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Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Updated
Monday, April 20 2009 @ 08:40 AM EDT

Here's the press release. So they own Java and Solaris and MySQL, not to mention all the patents Sun pledged to use to defend Red Hat and Ubuntu when Microsoft began patent saber rattling, plus whatever patents Sun had that made Jonathan Schwartz say he had been approached to sue Linux but decided not to:
With business down and customers leaving, we had more than a few choices at our disposal. We were invited by one company to sue the beneficiaries of open source. We declined. We could join another and sue our customers. That seemed suicidal.

So whatever he was talking about now belongs to Oracle.

There was a conference call this morning, at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time. You can listen to a replay at (719) 884-8882, passcode: 923645. "A live audio webcast of the call will be made available at and a replay will be available for seven days after the call ends." [It's here now, but they make you register and you have to use either Windows Media or RealPlayer.]

Also, here's the letter Charles Phillips, President of Oracle, sent to customers and partners about the purchase, the part that will interest you most highlighted by me:

Oracle plans to engineer and deliver an integrated system -- applications to disk -- where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves. Customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability, and security go up.

Oracle's ownership of two key Sun software assets, Java and Solaris, is expected to provide our customers with significant benefit. Java is one of the computer industry's best known brands and most widely deployed technologies. Oracle Fusion Middleware is built on top of Sun's Java language and software. Oracle can now ensure continued innovation and investment in Java technology for the benefit of customers and the Java community.

The Sun Solaris operating system is the leading platform for the Oracle database. With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle can optimize the Oracle database for some of the unique, high-end features of Solaris. Oracle is as committed as ever to Linux and other open platforms, and will continue to support and enhance our strong industry partnerships.

I have some ideas on how this fits in with GNU/Linux, but really, who knows for sure? Only the players, and maybe not even the players, know what happens next. As Tim Bray puts it on Twitter, "It will be entirely safe to ignore all the uninformed prognosticators for the next few weeks. Like it or not, we're in wait-and-see mode."

Update: On the other hand, some details are already emerging that are not so pleasant to read. It seems the major investors were running the show, with members of the board talking to both Oracle and to IBM simultaneously at some point, and according to the account, IBM was surprised by the announcement:

Sun Microsystems Inc's (JAVA.O) largest investor was an invisible hand that guided the high-end computer maker's planned sale to Oracle Corp (ORCL.O), people with knowledge with the matter said on Monday.

Even though Southeastern Asset Management, which owns 22.3 percent of Sun, stands to lose money on its investment, analysts say a sale to Oracle at $9.50 a share is far preferable to waiting for Sun's share price -- which hit a low of $2.59 last November -- to recover on the Nasdaq....

Some members of Sun's board began pursuing talks with Oracle executives after three-and-a-half weeks of exclusive negotiations with IBM broke down, while others kept a discussion with IBM open, one source said.... The two sides signed on the dotted line late Sunday afternoon after drawing deal terms up, the source close to the talks said, adding, "IBM was surprised last night."

Now I have to agree that this doesn't look good. The investment firm was also a major investor in a company called Waste Management, a company involved in some kind of a dustup, and where you'll recall Bert Young worked at one time. One hopes it's a coincidence. Here's an article titled, The Best Mutual Fund Family in America" [PDF] which includes an interview with Mason Hawkins, who explains their philosophy:
Q: What is the investment philosophy of the Partners Fund?

The fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing primarily in a limited number of mid- to large-cap companies that are financially strong, well managed and that sell at market prices that are 60% of our assessment of their business value.

It’s a simple process that gets down to businesses, people and price. If you want to think of it schematically, you would draw three circles. One circle is good business, one is good people and one is good price; we want to be where those three circles intersect....

Q: Looking at your top 10 holdings, some of them are as much as 10% of total assets.

A: When we find one of those rare qualifiers, we’re willing to bet substantially on it. We believe that it is important to have a significant amount of our assets invested so that it makes a difference when the market comes round to properly valuing our firms.

