Sun Buyout

There have been some big rumors about IBM buying Sun Microsystems. This has resulted in Sun’s stock rocketing up 80%. Officially IBM and Sun are in talks. Word on the street is that IBM is talking about a $10 per share buyout of Sun. Since Sun is the inventor of the Java Programming Language, I wonder what effects this transaction might have on the world of Java.

IBM already owns the mainframe computer business. Obtaining Sun would give it a majority of the UNIX server market. That is what most people are focusing on. This is being described as a merger of two hardware companies.

Java has already been released as open source. However Sun keeps a watchful eye over the technology. For example, there are still some issues of Sun licensing Java for other implementations of the Java environment.

Sun provides the Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK). It verifies whether something is compliant to the Java specification. Currently there seems to be some controversy over Sun’s management of the TCK. With an IBM purchase, these reins may be loosened.

These are two large companies. So it might take a long time for a merger to complete and actually have an effect on anything. Still I wonder what kind of world it would be like if it turned into IBM Java. It might be time to call up some of my Java developer buddies to gauge their opinion.