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DOJ Gives Oracle Approval To Buy Sun

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the nothin'-but-blue-skies dept.

Oracle 162

k33l0r writes "The BBC is reporting that the US Justice Department has approved Oracle's takeover of Sun Microsystems. The acquisition gives Oracle control over (or a leading role in), among other things, Java, MySQL, (Open)Solaris, ZFS, OpenOffice, and the NetBeans IDE. 'The European Commission has still to rule on the deal, a step that will be required before it can close. That body has indicated it will issue an initial opinion on Sept. 3, according to the Wall Street Journal. It may OK the deal at that time or launch a four-month probe of it. ... The Justice Department ruling came earlier than expected, a possible response to Sun's declining revenues and precarious business position in a steep recession, as the required reviews proceeded.' We first discussed the deal back when it was announced in April."

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You're not the boss of me! (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163005)

Hey DOJ, why don't you come suck my dick? What's that? You're sorry about stopping the merger? Oh, thanks for being so apologetic. Kiss my ass, you little faggot! That's right. Oracle is your master now, bitch. Yeah, go cry like a baby to your mommy. Fucking pussy.

Suck my crystal balls, you worthless piece of shit. Then tell me you want to stop me from purchasing Sun Microsystems. Why are you squinting? Is the SUN in your eyes? Or is that my OH OH OH spooge all over your goddamn face?

What, EU? You want some of this too?

Re:You're not the boss of me! (2, Funny)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163063)

It's not quite as Larry put it in a corporate email he sent on the subject.

Re:You're not the boss of me! (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164771)

That was the draft - fortunately his PA is paid more than $1 per annum.

Re:You're not the boss of me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163075)

Mas tonto y no naces. You insensitive clod.

must be tough (0, Offtopic)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163529)

Must be tough having Tourettes.

Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as... (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163023)

Apollo.

As far as mergers go this is probably a good fit. Oracle and Sun always needed each other for the most part. However I feel both are a dyeing breed. The industry wether you like it or not is moving away from those two companies core competencies.
High End Servers which are highly scalable with high end software which is highly scalable, is no longer the way it is now. We are moving to more smaller systems and don't need such scalability features as we realize that cost benefit really isn't there, for most situations.

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163291)

However I feel both are a dyeing breed.

No, no, you're thinking of IG Farben [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163367)

By "we" you must be referring to whatever market you are in. From my perspective, the amount of data being processed has increased and scalability is more necessary now than ever before. Large companies are increasingly involved in data mining and other large scale statistical analysis, and the need for computer systems that can perform those calculations in a timely is continuing to grow.

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (3, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163419)

Data Mining and Business Intelligence doesn't need huge powerhouses anymore. A low end server can easily handle the Millions of records Databases now. The Mid Range can handle Billions. What is left for Oracle and Sun are the Trillions of records DB. Which most sectors don't use. Also with advances in distributed computing we rarely need to go high end for the Trillions of records.

What is their target market? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163769)

Exactly. The need for databases has not gone away, but the upper bound for what you can do with cheap, commodity hardware and the likes of Postgres or MySQL is now higher than most projects will ever need. Numerous popular web sites run on a handful of well-specified but basically off-the-shelf PCs. Almost any in-house business admin application can be run this way, too.

I'd go further than the parent post, though, because I suspect it's just as bad at the other end of the spectrum now. Unless you're working for something like a bank, a government social security department, or a massive commercial outfit like Amazon, you probably don't need the high-end capabilities of software like Oracle any more. However, if you really are playing in that league, it's probably cheaper to buy lots of commodity PC parts and build your own cloud than to use expensive, high-end server kit from the likes of Sun. Likewise, if you're Google or Amazon, you have the resources to develop bespoke software tools to match your needs anyway (and if you're not quite Google or Amazon yet, you can lease resources from those who are).

It's hard to see how either Oracle or Sun has much of a top-end target market left for its traditional products. It would be interesting if they went for an aggressive mid-range offering though, aiming at providing a complete hardware and software platform for mid-large businesses that are fed up with Microsoft but don't want to outsource everything to the cloud either. Post-merger, they'll have a credible office suite, more database expertise than anyone else, lots of supporting back-end/middleware tools, and a programming language and client-side software platform that were tailor-made for remote deployment.

