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What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ask-the-oracle dept.

Sun Microsystems 237

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister believes Oracle is next in line to make a play for Sun now that IBM has withdrawn its offer. Dismissing server market arguments in favor of Cisco or Dell as suitors, McAllister suggests that MySQL, ZFS, DTrace, and Java make Sun an even better asset to Oracle than to IBM. MySQL as a complement to Oracle's existing database business would make sense, given Oracle's 2005 purchase of Innobase, and with 'the long history of Oracle databases on Solaris servers, it might actually see owning Solaris as an asset,' McAllister writes. But the 'crown jewel' of the deal would be Java. 'It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Java to Oracle. Java has become the backbone of Oracle's middleware strategy,' McAllister contends."

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Yahoo! + Sun (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522299)

I say Yahoo and sun should merge. Just think about it, 1. Yahoo makes some cool cloud offerings, 2.sun builds the cloud. 3. ?????? 4. Profits

Re:Yahoo! + Sun (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522347)

What if I bought them and combined Sun Microsystems and a Taqueria? I could cash out my 401k and borrow a couple of hundred dollars from a friend.

Be more serious: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522569)

What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems?

Well, then 2 poorly managed companies would be together. The employees would fight with each other for dominance.

"... Sun Microsystems and a Taqueria?" You aren't taking this sufficiently seriously. It's spelled Taquería, with an accent mark. There, fixed that.

This is the kind of seriousness we need at times like this: The big news is not Soracle, it is a merger between Microsoft and, well, read the headline. Microsoft acquires the Catholic Church [wap.org] .

It has taken 15 years to arrange the merger, because Satan felt that the connection with the CC might lessen his complete, overwhelming power.

Re:Yahoo! + Sun (5, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522565)

No, I hope you're joking. Sun's bundling Yahoo Toolbar [stuffthathappens.com] with java is bad enough. If Oracle were to buy Sun, it would be in their best interests to stop that immediately unless they don't want to be taken seriously. Choice rant from the link:

I find it insulting when applications bundle unrelated crapware like browser toolbars, particularly when the installation selects the extra junk by default...

...software upgrades need to be elegant and streamlined. Bundling in a browser toolbar cheapens the whole experience because it starts looking just like so many other crapware applications that plague the PC industry.

Re:Yahoo! + Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522629)

Popular folklore says that Yahoo! management hates Sun to the point that it is surprising there is any Java code running inside the company at all.

Makes sense (2, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522305)

MySQL is the best alternative to Oracle. They could buy mySQL out for a bargain and start putting the screws to all of us that use mySQL to not pay for exorbitant Oracle licenses. Boy... I can't wait.

Re:Makes sense (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522327)

MySQL is forking, I don't think it's going to be an issue if it did happen. Oracle does own BerkleyDB and it's still opensource.

Re:Makes sense (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522519)

Do you like fish dicks?

Yes?

Do you like to put fish dicks in your mouth?

Yes?

What are you, a GAY FISH?!

Re:Makes sense (3, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522387)

No it isn't. That's Postgres.

And with the current state of mysql, I wouldn't look at buying Sun for that reason at all. The other assets make far more sense.

Plus, Sun and Oracle have both been major open source supporters, Oracle probably one of the single largest kernel contributor. That would be a good pairing.

Re:Makes sense (4, Interesting)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522951)

I agree. PostgreSQL is much closer to Oracle than MySQL is. Anyone that thinks MySQL is the best replacement for Oracle likely doesn't know much about Oracle.

It seems that sun has done a bit with PostgreSQL as well. Too bad they bought MySQL. They should have instead invested in making PostgreSQL better, at least developing better replication and clustering. That way, PostgreSQL would have been an even stronger alternative to Oracle.

Oracle used to have Solaris/SPARC as their main development platform, then they switched to Linux. That seems to have been a big blow to Sun. While Oracle still releases Oracle for Solaris/Sparc along with Linux, but the Solaris/x86 versions are always slow. I don't 11g has been released for Solaris/x86 yet.

If I was Jonathan Schwartz, I would have rather put the $1bln they spent on MySQL on PostgreSQL. I don't think it would have even really taken that much either. I'm still just baffled over spending $1bln on a company that I think made $50mln in it's best year!?!?!

Anyway... Oracle developers might not have been too happy about moving away from Solaris because they'd lose DTrace [intel.com] .

