At the very least I can report that when NeXT was purchased by Apple to crawl out of the engineering morass Apple was in, at least one SUN kernel employee told me they were surprised: they were convinced Apple would choose their operating system kernel to put Copland on since Apple's own efforts were going nowhere. That's the closest any of that was ever reality.
None of those rumors ever made sense. IBM buying SUN does.
I can't wait. It's been a while since something huge like computing behemoths colliding happened.