If it turns out that the market likes the benefits of centralised admin and remote deployment, but wants to keep control in-house rather than trusting (and paying ongoing fees for) third party services, then an Oracle/Sun combo that invested its resources smartly over the next couple of years should be able to compete very strongly. They might even be able to build a credible long-term business model based on support, consulting and customisation, rather than relying on relatively few sales of expensive hardware and DB licences.

Thought for the day: if this goes through, I'll be glad I don't have shares in SAP.

Sun kit (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164059)

I'd go further than the parent post, though, because I suspect it's just as bad at the other end of the spectrum now. Unless you're working for something like a bank, a government social security department, or a massive commercial outfit like Amazon, you probably don't need the high-end capabilities of software like Oracle any more.

A lot of Sun kit is highly parallel, so whereas you can buy one non-SPARC low-end system to handle things just fine, it may be better to purchase something like a T2000 or T5120 and use virtualization to split things up. For the same rack space and power usage you can run a bunch of hostnames with less overhead than something like VMware.

Of course Solaris runs just fine all all Tier 1 OEM systems (HP, IBM, Dell, Sun, etc.), so if you want to run x86 you can do that just fine and still get all the features of zones, DTrace, ZFS, etc.

CPU usage is not the only constraint you have to think about. Rack space, power, and cooling should be considered as well.

Re:Sun kit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164651)

CPU usage is not the only constraint you have to think about. Rack space, power, and cooling should be considered as well.

Sure, when you get to the point of scaling up the hardware that's going to make a difference. But again, I have to ask how many projects today will ever need to scale beyond trivial levels of space, power and cooling? After all, with modern computing power, you can run some pretty serious systems out of a small cupboard in the corner of your office, off a standard power supply, without so much as installing air-con.

Re:Sun kit (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164851)

Sure, when you get to the point of scaling up the hardware that's going to make a difference. But again, I have to ask how many projects today will ever need to scale beyond trivial levels of space, power and cooling? After all, with modern computing power, you can run some pretty serious systems out of a small cupboard in the corner of your office, off a standard power supply, without so much as installing air-con.

Businesses grow (hopefully), and the amount of data, processing & reporting increases with that. You honestly don't have to be very large to outgrow closet computing. The next step is outgrowing your colo cage, and the next step, well, you've hopefully figured out the importance of space/heat/computing efficiency by then because it's all YOUR problem now.

Another theory about why Sun has not done well. (2, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164315)

"Data Mining and Business Intelligence doesn't need huge powerhouses anymore."

My theory about why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the last few years is that the highly reliable hardware Sun Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant. The excellent 2008 book Planet Google [amazon.com] describes Google's experiences on page 54: "For about $278,000 in 2003, [Google] could assemble a rack with 176 microprocessors, 176 gigabytes of memory, and 7 terabytes of disk space. This compared favorably to a $758,000 server sold by the manufacturer of a well-known brand, which had only eight multiprocessors, one-third the memory, and about the same amount of disk space."

But why would Oracle buy Sun? Possibly because there are difficulties in making Oracle database products work with the new consumer-grade hardware with fault-tolerant technology.

Re:Another theory about why Sun has not done well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164507)

"Data Mining and Business Intelligence doesn't need huge powerhouses
anymore."

My theory about why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the
last few years is that the highly reliable hardware Sun
Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use
consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant. The excellent
2008 book Planet Google [amazon.com] describes Google's experiences on page 54:
"For about $278,000 in 2003, [Google] could assemble a rack with 176
microprocessors, 176 gigabytes of memory, and 7 terabytes of disk space. This
compared favorably to a $758,000 server sold by the manufacturer of a
well-known brand, which had only eight multiprocessors, one-third the memory,
and about the same amount of disk space."

But why would Oracle buy Sun? Possibly because there are difficulties in making
Oracle database products work with the new consumer-grade hardware with fault-tolerant technology.

Ever try to develop fault-tolerant software? Think millions of dollars just to begin.

