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Microsoft and Sun recently announced their Open Source Project Stonehenge at the JavaOne conference. Stonehenge is a reference implementation that shows how to bridge the two major development platforms Java and .NET using Web Services. This initiative definitely puts the spotlight on heterogeneity and the challenges that come with it. Interoperability on the platform level is just the starting point of bridging the two worlds. It leads to further challenges down the road and several questions that come with it: Who needs interoperability? How does it affect team productivity? Is it all about application stacks? How effective can we diagnose problems? How to calculate TCO 1 + 1 = 2 or 3? Who needs interoperability? There are different use cases where companies need to think about interoperability Integrating different systems implemented on different platforms, e.g.: ... (more)

Gates: Yahoo! "Should Take a Hard Look" at the Microsoft Offer

"We sent them a letter and said we think that's a fair offer," Bill Gates has been telling the Associated Press, referring of course to the February 1 proposal Microsoft made to the Yahoo! board of directors to acquire the company for $44.6BN. Gates made the comments during a conference call to announce free access to Microsoft developer tools for students. "There's nothing that's gone on other than us stating that we think it's a fair offer," Gates continued. They should take a hard look at it." In other Microsoft-Yahoo! news yesterday, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal both made mention of how Yahoo!'s Chinese partner, Alibaba Group, may try to block Microsoft's hostile takeover of Yahoo! The Alibaba Group is 39% owned by Yahoo! and has has "hired advisers to help it negotiate for expanded management independence" if Yahoo! is bought out by Microsoft, says the WSJ. ... (more)

IBM Willing To Pay $6.5BN To Acquire Sun: Wall St. Journal

In a deal that would significantly bolster IBM's position as the world's largest server maker, the Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that IBM is willing to pay $6.5BN in cash to acquire Sun Microsystems. Quoting "people familiar with the matter" Journal reporters Matthew Karnitschnig, William M. Buckley and Justin Check write: "It is unclear whether the negotiations will result in a transaction, but if the deal does go through, IBM is likely to pay at least $6.5 billion in cash to acquire Sun, the people said. That would translate into a premium of about 100% over Sun's closing price Tuesday of $4.97 a share on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Any transaction would strengthen IBM's position against Hewlett-Packard Co., the largest company in the information technology industry. It could be the largest acquisition in IBM's history, surpassing the acquisition of Cogn... (more)

Opinion: The Real Cost of Acquisitions - the Zimbra Story

There are reports that Yahoo has put Zimbra on the block. Honestly, this came as no surprise at all to us at Zoho. I remember scratching my head when the acquisition was made; I didn't see how an enterprise/business focused open source offering like Zimbra fit with Yahoo, as a technology, as a business or strategically. Zimbra is an open source installable product offering primarily intended to be installed within medium to large organizations. Yahoo has never made an installed product in its history and is mainly focused on consumers, with an occasional foray to sell those consumer-focused applications to small businesses. Zimbra's service provider offerings made no strategic sense to Yahoo either, because Yahoo, being a service provider itself, has no interest in selling technology to other service providers like Comcast. Finally, we have been on both sides of the p... (more)

Cloud Computing: IBM Acquires Sterling Commerce

IBM on Friday announced the closing of its acquisition of Sterling Commerce. The company expands IBM's ability to help clients accelerate their interactions with customers, partners and suppliers through dynamic business networks using either on-premise or cloud delivery models. Organizations are looking for ways to create more intelligent networks of business partners, customers and suppliers in order to enhance efficiency and profitability. These interactions are increasing dramatically due to the proliferation of electronic business transactions, from banks exchanging transaction data and manufacturers sourcing raw materials electronically, to retailers automating stock replenishment and managing orders online. Sterling Commerce provides software for cross-channel commerce and integration of customer, partner and supplier networks across a wide range of industri... (more)

eBay Will Acquire Rent.com

eBay, apparently not content being the dominant player in the world of online auctions, said that it has agreed to buy Rent.com for $415 million. Rent.com pays a $100 Reward to renters who find a rental property by using the Rent.com site. Scott Ingraham, CEO of Rent.com said, "We are especially pleased that our customers will have the opportunity to benefit from the power of eBay and its community of users. The Rent.com business model is an excellent fit with eBay, a company we have long admired." The sale is subject to regulatory approval. Rent.com's stockholders must also ratify the agreement. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005.   The Rent.com site is free to use. Revenue is generated from both online advertising, which lists numerous companies that directly or indirectly sell services new residents often use; and it charges property owne... (more)

