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Sun Microsystems Businesses Databases Java Programming Software IT

What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems? 237

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister believes Oracle is next in line to make a play for Sun now that IBM has withdrawn its offer. Dismissing server market arguments in favor of Cisco or Dell as suitors, McAllister suggests that MySQL, ZFS, DTrace, and Java make Sun an even better asset to Oracle than to IBM. MySQL as a complement to Oracle's existing database business would make sense, given Oracle's 2005 purchase of Innobase, and with 'the long history of Oracle databases on Solaris servers, it might actually see owning Solaris as an asset,' McAllister writes. But the 'crown jewel' of the deal would be Java. 'It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Java to Oracle. Java has become the backbone of Oracle's middleware strategy,' McAllister contends."
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What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems?

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  • Makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by religious freak ( 1005821 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @02:44PM (#27522305)
    MySQL is the best alternative to Oracle. They could buy mySQL out for a bargain and start putting the screws to all of us that use mySQL to not pay for exorbitant Oracle licenses. Boy... I can't wait.
  • Re:Yahoo! + Sun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:01PM (#27522565) Homepage Journal
    No, I hope you're joking. Sun's bundling Yahoo Toolbar [] with java is bad enough. If Oracle were to buy Sun, it would be in their best interests to stop that immediately unless they don't want to be taken seriously. Choice rant from the link:

    I find it insulting when applications bundle unrelated crapware like browser toolbars, particularly when the installation selects the extra junk by default... upgrades need to be elegant and streamlined. Bundling in a browser toolbar cheapens the whole experience because it starts looking just like so many other crapware applications that plague the PC industry.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:07PM (#27522639)

    . . . if we can get all those Anonymous Cowards and folks with ridiculous names like mine to chip in $10 each.

    The company's direction and strategy could be guided by a Slashdot thread. A potent brew of "Informative, Interesting, Troll . . ."

    Hell, maybe we could even patent that business model . . . crowd governance . . . or mod governance?

  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <{akaimbatman} {at} {}> on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:10PM (#27522673) Homepage Journal

    So what's left of the database market if Oracle and Sun merged together?

    I don't see anything changing. Right now we have a 3-way fight between three heavyweights: Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. Everyone else is unimportant.

    However, IBM and Microsoft have other competencies and sources of revenue. Oracle does not. In result, Oracle has been looking for new ways to enter the low-end market. So owning MySQL could be a boon for them, but it wouldn't significantly change the market.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:16PM (#27522761) Journal
    Yes, I agree completely. However, the only way it will happen is if they become a more customer oriented company. Right now they make amazing things that no one really wants, and try to convince people to buy it. They need to figure out what people actually do want, and build it for them. If they can figure out how to do that and still make amazing things, they will succeed.
  • by lotho brandybuck ( 720697 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:23PM (#27522875) Homepage Journal
    I agree completely.. IBM would've been great.

    Code can fork. Licenses can generate lawsuits and intimidation forever.

  • Have you worked with contractors? It's not about what country they're from -- it's about their contractor status. Of the ones I had, the foreigners were better coders, though poorer communicators. But in all cases, the lack of ownership in the product, of knowledge of the history, business purpose, and architecture of the product, the lack of sense of long-term commitment, of common goal, of responsibility for the outcome (in terms of ongoing maintenance, not just "going live") ... all made my life a lot harder. It's difficult work to get good, solid work out of contractors, and not because they don't mean well. They do. They're great people, sometimes even great coders, but their "wanderer" status has its drawbacks and you have to learn special skills to manage them.

    So the GP is correct to worry about the quality of outsourced code.

  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:28PM (#27522963)
    Show me a developer who doesn't think everybody else's code is crap.
  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:40PM (#27523123)
    I don't know if RedHat has the capital, but if they could swing a deal like that by buying out Sun, they are far better in a position to reap from everything offered. From the OS to the language, that would boost RedHat's abilities in the market place.
  • PostgreSQL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Civil_Disobedient ( 261825 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @03:44PM (#27523217)

    PostgreSQL is still a *huge* player (in fact, they're pretty-much the only open-source, fully-transactional DB available).

