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back to article Sun's not so cheap trick doesn't work

Sun's share price has fallen so low it is about the same as before last year's reverse stock split. So is Sun turning into another Unisys? In September 2007 Sun proposed a 1:4 reverse stock split (stock consolidation) to its shareholders as its share price headed down to $5, continuing a long fall. The three benefits were said …

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Coat

Sun's pre-split September 20007 share price of $5

That's one hell of a prediction!

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Pirate

For sale....

Realistically, IMHO, if the current economic mess rolls into a full downturn, Sun's sole prospect for survival is a purchase, and Fujitsu looks like the only possible buyer. Might be worth holding onto the shares to see if they pop up a bit on the announcement of a Fujitsu offer, but otherwise the stock is likely to go down further. I expect all the big tech vendors to take a hammering if we go into a recession, I just think Sun is the worst placed of the tier one vendors to survive long enough to take advantage of any future upturn. If Schwatrz does walk then I expect the arrival of an axeman CEO like Michael Capellas to start the garage sale!

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Boffin

It's time to live in the scattered Sun

Sun is on it’s death bed.

1) If three years ago a company had $7.4B of cash on hand, but now its entire market cap has fallen to $3.9B, how much confidence would you have in the management?

2) Would you give yourself an A, B, C, D or F?

Schwartz: I’m not going to give myself a letter grade. The single best grade for my management team’s performance is our share price. It’s gone up. We’re having such a different interaction today with customers and partners. You have to remember two or three years ago it was not a pretty picture. We had a lot of folks who were writing us off or counting us out. No one today is writing us off or counting us out.

- Sounds like Jonathan just gave himself an F

3) Sun does not have it’s “best product line in it’s history” that was when Sun announced the E10K. Today they resell Fujitsu technology at lower profits, they sell the T-class systems to refresh their install base at x86 prices for low profits. They cannot figure out how to capitalize on Java.

4) Jonathan’s days are numbered as the board is already looking at replacements.

5) Cash is never “Cash”. Sun will have to revalue it’s “cash”

6) Rumor has it NASDAQ told Sun they would delist them if they fall below $4. Reverse splits are not a way around the $1 rule

“Waiting for the Sun”

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Unhappy

won't matter

CEO will get golden parachute and bail....workers get the shaft and dumped.

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Go

Unisys

Compared to Unisys, "Sun invents" ( Don't know why HP has the slogan "HP invents", when all they invent is yet another inkjet cartridge...).

Or why is Unisys reselling rebranded Sun X4600 boxes?

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Happy

Solaris is a toy

Sun doesn't understand that UNIX hardware is now commodity, and sold cheaper and higher-performing by Dell, and that Linux (just about any distro) is more fully-featured than Solaris. Which do you think people are going to buy with the economy the way it is?

I remember when Sun unbundled their compiler and a friend said "an OS without a language compiler is a toy" and it's still true.

Worst of all Scott McNealy reminds me of Ken Olsen, and we all know how that went.

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Boffin

Sun does not invent...they buy...and buy poorly

E10K - Cray

T2 - Afra Systems

Solaris - actually from Bell Labs

M-Class - from Fujitsu

Storage - many firms, latest is STK

x86 product line - AMD/Intel

Database - MySQL...wow that was expensive

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Thumb Down

Solaris is not a toy

Why would you view the potential downfall of a company, putting thousands of people out of work, as something to be commented on with glib smugness?

I agree with the criticism leveled at Sun management, they seem to be failing in every observable way, but come on, Solaris a toy? Are you serious? Your comment makes you sound like a CS student regurgitating the drek you've read on the reg.

"Linux (just about any distro) is more fully-featured than Solaris"....I'm willing to wager there are thousands more supported apps on Solaris than any Linux distro. I'll let you look it up. Or what about DTrace, ZFS, Zones? You're still waiting for the Enterprise distros (which are all profit driven corporations just like Sun) to copy them into Linux right? So...

Now the current buzz around Cloud computing. But didn't Sun offer utility like grid computing ages ago at network.com? None of us gave a crap at the time because Sun failed to convince us that we needed it. It's only now the cooler moniker and media hype have got us all giggling like schoolgirls. Say what you like but Sun innovates. They just have no clue how to market or sell their product effectively!

