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SunOracleOpen Source Business ModelsOpen SourceMySQLBEA 16 Jan 2008 7:13 AM
Big Day for Big Changes in the Software Industry by billm

OK, which is the bigger headline?

Oracle Buys BEA Systems for $8.5 Billion

Sun Buys MySQL for $1 Billion

My vote is for "Sun buys MySQL". Why, you ask; this is the smaller of the two deals announced today?

Well, Oracle is buying an old cow it plans to milk while Sun is buying a fast young horse that it plans to ride into the future.

Sure, BEA has some good software, a large stable of customers, and a healthy maintenance revenue annuity. However, BEA's traditional and expensive business model has been under attack from open source disruption. No doubt, Oracle is in a good position to cut costs through consolidation, gain some leverage, and milk the old BEA cow until it dies. A good business move and probably a fair value that sharp pencil accountants can understand.

However, I believe Sun's acquisition of MySQL is the much bigger story. This move is at the core of big changes in the software industry that the open source model is driving; higher rates of innovation, better quality software, lower cost sales and distribution models, better economics for software consumers.

Sun's Jonathon Swartz blog today explains:

We'll be investing in both the community, and the marketplace - to accelerate the industry's phase change away from proprietary technology to the new world of open web platforms.

I posted this congratulatory comment to the blog post at InfoWorld's Open Sources by MySQL's Zack Urlocker:

Congratulations Zack, MySQL, and Sun. This move is one more confirmation that the open source software model is fundamentally changing the software industry. Established players have to change. Sun learned the painful lessons of open source disruption earlier than most as Solaris lost market share to Linux, taking their competitive advantage in hardware with it. Through pain comes change. Sun, as Zach points out, have shown they get it and have worked diligently to adapt their business. Congratulations are in order for all that participate and contribute to the open source community. Bill Miller,

Posted by: Bill Miller at January 16, 2008 06:56 AM

The open source community is on the march driving big changes in the software industry. Sun's $1 Billion investment in buying MySQL is just one more giant step forward. Congrats to the whole community are in order, including our XAware community, for making software better, easier, and more economical.


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