At the same time, Widenius said he wants to work closely with Oracle or a future buyer of MySQL to make sure a free branch is always available to "actively develop in an open manner."
Meanwhile, Oracle is most likely going to continue marketing MySQL, according to other observers.
MySQL "is a leading product in a family of inexpensive DBMSes which take revenue that would otherwise go to Oracle," said Curt Monash, founder of Monash Research. Therefore, it makes more sense for Oracle to have a stake in that business, "rather than hurt a strong player and have others take its place."
Oracle will probably fashion a product family around MySQL "with the easiest possible upward mobility" to its higher-end database, he said.
And Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus suggested in a blog post that Oracle may develop a MySQL-based data warehousing appliance.
By doing so, Oracle "can gain a differentiator that Teradata, IBM, Microsoft, Sybase, and Netezza lack (you have to go to a startup such as Dataupia for multi-DBMS choice on an appliance)," he wrote. "Many information managers prefer to stick with their existing DBMSs when building a DW, and prefer to implement that DW on an appliance to take advantage of its out-of-box balanced configuration of CPU, memory, storage, and I/O."
For its part, Oracle says it plans to "protect, extend and enhance customers' investments after closing."