Yes, we all know that Oracle has acquired Sun. Or intends to. They still have to get through a few hurdles, one of which will be the SEC.
My first thought upon hearing the news (delivered by Sarah, running over to the copy machine yelling, “Did you hear?! Oracle just bought Sun!!” causing me to completely jam the automatic paper feeder, and sending me into personal technology dispair for the rest of the day) was, wow, Oracle just bought MySQL!
Then I read Oracle’s press release:
What? No mention of MySQL. At. All.
Back to the SEC. Acquiring Java, Solaris, and the struggling hardware and services bits of Sun are likely a no-brainer. It’s a verticle acquisition and doesn’t smell very anti-competitive; certainly Oracle’s collective purchase of every major enterprise software vendor short of SAP would have raised a few more anti-trust eyebrows.
MySQL is maybe another story. Take a look at any database market share research in the last 5 years and you’ll find Oracle on top with MySQL nowhere to be found. That’s because market share is calculated as a percentage of total industry sales. Enough said.
If MySQL’s own research is to be believed, though (and I’d welcome other stats here,) the open source database leader boasts the largest usage share of all. Period.
24% SQL Server/Access
So, again, if you believe MySQL’s research, by purchasing Sun, Oracle would own 52% of all databases used. Depending on how Oracle chooses to exploit that user base (and they will,) to go from 23% to 52% is a huge advantage. So why not pound the chest a little in the press release?
I think Oracle would like to keep the MySQL acquisition relatively quiet. Certainly Ellison is aware that they are buying MySQL along with the rest of Sun, yes? The only part of the Sun acquisition that could really cause problems might be legitimately defended with, “Hey, look, it’s a bunch of open source software. What’s all the fuss? Sure, we gain some footprint, but it’s free! We gain hardly any market share at all! Quit whining, Ballmer; this is about synergy.”
I’m not a conspiracy guy, but the absence of any reference whatsoever to MySQL in Oracle’s own press release (It represents 13% of the total purchase price!!) is noteworthy. I wonder if Oracle is intentionally downplaying a key part of the deal in hopes of preventing roadblocks. We’ll see.