I thought I heard something about there being some bad blood between Ellison and Sun but I don't know what that was about.

I still think Cisco should be more interested.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523227)

SystemTap or LTTng might very well appear in the Linux mainline this year. And now they also support use of DTrace tracepoints.

Re:Makes sense (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523409)

SystemTap or LTTng might very well appear in the Linux mainline this year. And now they also support use of DTrace tracepoints.

Is that supposed to be a joke? I didn't get much sleep last night so maybe I'm missing the sarcasm.

The blog post I linked too told of the transition in 2002. It's now 2009. That's 7 years and the best you can do is say some half-assed knock-offs might be coming to Linux this year?

Re:Makes sense (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523759)

SystemTap and LTTng are actually more powerful than DTrace (no wonder, they benefited from the experience of DTrace). They're just not yet mainline-ready.

http://ltt.polymtl.ca/?q=node/12 [polymtl.ca]

Re:Makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522833)

MySQL is the best alternative to Oracle.

Not counting PostgreSQL, which is even better.

Re:Makes sense (2, Informative)

Maclir (33773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523299)

"MySQL is the best alternative to Oracle" - that's a pretty bold statement. You don't want to add some context? What about large, high transaction databases - DB/2 would probably be the best alternative to Oracle. What about Postgress? What about SQL Server?

My Thoughts (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522307)

I think the two companies have some excellent synergies*. My biggest concern with Oracle purchasing Sun (as opposed to the other way around) is that there would be a culture clash. Sun is a very dynamic environment that fosters great new ideas. But unless those core competencies bubble up through Oracle, the Sun portion of the company would be strangled to death.

Personally, I've always wanted to see Sun purchase Oracle. But I don't think that's happening at this point.

* Warning: Corporate buzzword!

Re:My Thoughts (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522645)

But unless those core competencies bubble up through Oracle,

What?

the Sun portion of the company would be strangled to death.

On what basis do you believe that?

Personally, I've always wanted to see Sun purchase Oracle. But I don't think that's happening at this point.

Considering that Sun is a drop in the bucket (around 5 billion market cap) compared to Oracle (~100 billion), I think you're right. Oracle's been much bigger than Sun for a very long time. Never mind the fact that Oracle's business model is very different from Sun's. It just wouldn't make sense for a traditional software business like Sun to buy a huge service-oriented business like Oracle.

I'm not sure even when it would have been possible for Sun to acquire Oracle. The late 90s? I don't think they could have afforded it even then.

Re:My Thoughts (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522657)

There are some departments where Oracle has allowed some freedoms to experiement, those that resulted in the rise of Oracle Text, XMLDB, and Jdev Core, OLS and indirectly with sleepycat and toplink--of course they are not flagship sellers in their product line, but ahead of their time back in the early 2000's.

Put Sun in those related groups and you'll see something on order of IBM Alphaworks and some cool results.

Oracle+Sun will make a good F/OSS ally. Oracle's main goal is DB licenses as they truly believe content is king (and needs to be managed). It is a different take from IBM, which used F/OSS to gain service contracts, which they needed to control the standards to force service frameworks on their customers. Oracle in the end, would rather just sell DBs rather than frameworks (though it makes them some good cash too). In the last 4 yrs. Oracle has gone back to core competencies where as IBM expanded their reach. As for H/W, it can offer new interesting business ventures (Oracle linux stack?).

Now the next in line and a great buyer would be Google. If that happens the whole Stanford brain trust will have come full circle and likely signal the end of the Stanford-Valley dominance. Really.

Re:My Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522677)

Sun is a very dynamic environment that fosters great new ideas.

Yeah right. That's why Sun's doing so great.

Re:My Thoughts (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522855)

Sun can't market their way out of a paper bag. And that's just the God's honest truth. There's nothing inherently wrong with the company besides that.

Re:My Thoughts (2, Funny)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523021)

* Warning: Corporate buzzword!

GAAH!! Put the warning (or at least the asterisk) before the word! It's well documented that overexposure to corporate buzzwords causes headaches, confusion, and eventually IQ loss.

Re:My Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523635)

Synergies? What synergies? Oracle is a software company and SUN is a hardware company with an identity crisis. Aside from the purchase of JAVA there is no synergy. Oracle would be getting into an entirely new set of business they are not at all competent with. And, why buy SUN? Just wait for them to go under and then buy JAVA in liquidation...its cheaper.

