From the Editors: Nervous about Sun's technologies
By SD Times News Team
May 15, 2009 —
(Page 1 of 2)
Related Search Term(s): Java, Oracle, Sun
As of late April, it appears that Sun Microsystems will be acquired by Oracle. What would this mean?
Oracle is clearly a big winner, as are Sun’s shareholders. Sun owns a great deal of valuable intellectual property, the most visible of which is Java and the Java Community Process. This technology will cement Oracle’s leadership in the application server market, thanks to its control over key industry specifications like the Java language, the enterprise Java EE platform and the very important Java ME platform.
Historically, Sun has been a relatively benign keeper of the Java specifications. Yes, SD Times has complained about Sun’s dominance of the Java Community Process and the Java ME/Java EE licensing terms. Expect Oracle to exercise that control. However, overall, Sun has done a good job.
We are concerned about how Oracle will behave with the ownership of a specification relied upon by competitors like IBM and Red Hat, and a large open-source community, as well as myriad customers.
Oracle does not have a tradition of playing well with others. The company is not known for embracing competitors or for collaborating with them to create markets. Instead, Oracle is known for playing hardball to dominate its markets. When everyone who works at the JCP Program Office has an Oracle business card, we worry that the JCP will turn into an R&D facility for Oracle’s own products.
Another danger point is MySQL. If Oracle keeps MySQL, expect it to be at the bottom of the heap as a lead-in for upgrades to Oracle's big-gun database products. If Oracle decides not to kill or spin off MySQL, that’s going to mean disruption for the community.
On the other hand, customers that pay for Sun's enterprise software may be happy with Oracle’s ownership. Oracle will take good care of them, though naturally there will be some product consolidation and migration. Software customers may like being serviced by a company that's focused on software, not hardware.
However, customers that use open-source or community-supported versions of Sun's software may not fare as well. Oracle is not in the free software business, except when that free software supports its paid software business. Don't expect Oracle to embrace Sun’s open-source business model.