Oracle Corp. snapped up computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. for $7.4 billion Monday, pouncing on an opportunity that opened up after rival IBM Corp. abandoned an earlier bid to buy one of Silicon Valley's best known — and most troubled — companies.
The deal will end Sun's 27-year history as Silicon Valley's brash independent and give Oracle ownership of the Java programming language, which runs on more than 1 billion devices around the world. Oracle also will take charge of the Solaris operating system, which already has been a platform for much of Oracle's products.
It's far from Oracle's biggest acquisition during a four-year shopping spree that has cost more than $40 billion, but it may be the boldest.
Oracle, a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based business software maker, will be branching more into storage and computer hardware as it accelerates its attempts to become a one-stop technology shop for more than 300,000 corporate, government and academic customers.
"With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle is now able to make all of the pieces of the technology stack fit together and work well," Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison said during a Monday conference call.
Wow. Here's a contrast: Sun bought for $7.4 billion. SGI for $25 million. The mighty systems companies of the past are all falling. Ellison in charge of Sun...*shudders*