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IBM and Sun in Final Stages of Buyout Deal

One of the biggest talking points over the last few weeks has been the IBM buyout of Sun. It looks almost inevitable at this stage as reports are emerging that they are now in the final stages, where IBM would pay $9.55 a share for Sun, which is $1 less per share than Sun has expected. This would leave Sun at a price of about $7 billion. It's a good deal for IBM - in 2002 they were looking at spending $40 billion on Sun.

An interesting part of the story is that Sun wants assurances that IBM won't pull out of the deal, even if it faces regulatory scrutiny with respect to to anti-competition laws.

When we ran the story last month on JavaLobby, we had a very interesting mix of comments. Some were concerned about the future of Netbeans, considering that IBM are the ones behind Eclipse, the other main IDE for Java developers. But, even if Netbeans was canned, it seems that there's a huge number of developers out there willing to keep it going. There were also questions about what would happen to MySQL and GlassFish, when IBM backs WebSphere. One comment that caught my attention was the fact that IBM are more focussed on the commercial side of thing, while Sun has been taking open source quite seriously.

Others took a more positive spin, saying that IBM could spin off JavaSE as an non-profit foundation as they have done with Eclipse.

It seems like we'll find out if the hopes and fears of developers will come true sooner rather than later. Change is no bad thing, and maybe it's time for a bit of a shake-up for developers. I believe the Java community is strong enough that we can make things work, whatever happens as a result of this acquisition.

In other interesting buyout news, it looks like Google are setting their sights on Twitter.
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