Sad, but not unexpected

Story: Sun To Cut 3000 Jobs Total Replies: 5
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Oct 23, 2009
3:17 AM EDT
Oracle will gut Sun. They don't care about Solaris and never intended to go into the hardware business. Making MySQL go away was a big part of the purchase. Some technologies (i.e.: zfs) may be interesting to Oracle as well.

Oct 23, 2009
3:36 AM EDT
Quoting:Making MySQL go away was a big part of the purchase.

I doubt it. Did you read Pamela Jones' latest piece on this? It's pretty insightful:

Oct 23, 2009
1:11 PM EDT
Quoting:I doubt it. Did you read Pamela Jones' latest piece on this? It's pretty insightful: [url=
][/...[/url] Also particular insightful within this piece are PJs revelations concerning Michael 'Monty' Widenius, the creator of open source database MySQL, the founder of the namesake company later acquired by Sun (Monty Program AB), and an advisor in Microsoft's infamous CodePlex Foundation.

An interesting quote by Kirk Wylie concerning Monty and Oracle is in his blogpiece 'Kirk's Rants: Monty, Stallman, MySQL, Oracle, and Sun: Open Letter Wars', :
Quoting:Force Oracle to Sell MySQL This is Monty's solution. And it's cunning. It's particularly cunning that he says repeatedly that the obvious Monty-connected acquirer, Monty Program AB, lacks the funds to do such a purchase. Again, a half-truth.

MySQL was worth $1Bn in early 2008. Since then markets globally have tanked, but MySQL has had some good commercial strength recently within the Sun organization. So let's conservatively say that it's still worth $1Bn. Let's then say that Oracle values the acquisition of Sun highly enough to let MySQL go for less, and do a 20% haircut to $800MM. Who's got that kind of money to acquire?

* Microsoft. You think Stallman and Monty would be happy with that? No. * IBM. #2 in the database market. Erm, raises same issues that Oracle would. * Sybase has the market cap (super-recently) but not the cash. * Red Hat has the market cap, but not the cash. * Novell lacks the market cap and the cash. * Computer Associates has the market cap and the cash, but is the place technology goes to die. They also have Ingres to work with. * VMWare has the market cap and the cash and an acquisitive streak, but would MySQL really fit into their product strategy? I can see Spring driving people to vCloud, but can't even fathom the same kind of strategic benefit for MySQL. * Symantec has the market cap and the cash, but their storage work has been pretty solidly focused on backup and low-level storage these days.

It doesn't look to me like there are that many companies out there that could really buy MySQL in cash and make Stallman and Monty happy.

But you don't actually need to have the cash yourself: you can use private equity money. It's happened before: BEA was funded by private equity originally to consolidate the Tuxedo market. That's why Monty's protestations ring hollow: his statement is explicitly "we don't have the money." But I think he could probably come up with it, and if he doesn't, then he needs to work with better financiers.

Finally, let's assume that Oracle really wants the rest of Sun, and considers carefully Monty's open statement that Sun is hemorrhaging $100MM of cash per month. Wouldn't it make sense for Oracle to actually just donate MySQL to pretty much anybody to make the EU issue go away? Oh, and lo and behold, Monty has two of those ready to go: Monty Program AB, and the Open Database Alliance.

To me, the current situation amounts to blackmail: we'll keep blocking your acquisition of Sun until you do what we want.

It seems apparent that MySQL's eventual fate remains up in the air, whether Oracle fully acquires Sun or not.

Basically, straightforward FUD.

One can even conjecture whether other Microsoft-favoring CodePlex advisors will effectively become further involved with the the fate of Oracle's acquisition of Sun, and ultimately with the fate of MySQL.


Oct 23, 2009
7:22 PM EDT
Probably I'm dumb or so, but why isn't SAP mentioned in this list of potential buyers? They do have the market cap, and probably the cash too. Or are they not allowed by 'aunt Neelie'?

Oct 23, 2009
7:43 PM EDT
I've seen SAP up close and personal.

For the sake of all we hold dear in Free Software, NO!

Oct 23, 2009
8:19 PM EDT
My point, which I guess I didn't make clearly enough, was that they layoffs are sad but non unexpected.

I want to digest the Groklaw article more thoroughly before commenting on the rest of it.

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