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Sun stock plummets on IBM news; Microsoft delays Stirling

Headlines: Sun shares fall after IBM deal appears to fail; Microsoft delays security console; other IT channel news.

IT channel news in brief for April 7, 2009

Sun shares fall after IBM deal falls through

Sun Microsystems Inc. shares fell 23% on Monday, after reports that an attempted buyout by IBM had hit the skids. Sun shares closed Monday at $6.56, down from Friday's closing price of $8.49 per share.

The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news of the attempted deal two weeks ago, today reports that Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz, who had pushed for the deal, is now on thin ice at Sun. Company Chairman and co-founder Scott McNealy reportedly led a board faction that fought the notion of an acquisition by IBM, a traditional Sun rival.

Microsoft delays security console

Microsoft pushed out the release of its Stirling security console from the second half of 2009 to the first half of 2010, according to The company will use the time to integrate more third-party software with the product. Microsoft Stirling is the code name for the next wave of Forefront security products announced at TechEd 2007.

Standard blade servers coming, but not from the big boys

The Server Systems Infrastructure (SSI) Forum said Tuesday that standard server blades will be out this year, just not from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM or Sun.

SSI's goal is to foster production of standards-based -- and therefore interchangeable -- server blades and blade components, and it has the backing of some 30 blade makers including Intel Corp. What it lacks is the blessing from the blade leaders like HP, which said the push hinders its ability to add value, according to

Autodesk Assistance Program designed for rough economy

Autodesk Inc. is launching the Autodesk Assistance Program to help its customers and partners stay competitive in the recession.

Users will have free access to some software as well as free online training, discounted classroom training, certification preparation and exams.

"Everyone has been touched by the economic downturn," said Steve Blum, senior vice president, Autodesk Americas sales. "The Autodesk Assistance Program is a fast-tracked way for our customers to improve their productivity and competitiveness during this challenging and volatile time."

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