Monday, April 20, 2009

Oracle buying Sun

Stunning news today that Oracle has offered to buy Sun Microsystems. This is sending the MySQL community reeling, as they begin their MySQL Conference & Expo today. Everyone's talking about whether this change is good for MySQL.

My first thought is: it's not over till it's over. These deals have a way of falling through at the last minute. Just look at Microsoft's attempts to acquire Yahoo!. I'm not saying that it will fall through in this case. Just don't count it as a done deal until the agreements are signed, and the shareholders and the SEC have their say.

My second thought is: it depends on how well the two companies can integrate. In any acquisition, there's a merger not only of assets but of goals, strategies, and corporate culture. Not to mention people. People matter.

I worked for InterBase during part of the 1990's. InterBase was an RDBMS that was acquired by Borland in 1991, as part of their acquisition of Ashton-Tate. Borland was very interested in Ashton-Tate for its dBase product, but Borland also got InterBase in the deal (InterBase had been acquired only a couple of months before AT's merger with Borland). InterBase wasn't in Borland's strategy and it wasn't what they valued as part of the acquisition. As a result, it was an unwanted step-child for over ten years (despite having a revenue matching Borland C++Builder).

What does this tell us about Oracle's plans for MySQL? Nothing for certain. My point is that it depends on what Oracle values as part of the acquisition. Is it Java? Is it the line of enterprise hardware? Is it XFS or OpenSolaris or NetBeans or Glassfish? Any of these are likely candidates. But MySQL does not jump to the head of the list as the likeliest "jewel in the crown" that motivated Oracle to make this offer.

2 comments:

gareth_bowles said...

I'm sure there will be some antitrust questions. On the bright side, though, Oracle appears to be doing a reasonable job of maintaining Berkeley DB.

thevoice@voicedup.com said...

A survey conducted by Citigroup amongst major institutional investors provided the following insight on todays markets:
The favored sector is Tech and this sector has held the top position over the last 12 months. Growth stocks are also a hot item of late, the market sees the economy in a more positive view for the second half of the year and this should bode well for growth stocks. An additional upside of 6% is expected from current market levels to the end of the year. The majority of this optimism is due to the market rally since March, investors believe the market has bottomed. Regardless of the expected drop (approximately 20%) in earnings this year, a common consensus is the rebound in 2010 will be in the double digits. I’m certain Oracle has this information in mind prior to its acquisition.