Waste Management is a good example. We made a lot of money in Waste Management the first go around, when there were some questionable accounting and other issues that we thought were temporary and would get solved. Then we had a second bite at the apple when the CEO became very ill and the company was put in disarray. We understood the business well, felt that it had the best assets in the industry and thought that the problems were easily solvable. In that particular case we were willing to put a more significant amount of money into that particular company because of our conviction about the business and ultimately about the management.

If one assumes this is the same company, this would also be the company suing SAP over software. From the latest 10K:
On March 20, 2008, we filed a lawsuit in state court in the Southern District of Texas against SAP AG and SAP America, Inc., alleging fraud and breach of contract. The lawsuit relates to our 2005 software license from SAP for a waste and recycling revenue management system and agreement for SAP to implement the software on a fixed-fee basis. We have alleged that SAP contracted to provide software that would not need to be customized or enhanced and that the software would be fully implemented throughout the Company in 18 months. We are pursuing all legal remedies, including recovery of all payments we have made, costs we have incurred and savings not realized. SAP filed a general denial to the suit. Discovery is ongoing and we have been assigned a trial date of October 2009. We are vigorously pursuing all claims available.

We are still examining all of our alternatives associated with the development and implementation of a revenue management system, some of which may be affected by the ultimate resolution of the lawsuit. As we continue to assess the alternatives available to us, we may determine that the best course of action will be to move forward with another software and abandon the SAP revenue management system. If we decide to abandon the SAP software, the abandonment would result in an impairment charge of between $45 million and $55 million.

They wanted software that wouldn't need to be "customized or enhanced". Sigh. Money they grok. I can't help but wonder how much they understand about software.

Someone is spilling the beans to Reuters, it seems, and here's more about another investor, KKR, which it seems may get its "Sun Mico debt investment back" thanks to the Oracle deal. Details on the Wall Street Journal too:

One winner? KKR. The deal means that the firm’s listed affiliate KKR Private Equity Investors “will get at least $350 million when the deal closes. That is a nice turnaround for the firm, considering that in its year-end results it reported that the investment had decreased in value by $167.4 million,” report our colleagues over at Private Equity Beat.
Do they care where MySQL ends up or OpenOffice, when there is $350 million to be made? Some days I wish the enterprise never discovered FOSS. Here's another detail from the link, Private Equity Beat:
KPE has got to be happy it held onto the notes rather than converting them into stock. Under the original deal, the notes were convertible at $7.21 apiece. But after a one-to-four reverse stock split in November 2007, that conversion price quadrupled to $28.84 per share. Compared with the $9.50-per-share price Oracle is offering, KPE’s investment would be deeply underwater.
On the up side, it seems Microsoft is unhappy:
Neil Charney, general manager of Microsoft's applications platform and developer tools, said "customers should ask themselves if this will add more complexity and cost to their environments at a time when the industry is asking for more clarity and value."
Steve Ballmer says he was surprised by the announcement and needs time to think about all this. Me too. Finally, this report by Eric Savetz on Barron's Online indicates that IBM was not interested in the end and sees the deal as no big change in the market:
Asked on a post-earnings conference call about the news that Oracle (ORCL) is going to acquire Sun Microsystems (JAVA), IBM CFO Mark Loughridge said that he sees no practical change in the competitive landscape as a result of the deal. “Oracle and Sun have been partnering for 2 decades,” he says. “We’ve picked up 14 points of market share to 32 points since 2000. As I look at this - what’s really changed? Nothing. We’ve been competing with with Sun. We know ORCL inside and out.”
And when asked about the failed IBM buyout, he said this:
“I won’t comment on the particulars here,” he said. “We run a very disciplined process. When we run a disciplined process, we get good results.”
I take that to mean they would have bought Sun if they had cared to. Andy Patrizio asks an interesting question:
Overall, this seems a better fit for Sun. The final price is almost exactly that of IBM's price, so why is Sun taking this and not IBM's lucre?
And if you really want to get depressed, read Gavin Clark's analysis in The Register, on the end of a beautiful dream, which ends like this:
Sun liked to brag about how much code it had contributed to open source over the years. Oracle, though, has never made such lofty claims. Instead, it's used open source to advance its business or to try to close down the competition.

