As I read this, I suddenly realize that the idea of a Dell-Sun partnership sounded vaguely familiar. Then, I dug through ZDNet's archives and found a column I wrote back in June 2002 that said:
One reason I called Dell was that if Intel and Sun were able to overcome their impasse, perhaps Dell could become Sun's volume partner. After all, Dell's main enterprise competitors--HP and IBM--sell their own Unix flavors in addition to Linux. If a bunch of Solaris customers were considering a switch to the Intel platform, having Dell involved might give them even more comfort. And it would give Dell a serious Unix option.
Then, I concluded with:
Wow. Now wouldn't that stir things up a bit? Intel and Sun make that elusive phone call, patch things up, and let bygones be bygones--and Dell becomes a primary channel for Sun while picking up a version of Unix to compete against HP-UX and IBM AIX. Crazier things have happened.
Of course, the elusive phone call happened, but it wasn't with Intel. It was with AMD. Anyway, that was two years ago when I was the lone voice in the woods. Should I move to Wall Street? Does anybody know what they pay Wall Street analysts who go out on limbs?