Web Hosting Provider Incognito Acquires SCPanel.net

Web hosting solutions provider Incognito Networks has announced that it has made an agreement to acquire SCPanel.net, makers of the Shoutcast control panel. "SCPanel.net has done an amazing job producing the most feature-filled and wholly unrivaled Shoutcast control panel in the industry," suggested Elliot Bradshaw of Incognito Networks. "We're looking forward to working with the SCPanel developer team and taking this product to the next level. Watch for some truly remarkable changes with SCPanel in the near future." SCPanel will be integrated with Incognito Networks' technical support and the company will ultimately introduce free SCPanel installations for new and current customers. Incognito will maintain SCPanel developers and continue to release new Shoutcast features. ... (more)

Microsoft Snaps Up Kidaro To Strengthen Its Desktop Virtualization Push

Calling the acquisition 'an important component of our virtualization strategy,' Microsoft has agree to acquire desktop virtualization provider Kidaro. The deal 'delivers a powerful new tool to help enterprise customers optimize their desktops,' said Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows product management at Microsoft, in a statement. "Virtual PCs can help businesses address a number of challenges around application compatibility, mobility and business continuity," Boettcher continued. "Kidaro's seamless user interface and management capabilities allow enterprises to more easily use and manage Virtual PCs. Incorporating Kidaro's innovative solutions into the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack further enables virtualization across the enterprise, and is another example of how we are helping customers keep up with the changing needs of their business." "Virt... (more)

nuBridges Completes Agreement to Acquire Technology Start-Up TradeTrans

nuBridges has announced that it has completed a definitive agreement to acquire TradeTrans, Inc., a provider of real-time business intelligence tools that give visibility into the supply chain. The acquisition is part of nuBridges’ strategic plan to build long-term business equity value by achieving substantial growth and market share, and by establishing itself as the benchmark leader in the industry. nuBridges solutions make it safer and easier for large and medium-sized enterprises to exchange information internally and externally, and to protect that information wherever it rests in the data flow. With the acquisition of TradeTrans, nuBridges now delivers a new level of business intelligence to customers utilizing the nuBridges Exchange Network for electronically trading with their business partners. Today, nuBridges Exchange Network supports over 36,000 tradin... (more)

Sun Stockholders Rubber Stamp Acquisition

Sun's long-suffering stockholders approved the company's sale to Oracle for $9.50 a share Thursday. The deal still needs U.S. and European regulatory sanctions. If, as Oracle's lawyers said to expect, the deal closes by the end of August, it would be quicker than is usual after a second request for information by the Justice Department. The agency is reportedly asking questions about Java. ... (more)

Why Microsoft Should Finally Buy Citrix

DISCLAIMER: This is long and the opinions are mine. I’ve written a good bit here about the various ways Microsoft and Citrix overlap in the hypervisor space, ranging from topics like shared code base through competition for the desktop space. To me, these two players have always been the underdogs battling for the right to go head-to-head against VMware in the main enterprise (and now cloud) virtual data center event. I’ve long said here that I think Microsoft is in the best position to make that move, but to be honest, Citrix currently has better technology. In other words, Microsoft has a better strategic play, Citrix a better tactical play. The announcements that came of out Synergy last week prove that. Citrix knows what it’s doing and they know how to build virtualization products to compete with VMware. As has been asked many times before, here and elsewhere:... (more)