Open source will continue at Oracle - along with Java. It could even profit. Just don't expect it to help anybody else, though.

And here's the press release in full:


Oracle to Buy Sun

* Monday April 20, 2009, 7:33 am EDT

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAVA - News) and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL - News) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt.

“We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle’s earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle’s non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,” said Oracle President Safra Catz.

“The acquisition of Sun transforms the IT industry, combining best-in-class enterprise software and mission-critical computing systems,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system – applications to disk – where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves. Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability and security go up.”

There are substantial long-term strategic customer advantages to Oracle owning two key Sun software assets: Java and Solaris. Java is one of the computer industry’s best-known brands and most widely deployed technologies, and it is the most important software Oracle has ever acquired. Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle’s fastest growing business, is built on top of Sun’s Java language and software. Oracle can now ensure continued innovation and investment in Java technology for the benefit of customers and the Java community.

The Sun Solaris operating system is the leading platform for the Oracle database, Oracle’s largest business, and has been for a long time. With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle can optimize the Oracle database for some of the unique, high-end features of Solaris. Oracle is as committed as ever to Linux and other open platforms and will continue to support and enhance our strong industry partnerships. “Oracle and Sun have been industry pioneers and close partners for more than 20 years,” said Sun Chairman Scott McNealy. “This combination is a natural evolution of our relationship and will be an industry-defining event.

“This is a fantastic day for Sun’s customers, developers, partners and employees across the globe, joining forces with the global leader in enterprise software to drive innovation and value across every aspect of the technology marketplace,” said Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s CEO, “From the Java platform touching nearly every business system on earth, powering billions of consumers on mobile handsets and consumer electronics, to the convergence of storage, networking and computing driven by the Solaris operating system and Sun’s SPARC and x64 systems. Together with Oracle, we’ll drive the innovation pipeline to create compelling value to our customer base and the marketplace.”

“Sun is a pioneer in enterprise computing, and this combination recognizes the innovation and customer success the company has achieved. Our largest customers have been asking us to step up to a broader role to reduce complexity, risk and cost by delivering a highly optimized stack based on standards,” said Oracle President Charles Phillips. “This transaction will preserve and enhance investments made by our customers, while we continue to work with our partners to provide customers with choice.”

The Board of Directors of Sun Microsystems has unanimously approved the transaction. It is anticipated to close this summer, subject to Sun stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

There will be a conference call today to discuss the transaction at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time. Investors can listen to the conference call by dialing (719) 234-7870, passcode 923645. A replay will be available for 24 hours after the call ends at (719) 884-8882, passcode: 923645. A live audio webcast of the call will be made available at and a replay will be available for seven days after the call ends.

About Oracle

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL - News) is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, please visit our Web site at

About Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAVA - News) develops the technologies that power the global marketplace. Guided by a singular vision -- "The Network is the Computer" -- Sun drives network participation through shared innovation, community development and open source leadership. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at


Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Updated | 298 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here
Authored by: dobbo on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 08:57 AM EDT

So PJ can find them more easily...

Correction in the title please

[ Reply to This | # ]

[OT] Off Topic Here
Authored by: dobbo on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 08:59 AM EDT

Off topic goes here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

[NP] News Picks
Authored by: dobbo on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 09:01 AM EDT

For discussions of news pick items.

Please change the title of the post so we know which NewsPick you are referring to. Clickies help, too, where possible.

[ Reply to This | # ]

At first glance, seems like a good fit
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 09:11 AM EDT
I hope it works well enough that the new entity doesn't need to resort to the
aforementioned skulduggery to boost the bottom line.

Monopolistic Ignominious Corporation Requiring Office $tandard Only For

[ Reply to This | # ]

btrfs - ZFS - what next ?
Authored by: chris_bloke on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 09:15 AM EDT
I wonder what they will do given the fact that they now own
the filesystem they were developing btrfs to rival ?

Be nice to see them get the NetApp suit out of the way in a
GPL compliant way and then relicense Solaris and ZFS under
the GPL...

