Solaris advocates — some of whose comments you can read below a commentary by CNET’s Dave Rosenberg — will argue that Linux permutations cannot match the technological breadth and virtualization capabilities of their favorite operating system.
That may be so, but are any of those people actually controlling enterprise buying decisions? It would appear not.
For business reasons having to do with Sun’s previously precarious corporate status, and now the drawn-out approvals process relating to its acquisition by Oracle, IBM has adduced further data indicating that it Linux servers are displacing Sun’s Solaris in a growing number of customer accounts.
As of June 27, Apple had cash and investments totaling $31.1 billion, up 27 percent from the previous year.
Brian Marshall, an analyst at Broadpoint AmTech, contends that Apple’s cash position is the strongest among all technology companies. Whereas Cisco and Microsoft — at $35 billion and $31.4 billion, respectively — each possesses more cash, both companies have debt that takes them below the net cash position of debt-free Apple, according to Marshall.
So, what will Apple do with its mountain of cash?
If past performance is any guide to future behavior, Apple won’t do anything drastic. What it has been doing — with the iPhone, the iPod family, and its Mac computers — obviously is working quite well, driving revenue growth that remains the envy of the industry.
Unlike Cisco and Microsoft, Apple doesn’t find itself in the urgent position of having to go outside its wheelhouse to find rivers of new revenue.
Moreover, Apple is not known for ostentatious acquisitions. The largest acquisition it ever made was its $400-million purchase of NeXT, whose OpenSTEP provided a foundation for OS X and with which current Apple CEO had more than a fleeting attachment.
So Apple likely will use its cash reserves tactfully and tactically, not making many waves in the process.
I don’t have much to say on the subject because I think Facebook gets far more favorable attention that it deserves, but Marc Andreessen, who sits on the Facebook board of directors, has invested in what I would classify as a likely Facebook spin-in company developing a specialized Facebook browser.