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Paris Hilton

Solaris is indeed not a toy

Where would Linux (and to a certain degree, BSD, too) copy from if Solaris would go away?

Linux would go nowhere.

Paris because even she knows what she talks about - at least sometimes.

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Pirate

RE: AC and Sun invents

"....Or what about DTrace, ZFS, Zones? You're still waiting for the Enterprise distros (which are all profit driven corporations just like Sun) to copy them into Linux right?...."

Let's see - we've already debunked the "ZFS is nirvana for ALL OSs" myth in several Reg comments. Dtrace? <Yawn>. Nice attempt at closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. I'd rather have a better compiler and better programming tools, avoiding the problems so I don't have to turn to a run-time debugger no matter how amazing you think it is. And as for zones, you are kidding, right? Zones is virtualisation - it's been around a lot longer and is a lot better for Linux via products like Xen and VMware. Zones had to be made because only Sun was interested in virtualising Slowaris, nobody else could be bothered.

And as for "Sun invents", what does it invent? HP and IBM (and Dell) have expanded into other areas rather than just datacenter servers. Sun's attempts have been late and poor in nearly all areas, and in a very narrow spread of product ranges. Face it, Schwartz would swap the whole Slowaris server line for HP's print bizz, let alone the other areas HP is in. HP invents new profit by expanding into new product areas, whereas Sun's progits are drying up due to narrow margins on badged products. The only awesome product Sun seems to have invented is the blindfolds to reality that Sunshiners such as yourselves seem to believe is a badge of technical superiority.

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Dead Vulture

@Matt

"I'd rather have a better compiler and better programming tools, avoiding the problems so I don't have to turn to a run-time debugger no matter how amazing you think it is."

You just disqualified yourself. Well, maybe it's time to get your hands dirty instead of only talkin...

"Linux via products like Xen and VMware ones Zoneshad to be made because only Sun was interested in virtualising Slowaris, nobody else could be bothered."

Oh, wait... IBM just started the copiers with introducing workload partitions in AIX6.

You really don't understand virtualisation...There is not one solution for everyp roblem. How much RAM does a Xen or VMWare instance require? With Zones I need only about 30MB, and ressource management is much more finegrained...

"HP and IBM (and Dell) have expanded into other areas rather than just datacenter servers"

You mean that bloatware called HP Openview or IBM Tivoli? I have never seen a environment beeing happy with these monsters. And I've seen a lot...

"Sunshiners such as yourselves seem to believe is a badge of technical superiority."

Maybe you should ask the guys over at Smugmug how the like Solaris.

http://blogs.smugmug.com/don/2008/10/10/success-with-opensolaris-zfs-mysql-in-production/

Come on Matt. We both know that HP hasn't had any inventions since they dumped VMS and True64. And HP/UX is dying a painful dead.

A company without inventions is just becoming a box mover...just er... like Dell. And we all know how well things at Dell are....

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Anonymous Coward

Matt

Ah, good to see Matt back. Does anyone know what Sun did to him? The one good thing about his whinging is that he whines most about something when it looks like a good thing, so he's actually becoming something of a positive indicator :)

Sure, Sun's in a mess, it's gone from being a leader to a follower, and Schwartz has to walk soon. I've already voted my shares for next month's AGM, we can but hope JS won't survive. All the same, Sun aten't dead yet...

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Happy

RE @Matt and other Cowards

RE: @Matt

"....You just disqualified yourself. Well, maybe it's time to get your hands dirty instead of only talkin..." Admittedly, it is years since I had to do any serious coding, but then I work with Windows, Linux and hp-ux, where I can usually find a well-supported and tested off-the-shelf app that does the bizz for me. In the instances where we haven't had an app to hand, it seems to have been a lot quicker job with hp-ux. A simple case study for you - we had to write some management plug-ins to get hp-ux, AIX and Slowaris talking to a management suite some beancounter thought was a better idea than OpenView Operations (which wouldn't have needed the extra plug-ins). The AIX bit took six man-days of coding, hp-ux took four, but the Slowaris couldn't be done in the month available despite direct Sun involvement trying to help our Sunshiners find a solution. In the end the beancounters had to relent and we got OV Ops.

