Mr. Softy Warms Up to Sun

Though they were once bitter rivals, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) is partnering with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: JAVA  ) in search. And you thought an Obama administration signaled change? Wow.

Other titles I considered for this article:

  • New study finds cats and mice cohabitating in increasing numbers.
  • KFC embraces open source movement, posts "original recipe" to the Web.
  • NASA scientists reverse Galileo, find that Sun really does orbit Earth.
  • Bill O'Reilly leaves Fox News to join MSNBC as senior political analyst.

I mean, if Microsoft and Sun can partner, anything's possible, right? Rewind to 2004 with me. That's when Microsoft spent roughly $2 billion to settle a long standing legal dispute over Mr. Softy's alleged co-opting of the Java platform for its own purposes. "Embrace and extend," as former chairman Bill Gates used to call the strategy.

This time, Microsoft will pay not for misdeeds but for access. Sun will promote a Microsoft toolbar for Internet Explorer to U.S. netizens who download Java software, according to an Associated Press report. Built-in gadgets will make searching via the Live.com engine easier and expose users to more MSN content.

Think of it as a land grab in Microsoft's battle to stop the bleeding in its tussle with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) and former finace Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) over search market share.

And it comes at an interesting time: Sun had a similar deal with Google, which is expiring, AP confirmed. Microsoft, meanwhile, saw its search share slip in August. Google, IAC's (Nasdaq: IACI  ) Ask Network, and Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX  ) AOL gained.

Change is in the air, Fool. But is this change you can believe in? Sure, if you believe that rearranging furniture somehow creates a new living room. Or if rearranging the deck chairs would have spared the Titanic.

Good luck, Mr. Softy. You still need it.

Get your clicks with related Foolishness:

Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. Google is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Try either of these market-beating services free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had stock and options positions in Google at the time of publication. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy shines over Wall Street.

Stock news, financial commentary, and your daily dose of Foolishness: Get plugged in to The Motley Fool on Twitter!


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2008, at 3:24 PM, madmilker wrote:

    does tat mean Bill will help Warren get his money back out of GS after the Democratic leaders in the U.S. House get through confiscating 401(k)s, IRAs.....some change....indeed...it's all most like serving your country with 100 hours of community work against your will...only in America. Jobs for sheep herders will be a dime a dozen.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 772954, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 12/19/2014 10:09:19 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement