Back in the good old days, there was a degree of certainty about the tech sector. Companies like Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report) could partner knowing that one essentially touted networking gear and the other sold servers and software. The Google (GOOG) CEO could even sit on the board of Apple (HPQ - Get Report) with barely a raised eyebrow . Not any more, though.
The recession has been the catalyst for a major tech shake-up, turning long-standing buddies into enemies and prompting acquisitions that would have been greeted with incredulity just a couple of years ago. Whether Cisco's entry into the server market, or Oracle's (ORCL - Get Report) surprise acquisition of Sun Microsystems (JAVA), the tech market is undergoing a rapid transformation. The big question is -- who will be the winners and losers?
"There have been a few big tectonic shifts that have happened," Ron Gruia, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan told TheStreet.com. "When Cisco announced their UCS (Unified Computing System), that was the first one of the big moves that have happened."
With IT budgets tightening and companies becoming ever more global, tech executives are looking to reduce the number of suppliers they deal with. As a result, tech companies are on an M&A and partnership tear.