Re:My Thoughts (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523679)

I think it would be very interesting for Oracle to buy Sun. Here's why:

I'd love to see Oracle create a "black box" database system - you get an install DVD (sold for either SPARC or Intel) and boot your system hardware with it. At install, you indicate what products you want to install, maybe give some license codes, and the DVD automatically installs a database system for you. Want to set up a database that participates in a RAC cluster? There'd be an install option for that. Want to connect to some JBOD or SAN? There'd be an option for that, too. The /etc/system file is pre-tuned, but you get options to provide further tuning (even post-install).

Behind the scenes, the Oracle installer would lay down a hardened, minimal install of [Open]Solaris, and all your storage would be on ZFS. You don't do any "UNIX sysadmin" on this machine because to an administrator, it's just a black box. Think network appliance, or Google-in-a-box.

Sure, you might get an SSH prompt so system DBAs could manually apply patches or do any of the post-install tuning (mentioned above.) But in general, the system downloads patches (operating system, Oracle database, other Oracle software, ..) automatically. You should have an option to have them installed automatically (except for any patches that would require a restart/reboot) or choose to have patches downloaded so you can install them "manually" during scheduled down-time.

A system like this might be very interesting. I had assumed Oracle was going to do something like this a few years ago after they announced their "unbreakable Linux", but nothing really came of it.

What direction will Oracle take Java? (4, Interesting)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522341)

I work at an Oracle shop. Most of my job is writing web apps that obfuscate base Oracle (applications) craziness. On the rare occasion I've had to actually dig into Oracle's Java code I have found my self trying to figure what kind of strange world they are living in. Most of their code seems to not only defy best practices but any semblance of good design.

Maybe its just that the code I've seen has been outsourced stuff that came back in as unclean globs of code but it makes me a little leery to see where Oracle would take Java.

Re:What direction will Oracle take Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522669)

blah blah blah...I'm the best coder in the world....now I'll bash other countries because they steal american jobs....

Re:What direction will Oracle take Java? (4, Insightful)

Unordained (262962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522907)

Have you worked with contractors? It's not about what country they're from -- it's about their contractor status. Of the ones I had, the foreigners were better coders, though poorer communicators. But in all cases, the lack of ownership in the product, of knowledge of the history, business purpose, and architecture of the product, the lack of sense of long-term commitment, of common goal, of responsibility for the outcome (in terms of ongoing maintenance, not just "going live") ... all made my life a lot harder. It's difficult work to get good, solid work out of contractors, and not because they don't mean well. They do. They're great people, sometimes even great coders, but their "wanderer" status has its drawbacks and you have to learn special skills to manage them.

So the GP is correct to worry about the quality of outsourced code.

Re:What direction will Oracle take Java? (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522963)

Show me a developer who doesn't think everybody else's code is crap.

Re:What direction will Oracle take Java? (1)

kokojie (915449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523341)

Me, I don't think they are crap, I just don't want to deal with them and I just re-write them instead.

Re:What direction will Oracle take Java? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523421)

I think it's a matter of degree. No developer would complain as long as the code is internally consistent, well-planned, and reasonably bug free.

The thing is, in the real world this almost never happens due to time constraints and too-many-cooks-syndrome.

Worse yet, there are developers with fancy degrees and good jobs who have absolutely no idea what they're doing. Most of us have met one or two such people, and a few of us have had to work with them.

So I don't think it's fair to say that developers always bitch about other people's code; just when it's well deserved. Perhaps if you feel that people always bitch about your code, there's a reason for this and you should take the criticism seriously.

Am I the only one? (5, Interesting)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522371)

Am I the only one that hopes Sun changes it's mind about selling itself and succeeds on its own? I know they have made some big strategic errors that have gotten them where they are now, but it is a solid company (imho) with, from what I've seen, superior products. Grossly undervalued for some time now.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522503)

Sun certainly have some good products. I often think that they need to focus a bit more. They have their fingers in many pies but can't be good at all of them.

At the moment I have no confidence in Sun. They were considering selling to IBM which potentially could have resulted in many of Sun's key products being discontinued. If Sun is willing to 'sell the farm' why should I buy their products? If Sun doesn't believe in their own future how can I believe in it?

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522747)

Sun's a hardware company, and the pie they are in is singular, there: dealing with the memory bottleneck by coming up with new processor designs that don't spend all their time sitting in queue waiting for an I- or D-cache load. Most of the research is there, because it's a problem all the chip vendors are faced with. if they don't do it, they will die.

