The King of crud is writing again (still):
Basically the NYT article states that the desperate Apple is crawling out of the grave just long enough to seek someone to merge with.
My take is that while parts of the story may be true (though it sounds unlikely) you should never take such "News" from Markoff, given his record and this article unsubstantiated hearsay. So far there has been no conformation or other sources.
More likely what happened is that Apple was seeking some partners in defense in case Ellison tries to make a play for Apple. So a more logical spin on the story would be that Apple is more looking for an ally and partner *IF* Ellison makes a bid, or is looking for someone to buy a large piece of Apple to protect against such a hostile take-over.
On a side note one should look at the reliability of the author of the article to judge the likelihood of what was said. The article was written by John Markoff! Warning bells should go off! The same idiot who has made claims like -
Also note that Markoff is in trouble for other unethical writing behaviors. He is being criticized by other writers for becoming a participant in stories he was ostensibly covering, and possibly taking part in illegal wiretaps during the events described in his book - "Takedown".
Wednesday afternoon an Apple spokesman declined to comment on whether the company was looking for a suitor.
Duh! Apple has a corporate policy of not discussing any merger plans and not commenting on such rumors - for logical and LEGAL reasons. It can be a crime if they do! This is about as enlightening as me writing "Markoff denies rumors that he is moron!".
Apple, however, has a long and tangled history of failed merger negotiations with other companies ranging from IBM to AT&T Corp.
Huh? How many independent companies do you know that have never had a merger / take-over rumor? Obviously those mergers didn't go through or they would no longer be independent companies. So the negative words like "failed" are just Markoffisms -- ways for him to attack others to make up for an inadequate penis size or something. I imagine Freud would have fun with his writing.
One executive who does business with Apple said that he had been told by Apple employees that the computer maker was again in talks with Sun Microsystems Inc., the Mountain View, Calif., workstation maker that came close to acquiring Apple last year.
Ah, the meat of the article. The whole article is written on this. READ CAREFULLY. Markoffs story is based on someone from a company that does business with Apple, heard a rumor from someone that works at Apple (but is not an executive, but an "employee") that Apple may be TALKING with Sun. Stop the presses! 3rd hand hearsay. It is amazing that an article could be written on such innuendo. Tabloids require more support than this for an article to go to print! It seems NYT has no such standards.
Sun executives declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.
Rhapsody, however, has not yet won the backing of any major software developers, and Ellison has told associates that he believes that the existing Macintosh operating system is "the franchise."
Garbage. Rhapsody has won support of quite a few major developers -- but they are not going to say anything until Apple gives them something to go on. Most are waiting and not going to telegraph their development plans. But many have said it was a good move, and that they support Apple and the Mac (including Rhapsody). Ellison says some stupid things, and if he said that System 7 is "the franchise" and meant "of the future", then this is one of them.
That has fueled speculation that in addition to an idea for a low-cost Macintosh, Ellison might be considering selling off Apple's hardware businesses to one of its clone competitors and creating a business that is more closely modeled on Microsoft's software-only strategy.
More insights into Markoff's style. One comment, taken out of context, and that has fueled speculation for this kind of conclusion? I don't think Ellison is that foolish -- he says weird things, but he is often sensible in action. This is what happens when you take too many drugs in your youth -- you end up making leaps like, "Ellison says 'X'... and I think he meant 'Y'... so 'Z' must be true... and so Ellison will sell off the part of Apple generating $7 Billion+/year in revenues, on the hopes that the part that is making less than $1 Billion will grow really quickly".
By the way... MS has been trying to make Hardware for years. Including Mice, Keyboards, and other devices. They are just not that good at it.
I think a merger with Sun would be a "win" for both companies and is a great idea. They compliment each other well. So I am hoping that this is the case. (See News:Sun-Apple Merger for my ideas on why). However, that does not change the facts that we should not trust Markoff, and that my Grandmother seems to have more insights into the computer industry than he does. (For the record, my Grandmother does not own a Computer, and has no interests in the industry. But is a wonderful person).
I got the inspiration for this article from MDJ http://www.gcsf.com (which used to stand for Mac Daily Journal -- but now stands alone). I recommend you subscribe to it if you like to keep up with the Daily Mac Happeneings. To quote their News Snippet -
Whichever way you look at it, Markoff's past coverage of Apple shows a marked tendency to emphasize the negative, ignore the positive, run with outrageous stories on the flimsiest of evidence and miss the mark by wide margins. Apple may be seeking an investment partner, but Markoff's word on such admittedly shaky sourcing is good enough reason to ignore this story - and the hundreds of others you'll see today that are based on nothing more than his muckraking. Wait for more evidence.