That solution works for Google because they can scale that expensive software over a whole bunch of servers. If you're only running a small number of servers - and "small" in this context is probably anything less than at least a thousand or so servers, maybe more - it's cheaper to throw high-quality hardware at any reliability/uptime problem.

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (2, Informative)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163533)

If you're somebody like eBay, you really really need scalabaility, as you're doing hundreds on non-idempotent transactions a second.

One of my much smaller customers needs 128 cores to reach a reasonable rate of speed committing sales transactions for a single line of business, so this isn't limited to very large companies or those with large data, just anyone with reasonable sales volumes.

--dave

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163743)

If you're somebody like eBay, you
really really need scalabaility, as
you're doing hundreds on

What does non-idempotency matter in the eBay's case?

Is it because if your transactions are idempotent, you can get away with simpler recovery mechanisms, and that lets you get away with less powerful servers?

Re:Oracle and Sun combine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29165363)

You almost don't need any locking at all, so your transactions commit really quickly and you can distribute them over an array processor, which is cheaper than a big multiprocessor.

I only saw one mainstream app that was idempotent, a library system, but it absolutely flew on some pretty minimal hardware.

--dave

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (2, Informative)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163465)

um....
apparently you have never worked in a business that needs large amounts of related data that is generated by hundreds of systems across a geographic area.

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163821)

Cloud? What about the cloud? Isn't it going to depend on scalable servers and scalable software? I can't see a push toward smaller systems, myself. Every Tom, Dick, and Dilrod on the planet is pushing the advantages of cloud computing. Seems to me that the core expertise of both Sun and Oracle are going to be in demand if everyone goes to the cloud.

Note, I'm not one of those people who places their faith in the cloud - I'm just pointing things out here.

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163867)

You must be bonkers and probably had experience with less critical small volume data.

Try processing 100 million records a day in a telecoms or a medium sized bank on those so called smaller systems.

Oracle and Sun are primarily catering to Enterprises, not necessarily start-ups. I have been in development for 12 years now.

Small companies always prefer open source and these smaller systems, and rightly so, who wants to pay couple of tens of thousand per CPU when Linux and MySql will do.

Enterprises where transaction are critical, government agencies monitoring them and auditors watching like a hawk, they can't risk these smaller systems. THEY HAVE TO GO BY THE BOOK. So if the database crashes and backups corrupt, they can at least say, "We got the best, what else you wanted us to do".

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29165249)

The Fortune 20 I know about, stored all its really critical data in DB2 on an IBM mainframe. Oracle is used all over the place, but if it is really important, only DB2 is considered good enough.

Re:Oracle and Sun combine and rename themeless as. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164037)

And national security.... Consultants are talking up cyber security all the while we let systems float away that are suited to meet the needs. Happened to VAX/VMS, will happen to Sparc/Solaris, I'm sure.

What about Java (3, Interesting)

yorkrj (658277) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163033)

The only thing I'm concerned about regarding this deal is how this will change Java. The way I see it, one of two things will happen: One, current Oracle staff will manage the Java platform development and bad things will happen (all sorts of bad things could happen). Two, Oracle will deem Java an unprofitable product and will spin off a free software foundation, the likes of Mozilla or Apache.

Re:What about Java (5, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163065)

Oracle's middleware business basically runs on Java. Why would they abandon it?

Re:What about Java (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163079)

Oracle relies too much on java to give it away. Expect it to be forked, and then closed, with the previous open version left flapping in the wind.

Re:What about Java (3, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163447)

"Oracle relies too much on java to give it away. Expect it to be forked, and then closed, with the previous open version left flapping in the wind."

If they could close it, which they can't since open, then they will be the only one using it. Java is used all over the place in Open Source, so the fork will be meaningless and the open version will continue and possibly pick up some highly skilled Open Source developer(s) that would otherwise have invested their efforts elsewhere.

Re:What about Java (0)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163881)

If they could close it, which they can't since open, then they will be the only one using it.

Java is dual-licensed. Almost all commercial users use it under the proprietary license, since the open source license is much more restrictive. Furthermore, all the official documentation and specifications are available only under a restrictive license. It's also unclear whether there can be any compatible third party Java implementations, since Sun holds lots of patents on Java. Sun's own GPL Java implementation is protected from patent infringement claims, but no other open source implementation has a license to the patents.