On the product side, you're mostly seeing the necessary support a hardware company needs (Solaris), the languages (Java, TCL, etc) and the combinations of software and hardware that lead to better price-performance in their products (ZFS and flash write caches for storage performance, cheap). I see the latter as mostly development and maintenance, which is a,lot easier and cheaper than the research (;-))

--dave

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522769)

Hence Jonathan Schwartz' attempts to use open source as Sun's "Hail Mary" pass.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523349)

Sun certainly have some good products. I often think that they need to focus a bit more. They have their fingers in many pies but can't be good at all of them.

Split the hardware from the software. Open Solaris runs on x86, java is almost a killer app, etc...

They would have a much easier time selling the software side, in my estimation.

Re:Am I the only one? (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522761)

Yes, I agree completely. However, the only way it will happen is if they become a more customer oriented company. Right now they make amazing things that no one really wants, and try to convince people to buy it. They need to figure out what people actually do want, and build it for them. If they can figure out how to do that and still make amazing things, they will succeed.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522767)

They have tons of talent in that company and some really superb products. They just need to figure out how to market themselves properly and make some money.

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Interesting)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522821)

I'm with you here.  Sun is very lean, and can survive the downturn with the cash reserve they have as/is.  If I was Sun, I'd redouble efforts into bringing more in-house, and consolidating positions of strength.  I'd also work on diminishing, or eliminating the departmental infighting that continues to plague them.

Re:Am I the only one? (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522867)

NO, absolutely not the only one - that's my hope as well. But the truth is, Sun is a company that gave a lot to the world in which it exists, and monetized very little of it. It's the greatest open source contributor (Solaris, Java, OpenOffice, the SPARC architecture itself, NetBeans, ZFS... and I'm sure missing some, as Sun gave away HUGE amounts of stuff).

Such companies don't usually succeed in a commercial sense. I'm tempted to say that Sun should cease to be a for-profit publicly traded company, and become either a state-sponsored institution, or private foundation, for the development of high-tech.

Re:Am I the only one? (5, Funny)

goltzc (1284524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523091)

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522901)

i'm with you. oh $deity save us from oracle.

if they really have to sell sigh i say wiht a heavy heart I.B.M

Re:Am I the only one? (2, Informative)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522981)

Everyone likes a come back story, but for that to happen a new change in leadership needs to happen. The blood is already in the water so either the controlling board members want out and will wait until being bought, or those member's decide to gather themselves by the bootstraps and pull the company up. If that's the case, then they can't let the company limp on with the current leadership.

If you were a customer willing to lay down a 5 million dollar deal on a two year contract would you feel better with Sun whose leadership you know is looking to be bought out, or under new leadership that has a commitment and vision to move forward?

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523013)

I hope they do too. I think they need to come up with an extra $500 million by this summer otherwise they might be in some trouble. That's going to be hard to do in this current economic climate.

I wonder if they asked for a bailout. I think even IBM did.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

fabriciom (916565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523449)

I see I'm not the only stock holder =) here. I also agree with you. Get rid of McNeal which is the first one looking to sell Sun.

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523701)

No, I think Scott McNealy thinks they'll do it too. Probably when they put out ZFS2, the 512bit filesystem....

If you've seen "superior products" from Sun, then you haven't looked at much. Their hardware is positively ordinary, compared to their competition, it's generous to say they are only 2 generations behind. Their OS, while it is decent, its competition is often ahead of and generally runs on much better hardware. Sure they've got a filesystem with some nice specs and a great tracing tool but the reality is that other than fanboys in spec pissing contests a remarkably small percentage of the market actually will even notice those. The other fact is that they have generated a fan base and a remarkably small number of folks have seriously used either.

then sun (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522393)

could enjoy not only running a custom linux distribution into the ground, but the hardware to run it on as well!

SAP won't like that... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522401)

A lot of SAP stuff uses Java. You bet SAP will do everything they can to prevent Oracle buying Sun.

Re:SAP won't like that... (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523619)

A lot of the world including Oracle uses Java. I don't think they would do anything to sabotage Java if they did get to own it

Everytime I see this phrase... (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522481)

It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Java to Oracle

Java will help Oracle colonize the entire solar system.

Re:Everytime I see this phrase... (3, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522547)

You get to landing on Titan, only to find out you have the wrong JRE installed.

