A bit of a surprise this one, but Oracle has agreed to purchase Sun Microsystems.
This is a huge scoop for Oracle, and they’ve pinched it from under the noses of IBM (after IBM’s buyout was rejected earlier in the month). It is however an interesting move as a lot of Sun’s assets are open source anyway (Java, Solaris, OpenOffice, MySQL) so I can only assume that it’s control over the direction of these technologies that Oracle is interested in.
The Java case is easy to see. Java has become the keystone to Oracle’s middleware solution, and this positions Oracle perfectly as ‘the Java company’.
MySQL is a low-end competitor to Oracle’s Database, but it has a large and growing client-base that Oracle could pitch their database to as an ‘upgrade’.
Solaris is a little harder to understand. A lot of clients use Oracle’s database on Solaris, but then Oracle has been travelling down a different route more recently by pushing its own ‘Unbreakable Linux’ distribution – although to be truthful, I’ve not heard anyone actually using this yet.
It seems as though this may be another large step to offering every part of the ‘stack’, from hardware, through OS, database, middleware, web server, application, development platform, development language etc. According to Larry:
“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.”
Sun also has its fingers in other pies too. It has a strong hardware division, but Oracle has recently started forays into that arena also. It also has NetBeans, which is interesting as Oracle provide jDeveloper as their IDE and is part of the Eclipse foundation so there might be an interesting choice to make there. However, I don’t think we’ll be seeing an Oracle badged version of Sun’s OpenOffice any time soon though …