Oracle and Sun: The new IBM?

The even-more-cocky Ellison says he's taking a page from 1960s-era IBM to displace the iconic tech giant by offering a soup-to-nuts juggernaut

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Still, that answer is unlikely to mollify committed opponents of the takeover. Florian Mueller, a longtime writer, developer, and activist in the open source world, held out hope that something, perhaps opposition from Russia, would derail the acquisition at the last minute. It didn't, and he then told me, "MySQL will not disappear, but it will be limited forever, and the only real hope for effective competition in the database market will be Microsoft SQL Server. I have a development project of my own in which I'll likely replace MySQL with SQL Server in the event of the closure of the acquistion."

Screven also noted that OpenOffice, Sun's free alternative to Microsoft Office, will live on as a unit within Oracle, and the annual JavaOne show will remain independent but will be held at the same time and the same place as OpenWorld: mid-September at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

Ellison: He's even cockier now
As befitting a man who has completed some 60 acquisitions in the last six years, beaten back the EU, and humbled powerful rivals such as PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, and BEA, Ellison seemed even cockier than usual.

He gave a rhetorical back of the hand to developers of in-memory databases, VMware, and others, but he saved his most dismissive remarks for the current incarnation of IBM, whose database he ridiculed -- and for those who think Oracle is now too big to succeed. "The idea you can be too big to innovate is just ludicrous," he said.

Ellison, it seems, believes he is too big to fail. We'll see. And we'll see if my hopes that the acquistion will be an overall plus for the IT industry and
Sun's long-suffering employees are well founded.

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This article, "Oracle and Sun: The new IBM?," originally appeared at Follow the latest developments on Oracle and Java at

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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