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back to article Sun stock goes degenerate dwarf

Sun Microsystems' shares took a bath today, slipping nearly 23 per cent after the company surprised investors with its worst financial results in over a year. The market reaction sent Sun stock down to its lowest point in nearly six years. Late Thursday, Sun reported it was back in the red with a net loss of $34m for this year's …

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Unhappy

Unsurprising

The MySql takeover was always a mistake - they stepped outside their core competence and also seem to have successfully annoyed quite a lot of loyal users by moving new features into an "enterprise" ie high cost edition. Look for MySql to stagnate, a "community" branch to be set up, and the original to die quietly because lets face it, its no Oracle and Sun don't have the cash or expertise to turn it into one. They should stick to server hardware - the T and M series kit is most excellent - and Solaris.

AC because I'm a Sun customer and don't want the account manager flaming me at my next meeting. :-)

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Silver badge
Linux

Open Source and @Unsurprising

They spent money to move on the open source market. Seeing as how no one has proven that open source is viable it's a big risk. Sun is a long term player though, it'll be interesting to see how it all works out in a few years.

Dude, if you're worried about a vendor flaming you then it's time to fire his ass and request another account manager. You are the customer and only you have the right to bitch - the vendor gets paid to take your flaming. You've got to control your vendors or they'll screw you harder than Paris Hilton on cocaine.

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Time for Schwarz to go

Sun has struggled for a decade. Time for Schwarz to look at himself and make the obvious conclusions. Shareholders, demand action. I want ROI, simple as that. After a decade for waiting, someone's head's should be at stake. First one should be Schwarz who doesn't even seem to understand financial metrics, just take a look at this analyst presentation. And by the way, java "adoption" evangelism plays to IBM's favor. Any takers -Steve Jobs? If you fancy about enterprise market, shareholders of "java" would welcome a take over bid from you...

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Anonymous Coward

Reduction in Force (RIF) should start at the top

Let's change our Ticker to JAVA

Let's do a 4 for 1 stock reversal

Let's give up on SPARC above 4 chips and just resell Fujitsu

Let's pretend the ROCK chip is nirvana and wont be canceled before 2010.

Hmm....things to cut

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSuLMhTnuMc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUdFqW7vRc0&eurl=http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/

Get serious guys.... revenue and profit = a future and your future is looking like a drooling April fools joke

the internal mails today told us…

- its due to the US economy

- “we” did all we could - “we” are good

- IBIS ( the oracle CRM system which has proved to be the ultimate disaster) had not impact

- Jonathan “I’m disappointed”… so to satisfy my ego I will sack 2500 people

- and we keep having more levels of management between ground floor and ivory tower == ponytail

Why is HP and IBM doing so well?

Mr Mojo Risin

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Anonymous Coward

Should've bought EnterpriseDB

Better P/OSS database; would've been cheaper.

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Silver badge
Alien

The Great Game Play a la CyberIntelAIgent Global Operating Devices ...4Allah2

"You've got to control your vendors or they'll screw you harder than Paris Hilton on cocaine." ... By Solomon Grundy Posted Saturday 3rd May 2008 00:51 GMT

Thanks for that trip, Solomon, I've stored it to Future Memory for AIRainy dDay. :-) ...

which in Magical Mystery Turing Circles can also be played in the Key of Reign and Rein such is the Insatiable Flexibility and Infinite Range of a Needy Lover Feeding Passion.

I fully agree that Sun aint listening and learning, which is what ...."Dude, if you're worried about a vendor flaming you then it's time to fire his ass and request another account manager. You are the customer and only you have the right to bitch - the vendor gets paid to take your flaming." ... says, is it not?

"Sun has struggled for a decade. Time for Schwarz to look at himself and make the obvious conclusions. Shareholders, demand action. I want ROI, simple as that. After a decade for waiting, someone's head's should be at stake." .... By Laura Leneroth Posted Saturday 3rd May 2008 01:25 GMT

Laura, while that may valid, surely it is always the case, and particularly so with Sun, that until someone/a new major customer appears out of the Ether, to present a new policy and course which will require all of Suns Open Source Networking Powers ......... for let us Imagine the likes of a New World Order Program which Seamlessly Takes Over/Makes Over the Existing Establishment Model Club Arrangement ..... will they always be Playing Second Fiddle while Rome burns.

Sun Salvation requires someone with a Humble and Humbling, Master of the Universe Temperament to counter the Ignorant Arrogance of Systems which would Think to have Control through Market Share Dominance rather than Excellence of Service Provided with the Lack of Intelligence in the Former being the Achilles Heel Vulnerability to be XPloited by a Better Beta Intelligence provided to Sun...... for the Problem may not be with the Vendor, who can Provide all manner of Server Facility, but with the Customer who doesn't Provide OverArching UnderGround Vision 4Sun2FlowurPower. And the Simplest and Quickest [as in Immediate] Way to become a Global Leader in a Stagnant/Moribund Market Place, is to Create with AI Global Operating Devices an Alien Environment in which they Seed Control 42 Mentor and Monitor Progress and Dynamic Virtual Growth in ITs Futures and Derivative Markets Plays.

amfM HyperRadioProActivity would allow for such a Virtual Reality ARGonaut Quest as would Create, with AIR&dDs*, a NeuReality Made to Order, to AIDominate through Processing Power Requirement/Fuller Utilisation of Resources, the Chaos of Present Dysfunctional Binary Planning/DNAVision.**

IT Shares it here for Peer Review and Comment.