Not sure if that's likely though.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More info on the Oracle site
Authored by: chris_bloke on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 09:27 AM EDT
There is more information on the Oracle website about this
deal here - -
including a little presentation and a FAQ that mentions
MySQL - - which they
intend to carry on supplying.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 09:34 AM EDT
very bad
what idiot at sun htinks this is friendly to whom exactly.
TO MAKING money ?

thats it mysql = dropped for all purposes
oracle = DRM filed , linux stealer

[ Reply to This | # ]

Probably good news
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 09:49 AM EDT

Oracle has been a competitor of Microsoft for a long time, uses Linux internally, and ships Oracle on Linux.

Their flagship product - their database - has about the best reputation in the business for performance and reliability. And packages like Oracle Financials (layered on Oracle the DBMS) face no real competition.

Oracle's bosses are smart enough to realize that if the "only" platform is Microsoft Windows, then Microsoft can choose to ensure that its own products run better than any others on Windows. In the spirit of "The job's not done 'til Lotus won't run", Microsoft could make "Oracle has to run slower than MS SQL Server" a requirement for Windows 2010.

But if customers have a real choice - Linux servers - tricks like that could rebound.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Could be worse...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 10:09 AM EDT
mySQL + java + OpenSolaris... It would make them a good fit for a HW
manufacturer like, oh idunno, IBM...
Keeps it in the open camp for now, and that can't be all bad


[ Reply to This | # ]

MySQL is safe but PostgreSQL might not be
Authored by: TiddlyPom on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 10:43 AM EDT
As has been said, MySQL is GPL licensed (thank you Richard Stallman) but
PostgreSQL is BSD licensed and not so protected. They cannot kill MySQL (as it
can be forked and there is not a think Oracle can do about that) but PostgreSQL
can be killed off a bit more easily.

As has also been said, the standard version of MySQL does not really compete
with Oracle at all but the enterprise edition does. I wonder if Oracle will try
and kill the enterprise edition of MySQL.

Having multiple database products has not bothered IBM (who own both DB2 and
Informix) and will probably not affect either Oracle or the open source
databases in question.

There is another big open source database - Ingres 2006 - but this badly needs
proper stored procedure support (to return result sets from a stored procedure
call) and user functions to compete with PostgreSQL, MySQL and all the others.

As with the open source community, Oracle's biggest competitor is Microsoft (and
SQL Server) so having a range of products from enterprise (Oracle Database) to
mid-range (PostgreSQL) to small (MySQL) will probably be a good fit for a
database company. Now that they have Solaris, this will undoubtedly be their
preferred platform and I would expect them to drop "Unbreakable
Linux". The utter, utter crying shame is that Sun did not adopt GPL 3 as
the Solaris license before they were taken over.

If Oracle were to attack the open source community they would be attacking their
biggest followers - not a good strategy for anybody to have. On the other hand I
would expect Oracle to NOT allow Linux to have ZFS as this is one advantage that
Oracle can crow about.

I think that these key open source assets would have been safer with IBM but
perhaps Oracle owning them might not be as bad as I first had feared.

Microsoft Software is expensive, bloated, bug-ridden and unnecessary.
Use Open Source Software instead.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 10:43 AM EDT
1. What happens to MySQL now?
2. On face of it, Oracle is not a M$ friendly company. So, a enemy's enemy is a

Too bad that the reason they would be friencly to FOSS for a negative reason,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle owning mysql
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 10:53 AM EDT
I don't think Oracle should be "allowed" to own mysql (which Sun
acquired beginning of 2008)

Here's a graph giving some idea about the database market


Is there a way to stop this acquisition??

[ Reply to This | # ]

On that patent thing
Authored by: LaurenceTux on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 11:40 AM EDT
It would help things if the Oracle guy would go on paper and say something like

" and as far as the patents that Sun pledged to Open Source what we have
decided to do is simple
1 He said it before and Im saying it now we won't use those patents against Open
2 Im adding this list of patents that Oracle has to the list

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle owns more than 50% of the database market
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 11:54 AM EDT
Oracle now owns MySQL and more than 50% of the database market. MySQL is the
only database engine gaining market share.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle have always supported Open Source
Authored by: emacsuser on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 12:03 PM EDT
Didn't Oracle always supported Open Source. Didn't they strip off all the copyright notices from Red Hat and started directly selling support certificates. Being serious for a moment, I don't thing Larry really gets the Open Source ethic. You take out and you give something back.