Picture of spaceship crater, with caption: FAIL

Re:Everytime I see this phrase... (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522765)

The Mars stuff was OK, though (;-))

--dave

Re:Everytime I see this phrase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522785)

It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of Java to Oracle

Java will help Oracle colonize the entire solar system.

You did it sir, you did it.

Re:Everytime I see this phrase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523675)

I attended a pretty cool talk on Real-Time Java [sun.com] some years ago, in which the Sun guy said they have in fact been pitching it for spacecraft embedded system use for ages - it's impressive technology, and up to the job. Success has been limited though, because as good as the JVM is these days it still needs more RAM than VxWorks (NASA's weapon of choice), increasing launch mass by a small but significant amount.

Strange Database Merge... (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522605)

So what's left of the database market if Oracle and Sun merged together? Oracle vs. Access vs. ???

Re:Strange Database Merge... (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522673)

So what's left of the database market if Oracle and Sun merged together?

I don't see anything changing. Right now we have a 3-way fight between three heavyweights: Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. Everyone else is unimportant.

However, IBM and Microsoft have other competencies and sources of revenue. Oracle does not. In result, Oracle has been looking for new ways to enter the low-end market. So owning MySQL could be a boon for them, but it wouldn't significantly change the market.

Re:Strange Database Merge... (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523535)

last few years Oracle has bought a lot of application companies. BEA, Peoplesoft and a long list of others

Re:Strange Database Merge... (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523649)

What?!? Oracle has 3 of the top 5 ERP platforms, 2 of the top 3 middleware platforms, and a few of the top BI platforms. In fact at this point Oracle probably makes as much or more of their revenue from application and middleware licensing than they do from database licensing. They also have a 10,000+ employee consulting arm.

Re:Strange Database Merge... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522759)

MSSQL? PostgreSQL?

Re:Strange Database Merge... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522827)

Putting Access as a competitor to Oracle...that's funny.

In Oracle's class would be guys like MS SQL Server and IBM's DB2. Access is the DB small companies foolishly build apps on and then deal with pain and ridicule until they move off it.

Re:Strange Database Merge... (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523019)

Oracle vs. Access

So, what's next on your fight card? Space Marines vs. Pee-Wee Herman? Guillermo Jones vs. 6-year-old Timmy from down the block?

Re:Strange Database Merge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523783)

$5 on Pee-Wee Herman

PostgreSQL (4, Insightful)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523217)

PostgreSQL is still a *huge* player (in fact, they're pretty-much the only open-source, fully-transactional DB available).

Also, Access isn't MS's DB offering... MS SQLServer is the real player. Access is as much a database as a go-cart is a race car (which is to say, kinda-sorta, but not really).

Re:Strange Database Merge... (1)

Maclir (33773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523381)

Oracle is a true relational database management system. As is DB/2, Postgress, SQL Server, mySQL....

Access is ... words fail me. The last developer here that suggested using Access was summarily shot, hung, drawn and quartered, and his head posted on a spike at the door to the computer room as a warning to others.

Re:Strange Database Merge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523577)

Yeah, that works in the IT department, but when a bunch of yahoos from other departments somehow manage to get a copy of MS Access and build entire "applications" with horrible GUI front ends and roll them out to the rest of the company behind the IT departments back... that's when the fun begins.

Sounds like a great horror video game:
Your task is to hunt down unauthorized Access applications and convert them to stable client server business applications developed and supported by your IT department.

Oooo scary!

I can only imagine the sequel: Excel macros used to launch winforms!

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!

I was at a conference a few years back where one of the speakers actually ACTUALLY recommended using MS Access as a back end for your small business solutions!

Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522639)

. . . if we can get all those Anonymous Cowards and folks with ridiculous names like mine to chip in $10 each.

The company's direction and strategy could be guided by a Slashdot thread. A potent brew of "Informative, Interesting, Troll . . ."

Hell, maybe we could even patent that business model . . . crowd governance . . . or mod governance?

Re:Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522745)

Design by committee is never ever a good thing. You get a product that wants to be everything for everybody and ends up doing stuff with too much compromise instead.

Do one thing and one thing really good and everything else follows.

Re:Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522881)

All open source development is "designed by committee".
Take Linux. It's designed by committee and proud of it.
Yet it is destined to always be a niche player, while closed source strong-individual-driven systems like Windows and OS X rule the day.

