In a twist, giant software maker opens a public cafe in Silicon Valley downtown

Silicon Valley has no shortage of coffee shops where sleep-starved programmers and eager entrepreneurs talk about ideas for launching the next Google or Facebook. Now a giant tech company is opening its own cafe for the same clientele.

German software maker SAP is hoping to draw a walk-in crowd of techies — and perhaps raise its own Silicon Valley profile — by selling high-end coffee with a side of free Wi-Fi and programming advice. It's opening a cafe this week inside a former cinema in downtown Palo Alto, California.

The spot is not far from a slew of tech startups, Stanford University and several venture capital firms that invest in new companies.

Veteran tech analyst Rob Enderle says the cafe might help a staid, older company make new friends.