'Oracle execs said they can and will strip out Red Hat trademarked and copyrighted material and offer enterprise Linux on their own'

"If an open source product gets good enough, we’ll simply take it", Larry Ellison CEO Oracle Corporation

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 01:41 PM EDT
Let the best IT developers pick their paths and win.

Next few years is going to be very interesting in IT.

Oracle can shoot themselves in the foot if they get greedy.

IBM can emerge a winner if it can push ahead and take some risks.

Sure would be nice if IBM would reduce its high entry cost and lockin. *BSD on
IBM "mini-mainframes" would be nice, a small cottage industry,
especially now that SUN is in Oracle hands, GRR. Too idealistic of a dream?

[ Reply to This | # ]

An adapted poem from 2006 : McNealymandias
Authored by: NZheretic on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 03:13 PM EDT
Originally in response to Jonathan Schwartz claim that Scott McNealy Created Millions of Jobs, the maybe prophetic : Mc Nealymandias
In Sun's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows: -
"I am great MCNEALYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The CEO of CEOs; this mighty Company shows
"The wonders of my hand." - The Company's gone, -
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Cybertron.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Oracle and Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 04:50 PM EDT
A crumb of hope.

Oracle provided a port to Linux years ago.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Oracle and ZFS
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 05:13 PM EDT
Oracle and ZFS. Huge scarry possibilities.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't Let Sun Go Down On Me
Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 05:25 PM EDT
Hey, everybody!

Here's a question I don't see anyone asking -- whither OpenOffice? I know it
has a different license than the GPL. Is OOo in danger, and if so, can it be
forked like MySQL was?

Dobre utka,
The Blue Sky Ranger
who should have seen this coming but didn't

[ Reply to This | # ]

I guesss this means Netapp v. Sun isn't seen as an obstacle
Authored by: dio gratia on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 05:28 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 05:40 PM EDT
Sun was (hoping) to put ZFS under a GPL-able license once upon a time. I wonder
what will happen to that?

Things should be... interesting. I think the article is right that none of us
really have a good idea how this will play out right now.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • ZFS - Authored by: xtifr on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 06:18 PM EDT
Making sense of the purchase
Authored by: dio gratia on Monday, April 20 2009 @ 06:52 PM EDT
There are lots of articles and blogs already trying to make sense of the purchase. One of the things Sun has been doing is tying all their products and technologies together in a thin client and server effort aimed at the enterprise. It includes their virtualization technology and the ability to run Windows and Windows apps.

I have this image of Larry Ellison causing massive heartburn for Steve Ballmer trying to kick Microsoft out of those fortune 1500 companies being slow to adopt Vista. The marketing sounds like an economic stretch, though, unless Sun has already line enough customers up.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Institutional Investors
Authored by: bezz on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 12:01 AM EDT
It does not surprise me that institutional investors pushed Sun into a deal because of the stock performance. Institutional investors hold big blocks of voting stock and can leverage that to influence management. Southeastern Asset Management holds 22.3% of Sun and that is a HUGE block of votes. It is little surprise Sun management had to pay attention to an investor with such a large voting stake and had lost a lot of money on the company's performance.

KKR is a very interesting find. Basically, KKR took a high-risk stake in Sun by buying $700 million of debt that is low on the bankruptcy payout line; a note is (oversimplified description) a "bond" that has not been rated by an independent bond rating agency. It is very common to have a senior note or preferred stock "conver tible" upon a change of control at par value. KKR had a vested interest in seeing Sun sold because they had written down the value of a bad investment and can recover it if Sun were bought out. However, they had no voting rights (which belong to stockholders) and I doubt they were able to influence management a whole lot.

