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06.10.2005

Google & Sun - "Much Ado About Nothing"

Focus.jpgDie von Google und Sun Microsystems gestern angekündigte Allianz hat für viel Gesprächs- oder zumindest Schreibstoff gesorgt. Google News listet über 100 deutschsprachige Artikel zum Thema auf. "Sun und Google mit vereinten Kräften", "Allianz gegen Microsoft", Google und Sun verbünden sich" - so und ähnlich lauten die meisten Headlines. Eine andere Sichtweise vermittelt "Sun, Google Deal Much Ado About Nothing" von Forbes. Ein kleiner Auszug:

But analysts say a closer look at the Sun/Google alliance shows that competitive concerns with Microsoft are overblown. Moreover, the companies provided only a vague idea of what they're doing now and how specifically they might collaborate in the future.
(Bildquelle: Focus Online)

Forbes.com

Sun, Google Deal Much Ado About Nothing
Lisa DiCarlo, 10.05.05, 12:40 PM ET

Now that the dust has settled on Sun Microsystems' "collaboration" with marquee customer du jour Google, the verdict is in. Investors got all worked up over nothing.

The broad consensus is that the deal announced between Sun (nasdaq: SUNW - news - people ) and Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) will have little or no impact on Sun in the near- or mid-term, and little impact on Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ). Further, many Wall Street analysts agree that the long-term financial benefit to Sun from the software collaboration is questionable.

Sun shares began trading up Monday when the company announced that it and Google would make a joint announcement on Tuesday. By that day, Microsoft shares were being affected, driven down by speculation that Google would distribute Sun's suite of software, called OpenOffice, in an affront to Microsoft. By the end of the day, Microsoft lost $5.6 billion in market value, according to Pacific Crest Securities.

But analysts say a closer look at the Sun/Google alliance shows that competitive concerns with Microsoft are overblown. Moreover, the companies provided only a vague idea of what they're doing now and how specifically they might collaborate in the future.

"Rather than going after Microsoft Office, the two companies announced a relatively modest agreement to co-promote technologies like [Sun's] Java and the Google Toolbar," wrote Drew Brosseau of SG Cowen & Co. He points out that "Google announced no actual commitment to [Sun's] OpenOffice, other than to consider promoting it."

Standard and Poor's Equity Research agreed, saying it believes the "heavily promoted announcement is overblown and does not represent a real definitive product threat to Microsoft's Office."

Brent Bracelin at Pacific Crest Securities believes that the "Google Toolbar promotion raises more questions than answers."

Sun Chief Executive Scott McNealy said yesterday that "there should be a lot of money flowing both ways if we do this right," but neither he nor Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt provided any details about how those dollars might be realized. Merrill Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ) analyst Richard Farmer therefore concluded that the "financial impact is unclear" and that the firm was not updating its revenue model until it had a better handle on the "underlying economies."

Goldman Sachs (nyse: GS - news - people ) analyst Rick Sherlund wrote in a report that the deal was "not as bad as expected from a Microsoft perspective" because Google will merely consider helping distribute OpenOffice but made no commitment to host the software suite. However, Sherlund advised investors to "stay tuned" because "Google seems destined to cross paths more directly with Microsoft down the road."

Some analysts suggested that the dip in Microsoft shares gives investors a buying opportunity. Microsoft closed yesterday at $24.98, down from $25.50 on Monday, and was trading at $24.87 in late-morning activity today.

Sun shares closed at $4.20 yesterday, a level not seen since March of this year. Today the pop continued, with shares at $4.32. Still, potential investors might want to consider whether the deal that caused the increase is built on bedrock or quicksand.

Verfasst von Hans Fischer um 06.10.05 09:14

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