Have a nice Weekend ...... when Business's take a Breather/Break/Rest but Life goes On with IT being just another ZerodDay to XXXXPlore and XXXXPloit in XSSParadise and a World of your Making and Sharing ......as a Head Game made 4Virtualisation2Reality and/or 4Reality2Virtualise for such is the Nature of Quantum Bits and Byte.

amfM tuning in and turning onto the Sun 4FlowurPower2 ...... Zippy Power of Colossal Command and Cyber Control of Creative Computer and Alien Concepts

*Advanced IntelAIgents Research and dDevelopment

**Dynamically Networked Audacious Virtualisation

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Anonymous Coward

Sun has outdone itself - AGAIN!

When you thought that Sun has nowhere to go but up. And they manage to do it again.

How much money they wasted to buy StorageTek. So, it was either a horrible decision back then. OR the executives failed miserably to make that execute. Either way, the executive suite should take *REAL* responsibility instead of some empty talk of "taking responsibilities". Talk is cheap!

When Mike Lehman returned to Sun, everybody talked how GREAT Mike in managing Wall St. Yeah right.

KKR invested $70 million in Sun to gain a inside seat as a board member just in case there were opportunities to take Sun (whole or part) private. Now that the credit market has dried up, private equity is in the dog-house, maybe KKR should instead shake up the board-room and demand some accountability. Even though $70 million is chum change for KKR, that's still money.

Sun is going down the death spiral. Jonathan and Mike will take Sun further down. Lord have mercy on Sun.

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Happy

Don't fire Schwartz!

Fire Schwartz - are you kidding!?!?! You NEED the Flip Flop King, he is the only one at Sun with enough guts to make the necessary decisions (AKA embarassing 180-degree reversals) now - drop SPARC, push T1/T2 to the embedded market as a router chip, and beg HP and IBM to support Slowaris on Itanium and Power! Face it, Sun's position now is largely due to your own pig-headedness - "Solaris on SPARC and nothing else", blah, blah, blah - you've already had to eat a shedload of humble pie to save some of your bizz - supporting Windows and Linux, selling x86 systems, relying on Dell and IBM for Slowaris x86 sales - a little more humble pie will do you good.

And my Sun salesgrunt already knows better than to annoy me!

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Anonymous Coward

Dual licensing is not pure open source and has very low risk footprint

"Seeing as how no one has proven that open source is viable it's a big risk"

That statement is far too fuzzy to be meaningful. In fact, the statement is simply incorrect.

There are many different business models built around open source. Some are high risk, some even have failed but many are very successful and do not carry any more risk than comparatively successful business models which do not involve open source.

Most people who claim that there is no business case for open source which has proven to be viable typically refer to the Red Hat style business model, which can be paraphrased as "give away the code, make money on support". Although it is understandable that this model is often perceived as a high risk model, it is by no means unproven. There are quite a number of companies which have been successful using this business model and which are profitable. If it wasn't viable, how could they be profitable?!

However, MySQL has never even been using this particular business model in the first place. MySQL is neither purely open source, nor purely proprietary. Instead, the MySQL model is a hybrid model. It uses dual licensing. For non-commercial uses, the software is licensed under an open source license (GPL in this case), whilst any commercial uses require the purchase of a proprietary license. For this reason, contributions to the code base by third parties are only accepted if those third parties assign their rights to MySQL AB (now part of SUN).

As a result, MySQL AB (and thus SUN) hold all rights in the software and they can do whatever they please. They can change the rules at any time at their discretion. They could even abandon the dual licensing scheme and continue with a purely proprietary business model if they so desire. In other words, first and foremost SUN purchased the rights to the MySQL code, they are not bound to keep licensing as it is.

With the Red Hat business model, the perceived risk is that somebody can fork the code and start their own support business competing with the originator. With the MySQL model this risk is virtually non existent because any commercial use requires a commercial license. It should be clear that for this reason alone, the two business models cannot be lumped together when making a statement such as "open source is unproven and high risk".

Furthermore, the dual licensing model has been used especially by hardware vendors with great success. Often, a hardware vendor releases a particular software under an open source license where the software will then in one form or another make the hardware they are selling more attractive. At the same time, the hardware vendor also licenses the software commercially to OEM partners.

A recent example of this is the Asterisk software, a telephony server software which is dual licensed by Digium. Whilst some features of this software can be used without any of Digium's telephony interface cards, it does drive sales of Digium hardware nevertheless. Digium are profitable and whilst their success depends on how competitive their hardware is, they have given themselves a competitive advantage over other vendors simply because the software is optimised to work best with their hardware, not necessarily with that of other vendors.