    Also, Access isn't MS's DB offering... MS SQLServer is the real player. Access is as much a database as a go-cart is a race car (which is to say, kinda-sorta, but not really).

  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @04:18PM (#27523723)

    I doubt it, why would they bother with MySQL (unless its part of an 'upgrade' path to SQL Server).

    MS already has SQL Server express, and developer edition versions so I'm not sure why they'd want to take MySQL on. I'm sure they're just waiting for Access to die naturally, or only keeping it around for legacy reasons.

    And as for Java, they made J++ so this is 5 years too late for them, they don;t want Java now - they're more interested in converting Java devs to C# (and Windows lock-in, obviously)

  • Re:Yahoo! + Sun (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09, 2009 @04:42PM (#27524045)

    Regardless of what popular folklore may have to say, the reality as explained to me at the time it was happening is that Yahoo! was founded, developed, and intially hosted on hardware borrowed from Sun. Not purchased from Sun. Not rented or leased from Sun, borrowed from Sun. Specifically, customer demo equipment from (IIRC) the Sun office in San Francisco which in turn borrowed additional demo equipment from other offices around California to loan to Yahoo!. There was not a great deal of happiness when Yahoo! finally came into some money and then purchased hardware from (IIRC) HP which hadn't done doodle for them when they were penniless.

  • Re:Makes sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09, 2009 @04:45PM (#27524083)

    Oracle has no interest in Sun. Oracle just launched the Database Machine/Exadata with HP. Does anyone think that they are going to stab HP in the back and buy Sun? Definitely not.

    Oracle is not a hardware company. It doesn't want to be a hardware company. Sun has way too much hardware for Oracle to even consider them.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @05:14PM (#27524499)

    When your share of the market is the 23% that doesn't buy anything, then your share of the market doesn't matter. Sorry, no one buys FOSS because of market share, they buy it because people are stupid and like buzz words. People who use FREE software generally are the people who don't PAY for software, so its of little value to anyone.

    I really wish you people could it into your thick heads, companies don't want something thats free, they want something they can sell.

  • by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @05:15PM (#27524519)

    I agree. Developers today (at least the vocal ones) seem to be a lot more interested in putting down the work of others than improving their own. That's why there are sites like The Daily WTF.

  • Re:Makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nicolas.kassis ( 875270 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @05:27PM (#27524697)
    Oracle has no allegiance but to itself.
  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @07:14PM (#27525879)
    You are absolutely correct. It isn't even always 'bad' that the contractor produces more short term code. I have been a full time contractor to a single company for 10 years now. There is plenty of long term code that I write now for them that I would never have considered writing in the first year I was working for them. Why? Because they had gone through a dozen contractors before me, and much of the long term code I write doesn't get implemented for a couple of years. I have learned the company culture, and can tell what directions the applications will evolve, and thus, I can spend a few extra days writing the parts of the application to be configurable so that when the business requirements (or a person with clout's whim changes) we can just go in and flip a switch to get the new required functionality.

    Burning hours/money to make those options configurable would be irresponsible for someone that doesn't know the company culture, or if it is unlikely that they will be used because the next contractor isn't even going to be aware that it is there. This becomes even more so when you implement half of a feature because you are already making a change to that part of an application suite, and you know that a year or two down the line the functionality will be needed for work you will be doing on another piece of the suite.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09, 2009 @11:48PM (#27527825)

    *Insert any company name here* has no allegiance but to itself.

  • by D-Cypell ( 446534 ) on Friday April 10, 2009 @04:25AM (#27528993)

    Me! Actually most developers I think.

    The reason we think that (almost) everybody else's code is crap is because much of it is. The mistake that we make is to assume it is crap because the original coder was an idiot, when in most cases it is crap because of unrealistic time pressures placed on the developer, or some basic mistake in the foundation that acts like a ball of crap that radiates outwards.

    I have seen quite a few pieces of open source code that I would regard as awesome in terms of code quality (not in a way that is too subjective either, good naming conventions, good structure, good comments etc), these are the projects I contribute to. People pay me to wade through a quagmire of crappy code, when I do it for free, I want to work with the good stuff.

    I suggest that you would be better to say... "Show me a developer who understands *why* everybody else's code is crap"... generally it is not down to idiocy.

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.