IBM-Sun Deal Dashed

IBM and Sun have reportedly called off talks -- all due to a spat over what happens if the deal stalls or fails. To address these concerns, which were raised by Sun, the deal has now stalled or possibly failed.

If Sun's very survival is at stake, I say take the offered $7 billion. But if Sun is a viable concern, and I think it is, it should stay independent or at least partner with a company without the near-total overlap IBM brings to the table.

Should IBM still buy Sun, or is there a better suitor? Tell me what you think at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Windows Server 2008: A Foundation for Small Business
Microsoft has long had a Windows Server small business-focused server. Apparently, this isn't small enough, as Microsoft now has the Windows Server 2008 Foundation, a server for the tiniest of shops.

This server is very traditional in that it handles print and file sharing. But like any modern hunk of software, it's Internet-friendly, handling Web hosting and remote access.

I've heard good things about Microsoft small business servers. What's your experience? Feedback welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

HP Seeds Cloud Migrations
HP has as broad a portfolio as anyone. And to support cloud services, you need virtualization, security, applications and management tools. HP is putting this kind of technology toward services that support, at least for now, Amazon and Microsoft cloud platforms.

Many are leery of clouds, but when heavyweights like IBM and HP get behind them, the risk greatly decreases. Are you contemplating clouds? If so, why? Or are you a cloud curmudgeon? What are your concerns? All opinions welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Personal note: I'll be travelling to Redmond this week and will hopefully have worthy substitutes for the Wednesday and Friday editions. Treat 'em like you treat me -- with much kindness and regular bashings!

Mailbag: Certification and Coolness, More
Microsoft's been trying to make certifications seem cool again, but not everyone's convinced:

Certs? Cool? Certifications are no longer prestigious (with maybe the exception of the CCIE cert) as they used to be with Novell's CNE and Microsoft's MCSE. "Certifications" and "cool" just aren't whispered in the same breath anymore.
-Kurt

The MCITP: Enterprise Administrator cert(s) were actually very cool. It was far more interesting that the MCSE 2003. The best cert in the series was the application (437) infrastructure cert -- useful as all get out -- and the AD cert was as nasty as one could imagine. I don't know how I got to be a Charter Member on that one! Good breakfast, I guess!
-Rob

Contrary to what Forrester says, Marc thinks Vista is no more a dud than Windows 2000:

Come on! Vista is no more a failure than Windows 2000. Like Windows 2000, Vista was a complete rewrite. Operating systems need to be rewritten periodically or they die a slow death and those new versions are always developed with stability as the primary concern -- NOT performance. Both Windows 2000 and Vista debuted to lukewarm reviews and neither lived up to the hype. Nevertheless, like Windows 2000, Vista has been a "qualified" success.

That said, Windows XP was everything people hoped for with Windows 2000, and it looks like Windows 7 will be everything people hoped for in Vista. Microsoft made a lot of mistakes in marketing Vista but Vista is stable and reliable platform. I know because I have been using it without problems since December 2006.
-Marc

Ron gives a favorable review of Microsoft's latest ad targeting Apple's price tag:

Actually, the ad is pretty funny! She announces she needs a laptop for less than $1K, and the voiceover says, "If you find it, you can keep it." You've got the Apple store part right, but after she goes to another store and buys the HP,it shows someone handing her the $700 back!

Now I want to sign up for the next ad. I could use a free laptop, myself.
-Ron

And on the heels of one reader's April Fools prank, here's one more:

Coke on a laptop? Nice.

My best April Fools joke was done last year. I told a non-business office e-mail list (with nearly 2,000 subscribers) right after lunch that there was a Red Bull promo vehicle in the back parking lot (not visible from any indoor location) giving out free Red Bull. A crowd of 40-plus people was outside looking for it before they realized what they fell for. A few people came to me wanting a free Red Bull, but laughed knowing I got them good.
-Anonymous

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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