As far as Bert Young's ties to Waste Management and Southeastern Asset Management's investment in WMI, I strongly doubt that had anything to do with this deal. I spent 11 years in the environmental industry in the 1980's and 1990's and Waste Management was a legendary mess. Essentially, they were trying to corner the market on landfills and spent huge amounts of money to do so. Unfortunately for them (competition being what it is), lower cost competing landfills came on line by the mid 1990's and the tipping fees declined precipitously. WMI management turned over repetitively in the late 1990's. I was out of the business by that time and no longer care to follow WMI and its clueless management. Most of the clueless from the Bert Young period are long gone. I have no idea what the SAP deliverables were supposed to be and can't comment on the validity of the scrap between them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 01:30 AM EDT
What's the big deal?

mysql is gpl so it can fork..
openoffice is also being developed by IBM and their version looks better.
Java is been opened up to the point where suns's input isn't that big a deal

We can do without sun if we have to.. about the worse thing that can happen is
if Oracle drop their RHEL clone and swap to free solaris x86... again no big
deal really.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Larry Ellison (63 no less) talks about Linux
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 01:43 AM EDT
A youthful Larry Ellison (63 no less) talks about Linux in 2007. To me, he looks enthusiastic about the idea of Linux.

To me, he also sounded enthusiastic when he heard an Arabian prince was building a yacht which would make his own the 2nd largest in the world, and, promptly ordered an even larger.

PJ wrote: "On the up side, it seems Microsoft is unhappy". LOL! I can imagine Larry liking that too. For the good of Linux, I also hope Larry Ellison is really happy and that open source is doing him good. Angry eccentric billionaires are hard as rock, and do not have hard wired behavior; think flying chairs.

I can imagine Oracle buying RedHat too. If for no other reason that Larry wants to gain acceptance among hard-core open source evangelists. He may have the impression that the Canonical owner is overtly praised. Larry Ellison is a very hard person to predict and I really don't think earning money is the only thing driving him.

But, then, Microsoft is perhaps not the only target. IBM might be too! From Wikipedia:
Ellison was inspired by the paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database systems called "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks." He founded Oracle in 1977, putting up a mere $2000 of his own money, under the name Software Development Laboratories (SDL). In 1979, the company was renamed Relational Software Inc., later renamed Oracle after the flagship product Oracle database.

He had heard about the IBM System R database, also based on Codd's theories, and wanted Oracle to be compatible with it, but IBM made this impossible by System R's code. The initial release of Oracle was Oracle 2; there was no Oracle 1. The release number was intended to imply that all of the bugs had been worked out of an earlier version.

So, he is a geek after all! Which sounds good to me. And, he also has first hand experience and understanding of the effects of refusing to share code! That might be good. Only future will tell.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Greed is good
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 02:23 AM EDT
Major investors should be running the show. Greed is good. It has a purpose.
Companies and investors, big and small should be greedy. It is the basis of
making gains. For an investment company to get a 350 million dollar pay off for
an investment is a good thing. For the other major investors in Sun to get a
good portion of their investment back is a good thing. For the investors and the
companies Sun and Oracle making a profit is the number one objective. The future
of open source projects is none of their concern. Sun made investments into open
source because it believed it could make a profit. It was not done nor should it
be done for the sake of the open source projects it invests in. It is up to
Oracle now to decide if it thinks it can make a profit by investing in these
open source projects.

Oracle is unable to kill these projects any more than Microsoft can. Even if
Oracle is motivated to eliminate the competition of Mysql and PostgreSQL, it is
unable to do so by killing these projects. The GPL and in PosgreSQL’s case the
BSD license means the code is still free. It can never be taken away from the
rest of the world. What the open source advocates cannot be happy with is that
it is unlikely that additional resources will be invested in these projects by
Sun's successor.

We consumers of open source projects are also driven by greed. We want the
products that we use for as little of a price that we can pay for them. Large
numbers of people use open source because it is free of licensing costs. It is
free as in beer.

