Oracle kicked off a busy week in IT news, announcing plans to buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion. We'd quip that Oracle will put Sun out of its misery, but it's a good guess that the misery for some Sun employees is still to come given Oracle's penchant for big layoffs after big acquisitions. Speaking of misery, Microsoft's revenue was down from a year ago, which had until now been unheard of. The week also brought cloud news, netbook slamming, and changes at MySpace and Facebook, among other things.
1. The downfall of Sun Microsystems, Oracle expected to axe jobs -- perhaps 10,000 -- after Sun deal, and Is Java as we know it doomed?: Far more interesting than the actual terms of Oracle's offer to buy Sun are all of the questions that the deal raises -- what happens to Java? What happens to MySQL? And Sun employees certainly have the biggest questions given that Oracle will undoubtedly trim Sun jobs, with analysts saying that the total could hit 10,000. Then there is the retrospective of what happened to the once high-flying Sun.
[ Slideshow: The rise and fall of Sun Microsystems. ]
2. Microsoft earnings down over last year: So, we know the economy is in the toilet, but even so, it was jarring to hear that Microsoft missed analyst forecasts for its third fiscal quarter and its quarterly revenue dropped for the first time in its history as a public company. Special charges sent net income down, too.
3. VMware vows to overhaul datacenter with 'cloud operating system' and Virtualization is the new mainframe, VMware says: VMware's vSphere was unveiled to corporate fanfare seven months after the company started to create buzz about what it now calls a "cloud operating system." Whatever it calls vSphere, the launch was indeed viewed as a big one for VMware, which aims to keep its leadership status in the virtualization market.
4. Apple dismisses netbook trend and Apple doesn't get netbooks? Too bad: Apple COO Tim Cook trash-talked netbooks during the company's quarterly conference call with financial analysts. "I see cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small screens," he said. But he also sure made it sound as if Apple may be thinking about creating its own kind of product that is something like a netbook, only better in that uniquely Apple sort of way.