed that happens), Oracle will be acquiring a vastly different Sun Microsystems from the one it bid on in April 2009.

For this reason, that the acquisition will actually happen cannot be considered a certainty. Acquisition deals have fallen apart in the past when post-announcement events drastically change the value of the company that is to be acquired. Has Sun's actual value drastically changed since April?

Sun Microsystems (JAVA) stock value over past year (from

Here's the Sun Microsystems (JAVA) stock chart for the past year (from If you're a stock market hobbyist, you'll recognize what the wobbles and dips in the mid October through early December mean: this was investors dumping Sun stock out of fear that the acquisition deal will collapse. The sudden rise back to near the agreed on purchase price reflects the recent news that the EU will indeed ultimately approve the acquisition.

What would happen to the value of Sun's stock if the acquistion deal collapsed? How much has the actual value of Sun changed since the acquisition by Oracle was announced? There's no easy way to measure this, because Sun's stock price since April is dominated by the assumption that the acquisition will ultimately happen.

I think we have to assume that the deal will indeed happen. But, the delays have changed a lot. Uncertainty over what Sun will be under Oracle has driven customers who need to make decisions about new hardware purchases to other vendors.

Decisions to upgrade a data center or create a new one are necessarily long-term decisions. I may buy an HP or Dell or Systemax computer for my home office one year, and add one of the others year or two later. But when you build / reconstruct a data center, you're making a very long-term commitment to a technology. Once someone switches to IBM, they cannot easily come back to Sun, even 5-10 years later, because once the switch is made, you then invest enormous human resources in attaining expertise in working with theAt this time of year, with so many of the world's cultures celebrating holidays, winding down their daily work schedules, it's natural to think about the past year, try to gain a little more perspective on what actually happened and its import, then look forward to the coming year new hardware. You hire people who are expert working with your new systems, etc. Six months or a year into your new data center, you can't say "Oh, OK, so Sun really will be viable after all. I guess we'll just toss out all these IBM machines, and lay off all these IBM experts, and go back to Sun!"

In my view, the EU-induced delays have destroyed enormous amounts of Sun's value. Destroying a company's value destroys jobs -- that is, there is a human toll for the EU's actions. And for what benefit?

Yes, I think the Oracle/Sun deal will go through in 2010. But on the day when the acquisition is finalized, it will look very different from the way it looked on the day when the acquisition was announced. The economics and business aspects will be worlds apart from what they were initially.

Anyway, these are some of my opening thoughts and speculations as 2009 comes to a close and we look ahead to 2010. Feel free to comment and/or disagree.

Much more to come!

In Java Today, Toni Eppel provides Quick Tip 46: Download the NetBeans Platform Refcard!

Hurray! The NetBeans Platform has its own Refcard. It's full of very useful tips. You can get it here: ...

Frank Sommers reports Groovy 1.7 Released:

Following two beta releases and the same number of release candidates, Groovy 1.7 reached its final release this week. Over the last several years, a veritable ecosystem has built up around the Groovy language, such as the Grails framework, the Griffon UI framework, several build tools, as well as specialized libraries, such as the parallel computing library Gpars. Almost all of Groovy 1.7's new features came about because of growing practical experience with the language and its various frameworks...

Mitch Pronschinske announces CometD 1.0 Released, Work Begins on 2.0:

Any application that receives server-side events such as online games, stock information, sport results, content sharing, etc. can use the CometD project libraries to greatly simplify development. CometD is an HTTP event routing bus for AJAX web applications. Using Comet, an AJAX Push technology pattern, CometD facilitates multi channel messaging between client and server, and vice versa. The bus implements the publish/subscribe asynchronous paradigm of the Bayeux protocol in JavaScript, Java, Perl, Python and other languages. The Dojo Foundation houses the CometD project...

In today's Weblogs, Terrence Barr notes published restored:

After the attack last week now has been restored and should be (mostly) functional, including the Java Mobile & Embedded Community. Please note that recently added content may still be missing and needs to be reposted...

John Ferguson Smart provides Bootcamps and TDD Training in 2010 - a sneak preview:

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to give everyone a heads-up about some of the Wakaleo training sessions already lined up for 2010. The next big training dates are in Europe - in collaboration with Skills Matter, I will be running the Java Power Tools Bootcamp in London (February 15-19) and Paris (February 22-27), and then in Wellington in March (March 22-26). I'm also lining up sessions for Syndey, Canberra, Melbourne, and other sites to be announced soon. This is a great workshop that covers the whole build lifecycle, including managing the build process with Maven, automated testing, automated code quality tools and all the way to Continuous Integration and automated deployment and releases using Nexus and Hudson. The course is very popular with students, and is continually being updated to keep tabs on the latest evolutions in build tools...

Evan Summers posted Swing Event Pump Redux:

Having blogged this hack some years ago (Event Pump DTs), today i actually used it. The idea is to execute a long running task in the background, while blocking our app, seemingly on the EDT, while waiting for the task to complete. The hack involves using a zero-sized dialog. In this case, the EDT is not blocked from handling other events in the queue eg. as a response to user actions in the meantime, eg. repainting and whatever...

In the Forums, violetfairy posted MediaPlayer: Problems with setting of volume and mute properties: "Hi, sorry for my bad English... I'm Italian... I'm trying to set the properties volume and mute of a MediaPlayer instance but if I set volume:0 or mute: true and..."

ayang is working with JAX-WS wsgen and returning collections: "I've been playing around with JAX-WS and have come across something odd when running wsgen. If I have a service class that does something like: @WebService public class Foo { public ArrayList..."

mcneillk notes V3 of J3DWorkbench available on sourceforge: "J3DWorkbench, a powerful tool for building and delivering complex Java 3D scenes was released on Many aspects of the runtime API and the tool..."

Our current Spotlight is Ed Ort's three part article series, Introducing the Java EE 6 Platform: "Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) is the industry-standard platform for building enterprise-class applications coded in the Java programming language. Based on the solid foundation of Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), Java EE adds libraries and system services that support the scalability, accessibility, security, integrity, and other requirements of enterprise-class applications..."

Our current Poll asks "Do you plan to upgrade to NetBeans IDE 6.8?" Voting will run through Thursday or Friday (depending on where you live).

We have a new Feature Article, my recent Interview with Java Champion Adam Bien: Java EE 8, Closures, and More. We're also featuring Jeff Friesen's Learn about JavaFX's APIs for Reading RSS and Atom Newsfeeds, which introduces you to the RSS and Atom APIs in JavaFX 1.2.

The latest Java Mobility Podcast is Java Mobile Podcast 92: MIDP 3.0 in Depth: Tutorials and Demonstrations: Excerpts from the JavaOne 2009 MIDP 3.0 In Depth: Tutorials and Demonstrations session with Roger Riggs, Lakshmi Dontamsetti and Stan Kao.

Current and upcoming Java Events:

Registered users can submit event listings for the Events Page using our events submission form. All submissions go through an editorial review before being posted to the site.

Archives and Subscriptions: This blog is delivered weekdays as the Java Today RSS feed. Also, once this page is no longer featured as the front page of it will be archived along with other past issues in the Archive.

-- Kevin Farnham

O'Reilly Media

JAVA_stock_chart_20091223.jpg11.59 KB