Re:Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522891)

Unless we're shooting for the Guinness Book record for fastest bankruptcy in history, I would caution against letting Slashdotters decide anything more significant than which goatse mirror site to try and get people to click to.

Re:Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (1)

Gorphrim (11654) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523025)

Or "mod rule"

Re:Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523105)

Not by a thread, the direction of the company should be decided by a Slashdot Poll. You think people complain about lack of options now, just wait. Also, I'm looking forward to the ads for the next release of Oracle (12?) codenamed 'CowboyNeal' (new feature- new tables automatically get filled with a line that says 'Frist data!!11!!!').

Re:Slashdot shoud buy Sun . . . (1)

teko_teko (653164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523755)

To get $6 billion at $10 each, we will need 600 million Slashdot members...

Maybe it's time to open Slashdot.cn

What if Oracle owned MySQL? (3, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522651)

It would be quite ironic ... MySQL has had to deal with Oracle acquiring InnoDB and then Sleepycat (Berkeley DB) ... multiple times they had to rework MySQL's underpinnings because they didn't want Oracle to own key parts of the platform. If Oracle were to be in control of MySQL they'd be able to "un-deprecate" (reprecate?) those engines.

I'd like to see that, actually -- Berkeley DB is an amazingly robust data store. It worked well with MySQL.

Mom! Dad! Don't touch it! It's EEEeeeevil! (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522703)

I am so not comfortable with Oracle [wired.com] being in charge of one of the remaining UNIX vendors... Better to see another UNIX license holder get them than that.

Re:Mom! Dad! Don't touch it! It's EEEeeeevil! (2, Insightful)

lotho brandybuck (720697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522875)

I agree completely.. IBM would've been great.

Code can fork. Licenses can generate lawsuits and intimidation forever.

Synergy! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522739)

Where "synergy" is another word for "2+2=1". This could produce even more economic value than Microsoft plus Yahoo! would have.

Forks of everything forkable approaching in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

A Strategic Solution (5, Interesting)

Hangtime (19526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522771)

If they could both bury the hatchet for about 5 minutes, a joint bid by Oracle and IBM would actually make much more sense. IBM would take the Solaris platform and hardware, Oracle would take the ZFS, MySQL, and DTrace. They could then both jointly purchase and spin-off Java into an Open Source project or its own firm with each company taking a stake. Since both rely so heavily on Java and neither would enjoy the other firm owning the platform it makes perfect sense for it to continue as an independent entity.

Re:A Strategic Solution (1)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523463)

Your post is the best idea in this entire thread. I agree. Although I have been using Ruby and Lisp more the last few years, much of my business is based on Java -- basically the whole world wants a stable and well maintained Java platform and a spin off company for Java might make sense, especially if many large stakeholders owned equity.

Re:A Strategic Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523767)

That's really a tough call either way I think. If IBM takes the Solaris OS, it just gets tossed in a pile with their other Unix & Linux offerings and goes from being the flagship product of a (dying) company to just another OS.

But then if Oracle takes the OS, they may be tempted to optimize Oracle and Solaris to work better together, which is risky considering the mass migration of Oracle servers from Unix to Linux.

Either way MySQL is probably in danger. If they got traded to Oracle they become the redheaded stepchild that the uber DBAs mock. Pretty much the same with IBM and DB2.

I love the idea of Java becoming an open source solution though!
Honestly it seems like Java has always been treated like it's part of the open source community anyways, I think it would be a welcome addition.

So where does this leave Open Souce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522849)

While Sun may not be the strongest FOSS advocate, they've made many adjustments over the past few years to open up several products.

Is Oracle likely to have the same philosophies when it comes to this stuff? I don't know Oracle as an organization too well, but I have a feeling they'd go into 'lockdown' mode of Sun's projects if they bought 'em.

Thoughts?

Re:So where does this leave Open Souce? (4, Informative)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523559)

While Sun may not be the strongest FOSS advocate, they've made many adjustments over the past few years to open up several products.

Stop right there. Sun is one of the biggest corporate contributors to open source. Go ahead, count lines of code. I'm betting Sun will be in the top two if not #1.