"....With Zones I need only about 30MB, and ressource management is much more finegrained..." With Zones you don't get real isolation of the OS images, which means there is very limited RASS, so no real comparison to either VMware or other UNIX solutions. 30MB for the wrong solution is still the wrong solution. Compare it to a real UNIX solution like WLM and PRM in hp-ux's VSE and you start to see how fundamentally limited, disjointed and difficult to manage the whole Slowaris approach is.

"....Oh, wait... IBM just started the copiers with introducing workload partitions in AIX6...." Cough *mainframes* cough? Ignoring that massive case of prior art, I think you'll find IBM were stung into copying Xen onto AIX to try and meet the hp-ux offerings of hardware partitioning, software partitioning, PRM and WLM which appeared YEARS before Slowaris finally got zones/containers. And that was before hp introduced the VSE suite, which still offfers much better control and management than Sun can dream of. Try again!

"...You mean that bloatware called HP Openview or IBM Tivoli? I have never seen a environment beeing happy with these monsters. And I've seen a lot..." Obviously you missed the fact that OpenView is stil the most common management platform for Slowaris envionements? That even last year Sun presales still had to admit to customers that it was their recommended management colution? Good luck in finding the Sun equivalent, it doesn'y exist. Oh, and as an aside, did you know the core of the Tivoli management tools is based on licensed OpenView code? You may have "seen a lot", but you were wearing the Sunshiner Blindfold (TM) at the time and missed the reality.

"....Maybe you should ask the guys over at Smugmug how the like Solaris....." Lol, the very first lines is "There’s remarkably little information online about using MySQL on ZFS, successfully or not...." - hardly the ringing endorsement for a thriving community or even of Sun documentation for what you Sunshiners keep bleating are Sun's two biggest products! Just searching for Linux and MySQL implentation sites I get over 11,000 hits! And a Sunshiner website is hardly a ringing endorsement, would you care to talk about serious, industry-valued analysis like Gartner Magic Quadrants? Care to shoot yourself in the other foot?

"....Come on Matt. We both know that HP hasn't had any inventions since they dumped VMS and True64. And HP/UX is dying a painful dead...." "We both know"? Well, I obviously know more than you, but then that was obvious before we even got that far in your post. And last time I checked, hp-ux was still taking market share from Slowaris in the datacenter core, and Linux on hp Integrity and ProLiant is eating up Slowaris even faster. Sounds to me like hp have invented a much better way to make money than Sun, as is amply shown by a comparison of their stock values. And as for "inventing", you mention ZFS and Zones as Sun "inventions", but the former is a copy of NetApp's WAFL (even Sun engineers admit this, patent trial or not), and Zones is a late answer to other vendor's virtualisation products. You slag off Dell for making me-too products, but that's exactly what you hold up as examples of Sun greatness! Where's the invention in Sun's me-too products? Niagara is about the only real case of Sun inventing a new product, and that has been such a limited success Sun have been forced to expand their x64 range and take on more Windows and Linux supported options. Your denial of reality is amusing, but only that.

"....A company without inventions is just becoming a box mover...just er... like Dell. And we all know how well things at Dell are...." oops - you've just hit the nail right on the head - Sun is not inventing, it is trailing the competition with poor me-too products. And tech analysts seem to think Dell has a much brighter future than Sun. You see, you may slag off Dell for not "inventing" products that make you and other Sunshiners go "wow", but then Dell make products that actually sell because they meet customers' requirements. Go ask any serious analyst which company he thinks will still be in a better position in three years time and I can guarantee you they will all think Dell will be in a better position than Sun, even if they think Sun will still be around.

All in, your post is just another example of the Sunshine Blindfold (TM).

