Sun chief forges ahead as IBM rumors swirl

Sun's CEO skirts IBM acquisition rumours to focus on opportunities in the cloud

In a speech on Wednesday, the CEO of Sun Microsystems ignored the rumors that the company may be sold to IBM, and focused instead on the business opportunities presented by cloud computing and open-source software.

All of the world's Fortune 500 companies are using open-source software at least to some degree, CEO Jonathan Schwartz said in a speech at Infoworld's [Open Source Business Conference] in San Francisco. "The era in which we wonder if open source will matter is now behind us," he said.

The opportunity now, he said, is for companies like Sun to translate the adoption of open-source software into revenue and profit. Cloud computing, he argued, provides a way for Sun to do just that.

Making money from open source is a key issue for Sun. The company is reportedly in talks to be acquired by IBM, in part because it has struggled to grow its business through a strategy based on attracting new customers with free software.

Schwartz argued that the pieces are now falling into place. He outlined a three-part strategy, also described in recent posts on his blog: Attract a wide user base with free software, build innovative products and then link those first two elements. Cloud services will help fulfill the third goal, he said.

"This is a mechanism that lets us scale to the size of our user base, rather than to the size of our salesforce," he said.

"Where's the money?" he asked rhetorically. "Our cloud services will not be free. They'll be available for a fee."

Sun has said it will offer its first cloud services this summer - computing and storage services akin to Amazon's EC2 and S3. It will follow those infrastructure services with "platform" offerings based on its MySQL database, Glassfish middleware and NetBeans developer tools, Schwartz sad.

Users of its OpenOffice application suite will have the option to save files to Sun's cloud storage service, he said. NetBeans developers will be able to save their outputs to its cloud in a similar way, he said.

It was a bullish talk that seemed at odds with the reports of the IBM acquisition - something both companies have declined to comment on. Schwartz was asked about the talks as he left the conference but declined to comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sunIBM

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?