I think Oracle will continue Java in open source form, probably in the same way as Sun. But if Oracle wanted to screw open source Java, they certainly have the means to do it.

Re:What about Java (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163953)

"Java is dual-licensed. Almost all commercial users use it under the proprietary license"

Open Office, The Eclipse IDE, and numerous other open source projects rely on Java, including Android. This means your premise is incorrect, and Java as an Open platform has existed in the real world for some time. It's available as FOSS, and that means it always will be no matter what Oracle does.

Re:What about Java (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164237)

It's available as FOSS, and that means it always will be no matter what Oracle does.

There are very few non Sun contributors to Java.

If Oracle decides to put all future resources and features into a closed version, how long do you expect the open version to be able to keep up?

Re:What about Java (4, Informative)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163105)

Disclaimer: I work for Oracle.

When Oracle buys a company, they keep that company's staff to keep on working on whatever product they acquire. They dont shove that down the hall to whatever commando team. Based on personal observations of 4 companies that were absorbed and whose location merged in my area.

Also, as far as Java is concerned, Oracle has the best interest in keeping Java alive and well, as well as further push it. It's got a sizeable investment in Java for server-side stuff and even some client-side applications.

And from my perspective, all I can say is that more is to come.

Re:What about Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163149)

So does this mean Larry Ellison is showing Scott McNeally his O face today?

oh oh oh

Re:What about Java (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163167)

But this is Slashdot we expect every company to do the wrong thing. Even if doing the rite thing and making money is compatible. The Java brand is a big success (although I am personally not a big fan of Java), keeping the existing staff makes the most sense. What negative to the community might happen is as the language expands it will be more modified to meet Oracles main interests and less on Sun's more general interests.

Try Java, MySQL, VirtualBox, Solaris, OpenOffice (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163441)

I have a few concerns.

Oracle does not have a tradition of giving away much of it's software. Sun by contrast has a lot of open source or free as in beer software. I am worried that Oracle will either kill or start charging for Java, OpenOffice, Solaris, VirtualBox, MySQL and other products based on it's own business interests. It's only natural for it to do so. With this aquisition, Oracle is in a position of great power. It can kill or alter the course of all the products of both companies. Absolute power corrupts.

For example MySQL and PostgressSQL are the only 2 viable open source alternatives to an Oracle DB for many systems. (There are critical systems for which Oracle is absolutely needed, but the percentage that could be served well by an open source alternative is probably significant). It is definitely in Oracle's interest to kill or dillute MySQL.

Re:Try Java, MySQL, VirtualBox, Solaris, OpenOffic (3, Interesting)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164439)

Oracle does not have a tradition of giving away much of it's software. Sun by contrast has a lot of open source or free as in beer software. I am worried that Oracle will either kill or start charging for Java, OpenOffice, Solaris, VirtualBox, MySQL and other products based on it's own business interests. It's only natural for it to do so. With this aquisition, Oracle is in a position of great power. It can kill or alter the course of all the products of both companies. Absolute power corrupts.

Note: I do not work for Oracle, but we are a big customer of theirs. I have watched this very carefully, attended briefings (by Sun and by third party analysts.)

I am not concerned that Oracle will kill Java, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, MySQL. (I'm a little concerned about them selling off [Open]Solaris, since I don't see Oracle as an operating systems company.) However, I do expect to see a "pro" version of Java, OpenOffice, VirtualOffice, MySQL where Oracle forks the code into a stable branch, and companies can buy into a support contract for it. This isn't materially different from how OpenOffice/StarOffice are related now, or how Red Hat runs their business.

For example MySQL and PostgressSQL are the only 2 viable open source alternatives to an Oracle DB for many systems. (There are critical systems for which Oracle is absolutely needed, but the percentage that could be served well by an open source alternative is probably significant). It is definitely in Oracle's interest to kill or dillute MySQL.