Some of us use open source because it is free as in speech. As an old programmer
I dislike being at the mercy of closed source tools. A product may have a bug
that never gets fixed because I as a customer am not that important. I choose to
use Gcc and Python extensively because if there is a bug I have the power to fix
it. I am also assured that the product will never be taken away from me.

Greed is good. What is not good is the crushing of others rights in the pursuit
of material things. This is what should outrage us. If the day should come that
greed itself is deemed as a pariah then our children are doomed. My fear is that
that day is almost here.

Note: This is a 1am rant after a long draining day. I would have registered as
to not post anonymously but registering on Groklaw is not functioning at the
time of this post.

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Good Deal for ---- Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 10:07 AM EDT
Looks like a good deal for Oracle. Not so good for Open Source. However with
so many open source pieces now under Sun Control, and with so many Sun employees
familiar with the open source community, perhaps Oracle can be convinced to take
a more active part in contributing back to the open source community.

The alternative is forking, and that doesn't play well for being able to depend
on a standard product.

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I think they won't reassign OO.o developers
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 11:34 AM EDT
Mainly because Oracle people hate Microsoft with a passion and would love to do
anything to cause Microsoft pain. Their attitude (one of the few commendable
attitudes that Oracle employees have) appears to come right from the top - i.e.
they drink the Kool-Aid that flows down the management chain from the ultimate
source - Larry Ellison.

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Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Updated
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, April 22 2009 @ 07:34 AM EDT
This was from an article at the MySQL Conference.

"Karen also invited Dr DBA [7], Ken Jacobs [8] from Oracle, to come up on stage and talk about the longtime collaboration between Oracle and MySQL. I've gotten to know Ken over the years and he is a straight shooter and kept his word on keeping InnoDB [9]open and evolving. Ken highlighted several additional performance enhancements coming from Oracle and the open source community that will make their way into MySQL 5.4 in the coming weeks and months." 2

This sounds good. The lets see what actually happens.

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Oracle Buys Sun: It's Official - Updated
Authored by: ewe2 on Wednesday, April 22 2009 @ 03:13 PM EDT

I am troubled by this from Gavin Clark:

Solaris is important to Oracle, too. More copies of Oracle's database run on Solaris than on any another operating system - a fact chief executive Larry Ellison helpfully pointed out on Monday. Ellison talked of tuning its database to Solaris, which will help keep Oracle in major accounts such as telcos, service providers, and banks and financial services that might otherwise have been flirting with Linux and its database or - worse - Linux and MySQL and Postgres.

Given, as Gavin says, that Oracle will compare its existing inventory to the new acquisitions, it may well kill off its Linux support for Oracle and wedge its customers against that OS. It makes sense because the competition is Linux+MySQL; by owning the other pieces, Oracle can indirectly do Microsoft's work for them. Unless Oracle has a problem with that, as it well may.

There is the certainty that Java will become tied to Oracle API's, again indirectly doing Microsofts work for them, unless the open-source community acts to prevent this.

The challenges are clear for open-source: make a better Java, make a better MySQL and avoid competing with Solaris. Otherwise Oracle will be making the decisions, whatever IBM says.

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SAP & Waste Management
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 24 2009 @ 04:59 PM EDT
About the Waste Management suit - SAP likes to draw a distinction between
"configuring" their software and "customizing" it. If you
just adjust the variables and workflows, SAP can do most business operations
(maybe not the way you do it now, but they can get it done). That's
"configuring". If you actually write some new code that goes beyond
what SAP wrote, that's "enhancing". And if you modify code that SAP
wrote, that's "customized".

Each step along that trail costs more and more to maintain, particularly when
you upgrade SAP to the next version. "Configured" installations
generally upgrade with (relatively) little cost or effort. "Enhanced"
stuff might break, but you can adjust the messaging interfaces and generally
come off OK. "Customized" stuff generally has to be re-customized
from the new SAP code, and that's very very expensive.

So if SAP promised a "Configured" installation and wound up doing that
other stuff, Waste Management has a point. Then they'd be accusing SAP of
"writing themselves a cadillac" as they used to say of programmers
that got paid by the number of bugs they'd fix.

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