[FoRK] Apple should buy Sun

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon Mar 23 10:12:19 PDT 2009

IBM is more likely because of the deep investment into Java and similar 
server tech, however I think it would be more interesting for Apple to 
suddenly get serious server chops.  Solaris is annoying now.  Just try 
to figure out which packages to install to get something done.  Every 
time I've tried OpenSolaris, it wouldn't boot on my hardware (standard 
quad core Intel).  If they're not going to go to Linux, OS X is the next 
best flavor to layer on the Solaris base.

And Apple should have plans to go wide with OS X, i.e. on other people's 
hardware.  People are just about ripe to switch in droves.  Apple is 
able to sell slightly better but much more expensive hardware simply 
because people are avoiding Windows.  I'm all for Linux, however for 
desktop use, OS X is close enough, has key apps, and is nice enough that 
I have to recommend it for non-techies over Linux for serious 
application use for now.

If I were planning a break-out plan at Apple, I'd get OS X's API / GUI / 
services running on a stock Linux kernel / distribution, Ubuntu for 
instance.  That takes care of nearly all driver issues, install, etc.  
Just install it as a big package, and support OS X apps directly.  
They'd be able to charge pretty good prices for long enough to rake in 
some Microsoft-sized piles of assets.  I'm sure they're loathe to 
cannibalize their hardware sales, which might whither a bit with 

On the other hand, if they wait too long, Linux will grow to emulate OS 
X enough to run the same apps and have at least as good a GUI.


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