Stories by Jack Gold

Users are the losers as Oracle gobbles Sun

Last Monday, we learned that the Sun might rise again. Oracle has decided to spend approximately US$7.4 billion (NZ$13.3 billion) to buy its longtime Silicon Valley neighbour. A combination of these two stalwarts, both instrumental in the rise of the northern California high-tech power base, would signal a regretful passing of a member of the old guard. But times change and Sun did not change with them (much as Digital, Compaq, SGI, Cray and others before it). The question is, why would Oracle, a company that has been gobbling up companies over the past few years (including Siebel, PeopleSoft and BEA), but with its own set of challenges, want to move into hardware — a commodity, cutthroat business? The answer is it probably doesn't — at least not directly. But this acquisition is attractive to both Oracle and Sun for different reasons, although it may not be so attractive to end-user organisations. Let's look at who gains through this acquisition, to see who the winners and losers might be.

PC set to morph into personal supercomputer

Within the next three to four years, new PC machines will havemorphed into personal supercomputers. This change is set to come with the emergence of multicore CPUs and, perhaps more importantly, the arrival of massively parallel cores in the graphical processing units.