Here's a brief list of things Sun has open sourced:
Solaris [opensolaris.com] - Their entire OS, including ZFS and Dtrace
SPARC [opensparc.net] - Their CPU line
Java [java.net] - Maybe you've heard of it.
OpenOffice [openoffice.org] - The office suite that ships with every desktop Linux distribution.
VirtualBox [virtualbox.org] - A GPL desktop virtual machine.
NetBeans IDE [netbeans.org] - A multi-platform IDE.
OpenDS [java.net] - LDAP Directory Server
High Availability Cluster [opensolaris.org]

Honorable mention:
NFS - The Network File System
vi - developed by Sun founder Bill Joy
MySQL - Now owned and maintained by Sun-paid engineers

So, next time you say Sun hadn't done much for open source, look again. It would be a shame if Sun was bought by Oracle and all of their valuable contributions were abandoned.

Re:So where does this leave Open Souce? (1)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523689)

While Sun may not be the strongest FOSS advocate

lolwut? Sun has been one of the biggest FOSS advocates for almost a decade. What rock have you been living under?

And... not going to happen. (3, Interesting)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522877)

The only way that deal would happen is if Oracle saw Java as a 8 billion dollar investment to own. Other than that the extras Oracle doesn't need by a long shot. The investment and money to keep all the other aspects viable would be worthless in the long run.

Maintaining and investing into current and future hardware and software from Sun to fit Oracle's business model after the deal makes no sense. That's basically down grading Solaris and their hardware to database only boxes. When Oracle sells across the landscape on all OSes. Why the over head of an internal OS and hardware too?

MySQL isn't an issue, if only a slight distraction. If Oracle took Sun, MySQL would slowly just get plowed under and absorbed. That's like mentioning that Oracle gets the fake ficus trees in the lobby in the deal too.

If Java is all so important to Oracle so much so, that it requires Oracle to purchase Sun, then Oracle is in deep trouble, because then coded themselves into making a purchase with a language that threatens the very stability of the company.

RedHat should make the purchase (2, Insightful)

CHK6 (583097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523123)

I don't know if RedHat has the capital, but if they could swing a deal like that by buying out Sun, they are far better in a position to reap from everything offered. From the OS to the language, that would boost RedHat's abilities in the market place.

Re:RedHat should make the purchase (2, Informative)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523779)

I don't know if RedHat has the capital,

They don't. They only have about 1.7 billion in assets and less than 700 million in cash. They'd have to get some pretty hefty financing to buy Sun and I doubt anyone is going to loan them money that would amount to 12-15 times their total revenue last year.

Is Slashdot Short Of News: +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523153)

What if China bought Sun Microsystems?

What if China buys the U.S.A.?

What if China buys Chrysler, G.M., AND Ford?

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout [youtube.com]

Not Oracle, Microsoft.. (1, Interesting)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523163)

Really, Microsoft are obviously the best fit to buy them.

Just like in the days of Windows 3.1, Microsoft need an new OS to replace the old mess they currently have. Back then they nicked NT from IBM. Now they can have Solaris.

They're obviously admirers of Java, given how they've effectively created Java++ (C#). So that's an nice fit. They'd also be buying their way into every single educational institution in the world.

Finally they're well placed to use MySQL as the basis for the next version of Access, giving them a nice up sell to SQL Server.

Sun shining through the Windows. You heard it here first, folks.

Re:Not Oracle, Microsoft.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523465)

I thought they nicked NT from DEC

Re:Not Oracle, Microsoft.. (2, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523723)

I doubt it, why would they bother with MySQL (unless its part of an 'upgrade' path to SQL Server).

MS already has SQL Server express, and developer edition versions so I'm not sure why they'd want to take MySQL on. I'm sure they're just waiting for Access to die naturally, or only keeping it around for legacy reasons.

And as for Java, they made J++ so this is 5 years too late for them, they don;t want Java now - they're more interested in converting Java devs to C# (and Windows lock-in, obviously)

Re:Not Oracle, Microsoft.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523889)

you got it all backwards they took NT from digital

http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/4494/windows-nt-and-vms-the-rest-of-the-story.html

uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523179)

Everything except the DB that Oracle has touched in the past has turned into a stinking pile of crap.

Start saving... (1)

dudeeh (877041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523187)

Sun has some amazing technologies and I would really hate to see it be sold. However, since that seems to be the way Sun wants to go, I can't make up my mind who would be best suited to take it over.

I wasn't too crazy about IBM's bid, because the large overlap would probably deprecate some Sun technology.

Oracle is another matter, mysql could indeed be a nice "lightweight" addition to their database portfolio and the other technologies probably would not get wasted. However, what scares me about Oracle products is the IMMENSE pricetag. If they buy out Sun, how long till they start charging exorbitant fees for their products?

