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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Now this is an interesting story “How Apple Dodged a Sun Buyout”

Now this is an interesting story “How Apple Dodged a Sun Buyout”

At a Churchill Club dinner, former Sun executives Scott McNealy and Ed Zander discuss why the company didn't buy Apple in 1996, the real beginnings of cloud computing and why Linux should never have SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Would there be iPhones, iPads and iPods on the market today if Sun Microsystems had been able to close a deal to buy out Apple in the mid-1990s?

No, says former Sun CEO Scott McNealy. "If we had bought Apple, there wouldn't have been iPods or iPads ... I'd have screwed that up," McNealy conceded
"Back in late 1995 early '96, when we were at our peak, we were literally hours away from buying Apple for about $5 to $6 a share,” said Zander, who had built Sun’s software business into a powerhouse and was rewarded with promotion to president by his mentor, McNealy.

“Honest to gosh, I was at an analysts' meeting in San Diego on a Tuesday morning and was getting ready to announce that we were going to buy Apple. I don't know what we were going to do with it, but we were going to buy it. (Apple) had no CEO at the time, Steve (Jobs) wasn't there, but we didn't get it. Why didn't we buy it?"

"We wanted to do it," McNealy said. "There was an investment banker on the Apple side, an absolute disaster, and he basically blocked it. He put so many terms into the deal that we couldn't afford to go do it."

Sun Microsystem was ahead of the curve in other areas. For example, McNealy says Sun can take credit for developing the concept and fundamental elements of cloud computing.

"We invented all the elements of cloud computing at Sun. Remember, our tagline was 'The network is the computer.' We came up with TCP/IP, the first NFS (network file system), and Java. All those things are the basis for cloud computing today and they all still work really well."

McNealy was also responsible for open source development: "We invented open source at Sun, taking the first open source operating system (Sun co-founder Bill Joy's BSD Unix) out of Berkeley. We open-sourced TCP/IP, Java—a long list of really important IT building blocks. Other companies, like Red Hat, might have monetized it better."

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