RE: Matt - "....The one good thing about his whinging is that he whines most about something when it looks like a good thing, so he's actually becoming something of a positive indicator :) ...." Obviously the customers don't share your warped logic, seeing as how Sun's sales are in freefall. And even more obviously the investors don't follow it either, otherwise the Sun stock wouldn't be under threat of being delisted. When are you Sunshiners going to realise people aren't buying Sun out of spite, but because the products just aren't up to the competition, and we're really tired of you Sunshiners bleating that Sun somehow deserves special attention. No matter how great the company history is, today Sun's reputation is junk.

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Stop

@ Solaris is a toy

This ...

"Linux (just about any distro) is more fully-featured than Solaris."

... just shows that you don't know what you are talking about.

All the Linux advocates I know who also end up working with Sun end up hating Linux. I wonder why?

Because most of them end up realizing that Linux (even with the strides it has made) is a toy in comparison to the OS's from the major players (though I suppose one could argue if Sun is a major player anymore).

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Black Helicopters

Blindfold...

"OpenView Operations (which wouldn't have needed the extra plug-ins)"

Oh you mean those plug-ins where I'm sending bug fixes to HP, and then receive my own patches months later as "hey, we solved the problem"? LOL!

The same OVO where the German support once was great, then moved to India, and now is going back to Madrid?

"which means there is very limited RASS, so no real comparison to either VMware or other UNIX solutions."

You mean bloatware like IBM LPARS and VMware. Just ask those guys if they can provide some information about their product's overhead... IBM once had a Redbook out, strange it was pulled...

"IBM were stung into copying Xen onto AIX"

What are you talkin' about?

"hp-ux offerings of hardware partitioning"

You mean Sun Hardware Domains? HP and IBM still aren't able to match these.

"You may have "seen a lot", but you were wearing the Sunshiner Blindfold (TM) at the time and missed the reality."

Go ask anyone who has used Ovo if they liked it. Start with the Windows guys.

"And as for "inventing", you mention ZFS and Zones as Sun "inventions", but the former is a copy of NetApp's WAFL (even Sun engineers admit this, patent trial or not),"

And WAFL is a copy of technology invented before, so what do you want to tell me? All the patents on WAFL will be gone in a couple of months.

"There’s remarkably little information online about using MySQL on ZFS, successfully or not...." - hardly the ringing endorsement for a thriving community or even of Sun documentation for what you Sunshiners keep bleating are Sun's two biggest products!"

I haven't seen other inventing new filesystems lately (HP the least)? Oh, because it's a hard thing to do. But somebody has to do it. Linux and btrfs? See you again in 2012 for the first production release. Others are already using ZFS in production and have only good things to say...

"Niagara is about the only real case of Sun inventing a new product, and that has been such a limited success"

Limited success? I don't know where you live, but I know a couple of large environments that standardises on Niagara (II).

"Go ask any serious analyst which company"

Hey, you're using serious and analyst in one sentence!

It's amusing to read your comments, but it's more amusing to see that you're serious. Take your HP blindfold off.

Hewlett and Packard would turn in their graves, if they knew what HP has become...

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Lou
Dead Vulture

Matt and double speak

Sometimes Matt you show your complete lack of reasoning - ..Quote .. Ignoring that massive case of prior art, I think you'll find IBM were stung into copying Xen onto AIX to try and meet the hp-ux offerings of hardware partitioning, software partitioning, PRM and WLM which appeared YEARS before Slowaris finally got zones/containers.

- what are you saying - That HP invented hard partitions - to quote you - ...." Cough *mainframes* cough?

- In one sentence you start by comparing IBM and HP-rip-UX and then use that to prove a point with regards to Solaris? And very conveniently forgetting about Sun hard Partitions? LOL!

Question - do you HP supporters really believing that HP actually has a future roadmap for HP-UX? If not - one of the prorietary Linux distrubutions - as in RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu - is obviously a much better choice - or Bill's product of course.

Grave stone is for the demise of HP-UX - RIP - it was a great product when HP could still invent ...

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Anonymous Coward

Poor Matt

He's obviously scared of Solaris because he doesn't understand it.

He has no understanding of what Dtrace can do, doesn't know anything about virtualisation.

He's so delusional he thinks PHUX is a current OS.

It's funny and sad at the same time.

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