April 20, 2009 / 3:16 PM / 11 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Major events at Sun Microsystems

April 16 (Reuters) - Oracle Corp ORCL.O plans to buy Sun Microsystems Inc JAVA.O for more than $7 billion in its first foray into the computer hardware market, swooping in after Sun’s talks with IBM (IBM.N) fell apart.

The following are some major events in the history of Sun, whose name is derived from the initials of the Stanford University Network:

1982: Sun is founded by Andy Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy, Vinod Khosla and Scott McNealy at Stanford University. Produces its first workstation.

1986: Company goes public at $16 per share, or $1 after adjusting for splits. Trades at a record split-adjusted low of 75 cents on Aug. 1.

1988: Annual revenue hits $1 billion

1989: Sun introduced the SPARCstation 1. It is the first “pizza box” computer, fitting into a 3-by-16-by-16-inch space.

1991: Sun introduces the Solaris 2 Unix-based operating system for business computers.

1992: Sun introduces the SPARCstation 10, the first multiprocessing desktop computer.

1995: Sun debuts Java, a programming language that allows developers to write one set of code that will work on machines running on the Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 and UNIX operating systems.

1996: Sun licenses Java to all major hardware and software manufacturers.

1997-2004: Sun sues Microsoft (MSFT.O) for introducing Windows-only enhancements of Sun’s Java. The dispute goes on for years, until the two sides finally settled in 2004, with Microsoft agreeing to pay Sun nearly $2 billion.

2000-2001: Sun’s shares hit a record high of $258.63 in September 2000 on strong demand for its expensive server computers coveted by Internet startups and large companies alike. Then the dot-com bubble burst and demand plummeted.

2005: Sun pays $4 billion for StorageTek, a maker of tape storage systems for mainframe computers.

2006: Pony-tailed Jonathan Schwartz, who was chief operating officer, is named CEO. Scott McNealy steps down as chief executive but stays on as chairman.

2007: Sun changes its stock trading symbol on Nasdaq to “JAVA” from SUNW, saying the open-source software brand better represents its strategy

2008: Sun buys open-source database maker MySQL for $1 billion as Schwartz looks to expand software offerings, part of a strategy to boost sales by bundling the programs with hardware and services. But the deal and other moves fail to revive Sun’s shares, which hit a 52-week low of $2.60 on Nov. 24.

Nov. 14, 2008: Sun plans to cut 5,000 to 6,000 jobs, or up to 18 percent of its workforce. It aims to save annual costs of $700 million to $800 million.

March 18, 2009: IBM is in talks to buy Sun for between $10 and $11 per share.

April 5, 2009: The talks between IBM and Sun break down after IBM had cut its offer to no more than $9.40 per share, with a deal value of about $7 billion, according to a person familiar with the situation.

April 20, 2009: Sun accepts $9.50 a share from Oracle, marking the latter’s foray into the hardware market.

Source: Sun Microsystems, Reuters News, MSN Encarta

Click on [ID:nN20381533] to see a story related Oracle’s bid for Sun. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Jim Finkle, editing by Derek Caney)

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