Scary Scenario: Oracle leveraged into dominant OSS position with Sendmail, Apache, Linux, etc.

Posted by tadelste on Feb 15, 2006 8:52 AM EDT; By Tom Adelstein
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Major media and the public seem to have missed one of the biggest plays in the history of Linux and the Open Source Software community with Oracle's purchase of SleepCat software.

Who would have imagined such a strategic move? If Microsoft had thought of this, we'd be starting over from scratch on a new OS. They would own the Internet.

Will Oracle, a proprietary database company, shutdown these major applications, give them to Sun or use them to take control of everyone?

From the reports I'm reading, major media hasn't got it yet. But you should.

Oracle has analysts guessing about Oracle's open source intent since it acquired Innobase OY. And regardless of what SleepyCat says today, their CEO had a different perspective back in November:

SleepyCat CEO Michael Olson said he believes Oracle's takeover of Innobase, the Finnish developer of InnoDB, a discrete open source transactional database technology that ships with MySQL, is an acknowledgement of the growing importance of open source and of MySQL in particular.

"Any attempt to disrupt a competitor is an acknowledgement that the competitor matters," Olson said. "And I think that acquisition was in significant part an attempt to disrupt MySQL's business."

Now Olson seems to be singing a different tune. In his blog he wrote:
"We're joining Oracle because we believe the opportunity in embedded data management is too big for us to handle on our own".

SleepyCat was co-founded by Margo Seltzer in 1996. Selter is the former University of California Berkeley researcher who now teaches at Harvard. SleepyCat lists its headquarters in Lincoln, Massachusetts where and employs 15 people there. Its primary office is in Emeryville, Calif. But that's not as significant as its customers.

SleepyCat claims more than 200 million of its databases are used in products from many of the largest high-tech companies in the world, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) of San Jose, Calif., EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) of Hopkinton, Mass., and Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) of Mountain View, Calif.

It also is a major component of every Linux distributor, all of the BSD products such as FreeBSD, Sendmail, Apache, OpenLDAP, Red Hat's identity server and more.

Larry Ellison says the company is taking a more aggressive approach with open source."We are moving aggressively into open source. "We're embracing it, we're not going to fight this trend. We think if we're clever we can make it work to our advantage."

One has to now wonder what he means by agressive. We should also wonder about the future. It puts a major piece of drama into play. What will happen - only in the fullness of time will we know.

Does anyone remember Steltor? They competed head on with Microsoft Exchange and were bought by Oracle. Where are they now?

» Read more about: Story Type: News Story; Groups: Community, LXer, Microsoft, MySQL, Oracle, Red Hat, Sun

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
the road less traveled... majones 1 1,333 Feb 15, 2006 3:09 PM
If it's done, stick a fork in it. cr 2 1,280 Feb 15, 2006 12:21 PM
No need to panic IGnatiusTFoobar 1 1,302 Feb 15, 2006 12:01 PM
License? crusadingknight 1 1,214 Feb 15, 2006 10:09 AM

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