Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ballmers in the mist


Humans are not that far from apes, Charles Darwin said… so close apes are to humans, that they can even be trained to imitate human behaviour.

We are sure any reader might recall dozens of examples or jokes about this.

It is nice to see, however, that now readers may enjoy one more example… though, honestly, we cannot imagine Steve Jobs carrying Ballmer in his arms as Sigourney Weaver did with her trainee…




In the 17th Century, Sir Isaac Newton laid the foundations of Universal Gravitation in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Tradition tells us that he realized evidence after having been hit by a falling apple (precisely) while he was sitting beneath a tree. The obvious thing, Universal Gravitation, took millennia from mankind to be understood.

Archimedes of Syracuse, sometime in the third Century before Christ, suddenly realized the principles of buoyancy while having a bath. He had been for a long time trying to figure out how to calculate how much pure gold was contained in a crown, without melting it. And suddenly, inspiration hit him, and something evident was fully understood.

Copernicus as well realized the evidence of heliocentric cosmology in the 16th Century… and so we may find dozens of examples of obvious things realized after years or centuries of study.

All these guys would have been awarded Nobel Prizes should these have existed when they were alive.

Today we have discovered a new potential candidate for Nobel Prize awards in the figure of SAP co-CEO McDermott, who offers his company for alliance with HP.

Leaving aside his obvious comments, it’s the reading between the lines that catches our attention, as we see there a certain willingness to achieve that alliance. What certainly means there is some sort of motivation, and some benefit.

Probably still hurt by the not so old trial about Intellectual Property (IP) that ended in the biggest defeat in the industry, according to the result, SAP is still trying to inflict some kind of damage to its arch-enemy Oracle while granting some kind of “protection” for the future.






Léo Apotheker served as CEO for SAP. Today, he still is CEO at HP.

SAP execs have moved to HP since Léo Apotheker, aka Faust 2.0, was hired as CEO at HP:

- Marge Breya, new General Manager for Software and Solutions at HP.

- Martin Homlish, new Chief Marketing Officer at HP.

- Bill Wohl, new Chief Communications Officer at HP.

Oracle owns Sun Microsystems, direct rival of HP.

Oracle is in quarrels both with HP and SAP.

Oracle hurt HP by hiring former HP CEO Mark Hurd after his scandalous exit from HP.

HP recently gave up Oracle’s Siebel CRM to move on to’s CRM.

HP’s tradition to hire top execs from other companies and ending up acquiring, merging or absorbing them. Was not a certain Todd Bradley former CEO at Palm, now the jewel of the crown at HP wth all the WebOS buzz? (by the way… where have the HP pre-Palm smartphones gone?).

Some months ago, when SAP was fighting at court with Oracle, SAP’s market cap was at about $50B, HP was beyond $100B, and HP had plenty of cash to be in an even stronger position to force a take over. Today market caps of both companies are at parity… which may ease a “natural merger”…

We spoke about this, which seemed obvious, even when McDermott’s speech was totally different from what we read these days