Cisco could be a good option, though I am unsure how well they would fare with these technologies. It would be kind of a new market on many fronts for them, not sure if/how they could handle it.

I doubt Dell will buy them, and that leaves us with... what?
Red Hat? In some parallel reality, possibly, in this one, na.
Microsoft, for the sake of Sun's kickass technology, let's hope not. ...

So here's me hoping Sun doesn't get bought out at all and that they clean up their marketing act a bit.

SAP AG should buy Sun Microsystems (1)

nofactor (1053982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523367)

I prefer an independent Sun Microsystems, they have an excellent track record as innovators. But if it can't succeed on its own, my suggestion is that SAP AG should buy Sun.

What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems? (1)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523369)

We will have Suracle!!

and think about it. What if Google buys Sun and get a Soogle :) So Ogle.

Re:What If Oracle Bought Sun Microsystems? (1)

Kugrian (886993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523859)

What if Google buys Sun and get a Soogle :) So Ogle.

Sun has nothing Google wants.

OS: Android > Solaris
Code: Python > Java
Office: Google Apps > Staroffice
Database: BigTable+GFS > MYSQL

The virtualization software (VirtualBox) might be nice, but all the Google stuff I've seen ported has used Wine.

personally i think Sun is done for (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523509)

i think their support is crap. every time i call for netbackup support it takes them a week to get back to me. place i work for was scammed into buying netbackup from Sun instead of Veritas years ago.

i'm trying to get the latest media for netbackup and it's insane trying to register just to download it.

we looked at the SL500 a few months ago and it was overpriced. everything Sun sells seems overpriced compared to HP, including the servers.

What if ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523525)

... Sun simply goes bankrupt? Sparc is under the GPL, all key software is OpenSource so things will live on. No problem.

Sun's software assets are worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27523539)

If ZFS, MySQL, Java, and DTrace are such great assets then why is Sun sucking? Sun's only real value is their hardware. ZFS and DTrace enhance the capability of their hardware, but those other software packages haven't helped them at all.

They haven't ever been able to make any money off of Java, even though it is widely used. MySQL's feature set is outclassed by just about every other 'enterprise' database, if you even consider MySQL an 'enterprise' database. I don't even understand the point of MySQL. Postgres is open-source, more robust, has more features, and is much easier to develop for too. If you don't need an 'enterprise' database, there are better lite-weight options like SQlite. Why would you use MySQL?

How about Sun? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523583)

How many employees does Sun have? If there is anywhere near enough and if they want to have jobs in a year they better get together and buy it themselves. Java hasn't taken over the world like it was meant to. The position it could have held unfortunately is slowly being eroded away by .NET on the application end and things like Flash/Air on the web side. MySQL is everywhere but proprietary ownership is not working well for it and it will go off on it's own opensource way soon. Actually, if it can somehow manage to be relevant in the long-term it would not be surprising to see Java do the same. Solaris... what's the point today?? Really!! Who needs a proprietary Unix distro and for what? Perhaps for some proud geek to wear as a badge.. see, it's not Linux.. I'm a non-conformist Whoever buys Sun is going to do it as a shortcut to make their competition go away. Competition that was going to go away albeit much slower anyway. They will be sliced and diced right from the start and any remaining pieces will be left to rot like AOL's purchase of Netscape. If they want long term employment Sun's employees had better buy it out and then go straight into a creative binge to find a new direction.

I think this is very likely (1)

jernejk (984031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523641)

I work at an Oracle shop and I must say this would make sense from Oracle's point of view. They would probably kill most of the free stuff (bye bye MySql, Glassfish,...), but would probably keep seling hardware (remember, oracle just got into hardware business!) and possibly solaris. As for Java... I don't know. I work with Jdeveloper - it's good but bloated, and most important, not open sourced (it's free, but not open sourced). I have no idea what happens if ANY other company than SUN owns Java...?

Long thought IBM or Oracle would Buy Sun (3, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523801)

I have long thought that IBM or Oracle would buy Sun to control Java. Yes there are innovations that come out of Sun, but hold long can Sparc compete with Intel/AMD and Solaris compete with Linux. Sun just doesn't have the resources to win both of those battles. Java is their trump card, and they don't know how to monetize it. Unless they figure out how to profit off of Java, I see them dieing a slow death.
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