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Dell Claims To Make Hay with Sun’s Fate Unclear

Dell of course is in a pickle because both IBM and HP are ahead of Dell in servers with Cisco now bringing up the rear

Michael Dell claimed Tuesday that simply the talk of a Sun-IBM tie-up is an "enormous opportunity" for Dell servers since it creates an air of uncertainty around the future of Sun's Solaris-based boxes and accelerates the move to x86 Linux machines.

According to reports Dell's CEO said in Tokyo that "Just the rumor of IBM potentially purchasing Sun creates an enormous opportunity because all of the Sun accounts are very concerned about what will happen to the Solaris platform and Sparc microprocessor."



Dell of course is in a pickle because both IBM and HP are ahead of Dell in servers with Cisco now bringing up the rear.

He also overstates the case on migration since x86 platforms, as powerful as they've become, can't always replace a high-end Sun machine and Dell's focus has been on low- and mid-range x86 servers where it's second to HP.

Of course it's equally true that Sun's servers aren't in demand much these days given the recession and its dependency on the financial sector.

Dell maintained however that his company is "actively working" with large numbers of Sun customers to move them from Sun. Bloomberg said he declined to say whether there was actually an uptick in the companies switching specifically because of the rumor.

Dell, by the way, is supposed to roll out Nehalem-based servers this Thursday ahead of Intel's Nehalem launch on Monday. Dell's EquiLogic storage is also supposed to be enhanced.

As for IBM buying Sun, Bloomberg says we may have to wait until next week to find out if they've really got a deal or whether Sun is simply continue to disappear over the horizon. IBM is supposedly still doing due diligence.

The American Lawyer came up with the idea that the suit NetApp filed against Sun two years ago claiming Solaris and its great and crucial ZFS file system infringed its patents might be impacting the reputed merger talks. The potential liability could be substantial and an out-of-court settlement is deemed unlikely.

Sun of course countersued. Discovery is just winding down and there's no trial date yet.

Meanwhile, it seems that Sun's chief litigator Clayton James is leaving the company for private practice.

Dell also said he expects his PC shipments to be ahead of the industry average this quarter, which for Dell ends in April. He didn't say how much. It may not be hard if the industry's sales are as bad as they're supposed to be.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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