Java News from Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sun's fiscal first quarter numbers are in, and they're every bit as bad as expected. For the quarter that ended Sept. 28, Sun booked a net loss of $1.68 billion, or $2.24 a share, compared to a small $89 million profit in the first fiscal quarter of 2008. Revenue was down 7 percent, to $2.99 billion.

With the economy heading into a recession (though not nearly as bad a one as if the other guy had won tonight) and Wall Street imploding (though probably not as badly as if the other guy had won) I'm beginning to think Sun may never recover. Solaris is an also-ran. The hardware is good but not great. Their acquisitions have almost all tanked to varying degrees. (The quarter's losses include a $1.45 billion charge to write down the value of past acquisitions.) Sun still has a bunch of cash, but can't seem to do anything profitable with it. At the current stock price, their market cap isn't that much more than cash on hand, a real bargain for a company that knows what to do with them. Thank God Sun open sourced Java so it doesn't have to go down with the sinking ship. Maybe it's time for Apple to buy Sun, and turn it into their server division. :-)