Before this background, there is a strong argument in favour of SUN Microsystems' purchase of MySQL. SUN could take the further development of MySQL into a direction where the software is optimised for SUN hardware to such a degree that it drives sales of SUN hardware. Alternatively, as a variant, SUN could develop and release MySQL booster hardware. In other words, SUN being first and foremost a hardware vendor has more opportunities to get benefits from the already very successful dual licensing model than a pure software+support company has. The availability of such opportunities further reduces the already low risk footprint of the dual licensing business model.

Taking all this into consideration, one can only conclude that the blanket statement "open source is unproven and high risk" is nothing but rubbish, especially in the context of SUN's purchase of MySQL AB.

Note: I am not actually a friend of dual licensing schemes because they do not usually protect third party contributors' rights, the very thing that led most independent open source developers to participate in open source projects in the first place. However, despite my disliking of this model, I cannot deny that the model has a very low risk footprint for those who use it.

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Unhappy

Fall of the Dollar is masking the real extent of the Sun drama

Mr. Schwartz is basically blaming world economy to mask what he believes to be 'progress in developing nations and economies across the world'.

I dont quite agree with his views: for a company that makes 60% outside of the US one would expect that the impact of the sharply devaluating US$ (compared to key curriencies) would lead to a significant improvement of figures in US$.

Considering the poor results, I would expect Mr. Schwartz to join those Sun employees loosing their jobs as a result of this drama.

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Bla
Pirate

swarts in the red...

>I would expect Mr. Schwartz to join those Sun employees loosing their

> jobs as a result of this drama.

indeed.... after all these years.... its time that the top 20 of management finally confess they are utter crap !

long term Sun employee... and still believing Sun has "it" ... but NOT the current management - they need to leave ( without golden hand.. the only thing they deserve is a doggies brown one)

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Boffin

Astrophysics

And there I was hoping for a science article....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dual licensing is not pure open source and has very low risk footprint

> Instead, the MySQL model is a hybrid model. It uses dual licensing. For

> non-commercial uses, the software is licensed under an open source license (GPL

> in this case), whilst any commercial uses require the purchase of a proprietary

> license.

No, that's not true.

You may still make commercial use of the GPL'ed code - but your derivative must be GPL.

And that's what the licence says - nothing to do with MySQL. Indeed, the GPL specifically prohibits you from adding extra restrictions.

So whilst Sun could drop the GPL version of MySQL, they cannot prevent someone forking it and continuing development under a different project. Same as any GPL code.

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Next SGI?

One for the experts here. Is Sun just following SGI down the path to irrelevance? Both companies prospered when they could dominate a market with specialised hardware and software, but the commodity Intel boxes have pretty much eaten the market. Does Sun have a future in the hardware market?

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Black Helicopters

Sun is on their way to become a $3 stock again

Rumor has it they will change the ticker back to SUNW and do a 4-1 split. People are just too used to Sun being a $3 stock and they are moving it in the direction.

As Forest would say stupid is as stupid does......look at the stock price since the decision to game the name and price.

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Heart

Jonathan Schwartz

Gives his candid assessment: http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/

BTW I love this company, and its products. No, I'm not an investor, merely a new convert. After a decade of only ever knowing Mac OS and Windows, I threw in everything late last year after downloading Solaris. It's cool shit.

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OS Problems

The problems with Open Source will always kill it for anyone but small businesses.

1. Nobody sells open source, praises it, etc. Nobody comes to your door offering you the latest OS products or swag.

2. Support for OS products suck worse than those companies who direct you to India for technical assistance representatives.

3. Perceived to be a security risk; what is patched takes months to get out... if ever

4. Interoperability at the enterprise level; with large systems

5. Less features, bells, whistles

6. Less user friendly & not pretty enough for end users

7. Eventually you give in, and load up some other OS "feature" or "add on"; then all heck breaks loose... btw who do you call then?

You get the point.

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E

The Truth

I'm with amanfromMars. amanfromMars has it down.

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U.S. economy provides (... smoke screen for incompetence...)

Quote from article:

"The U.S. economy presented Sun with significant challenges in the third quarter, masking our progress in developing nations and economies across the world," said Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

Schwartz should have said:

"The U.S. economy conveniently presented Sun with a smoke screen behind which we plan to hide our own incompetence, which has been destroying Sun Microsystems for a a lot longer than the economy has been in a slump."

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MySQL

*Somebody's* head should roll.

Sun paid a billion dollars for MySQL?

I thought everyone knew you could get it free off the internet.

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Boffin

I finally understand the 4 for 1 stock split reversal

It was to ensure they don't get delisted by NASDAQ for going below a dollar.

Being delisted by NASDAQ is the kiss of death for any company.

Just when I think Jonathan is stupid and should be fired I understand his logic.

MrMojoRisin

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