I disagree that Oracle wants to kill or dilute MySQL. Quite the opposite, really. Oracle desperately wants to compete with SQL Server at the lower-end databases. Small companies and many mid-size companies feel that Oracle is much too complicated for them to run with [typically] a limited IT staff. Oracle has a lot of buttons, knobs, switches to tune performance (not to mention get things running.) As a result, SQL Server often gets deployed here. And for most internal-office workloads for small or mid-size companies, SQL Server works very well. So Oracle doesn't make money here. Oracle knows that lots of people can (and do) easily deploy MySQL, this is an easy "win" for them.

My $0.02

Re:Try Java, MySQL, VirtualBox, Solaris, OpenOffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164939)

since I don't see Oracle as an operating systems company

Bookmarking this so I can come back and rub it in later.

ROFLMAO.

In the future, you'll ask "What OS is your Oracle DB running on?", and I'll say "Whatever it came with."

Re:Try Java, MySQL, VirtualBox, Solaris, OpenOffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164635)

It is definitely in Oracle's interest to kill or dillute MySQL.

It's in everyone's best interest for that to happen. Then people will finally quit using MySQL and use the incredibly superior Postgres, and I will no longer have to install fucking MySQL in order to use the open source projects that for some reason insist on using it.

On the other hand I am worried about virtualbox, solaris, and zfs.

Re:Try Java, MySQL, VirtualBox, Solaris, OpenOffic (1)

drseuk (824707) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165139)

I'm cautiously optimistic over this buyout which could turn out to be very inspired depending on what decisions are taken next by Oracle.

Hopefully Larry will "cut the OO.org ribbon" (or at least ensure it's entirely optional) for a start!, then rapidly pour Oracle's expertise and bucks to turn OO.org Base into a viable MS Access killer (utilising MySQL as the engine) - this will require a way to convert MS Access-based applications as seamlessly as possible and could be done very quickly with the resources available to Oracle.

Messing with any of Java / OO.org / Virtual Box / MySQL (either by damaging them, ignoring them or charging for them) would be counter-productive and merely alienate consumers and the FLOSS community et al.

Solaris should be allowed to die a peaceful death by being offered up for [further] incorporation into GNU / Linux along with ZFS technologies.

This way Oracle can keep MSFT in the trenches at the "low-end" (i.e., severely knock MSFT's revenue) whilst maintaining good relations with customers and the open source community and use the lull to engage fully in the cloud with e.g., Google and IBM. As use of MS Office declines, Oracle will then be in a strong position to take out MS SQL Server. Firm Oracle support for ODF would be nice too.

Not sure what Apple would make of all this but we could always ask Larry's official wedding photographer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ellison [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:What about Java (4, Informative)

awpoopy (1054584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163459)

...When Oracle buys a company, they keep that company's staff to keep on working on whatever product they acquire. They dont shove that down the hall to whatever commando team....

Tell that to the Virtual Iron Team

Re:What about Java (2, Funny)

mrjohnson (538567) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163903)

new String2();

Re:What about Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163927)

Disclaimer: I work for Oracle.

When Oracle buys a company, they keep that company's staff to keep on working on whatever product they acquire.

There were cuts when Oracle acquired Peoplesoft, and there will be cuts at Sun.

Sun employees have already been told they will each receive one of:
a) An offer of a permanent position.
b) An offer of a temprorary position for the transition.
c) A notice of severance.

Re:What about Java (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163139)

Three, Java development stagnates. Does new Java development make any money at all for Sun right now? I don't think so. I think supporting the existing codebase is whats been bring money in.

Re:What about Java (3, Interesting)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163209)

Larry Ellison hates, hates, hates Microsoft.

1. OpenOffice.org advertised on television.
2. Java pushed everywhere .NET is now, with auto-conversion tools.
3. Ellison loudly and publicly calls Microsoft FUDsters re: Linux/OOo software patents and tells them to "bring it on".

Re:What about Java (5, Insightful)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163345)

Do you really believe Ellison hates Microsoft? I do not believe at this level of business feelings matter. We've seen multiple times companies that fight a fierce fight in court over one thing to be first friends and combine efforts in another field. Basically these companies try to do whatever is more profitable to them. If Ellison judges that it is more profitable to make OOo interopable with MS Office and Java interopable with .NET this is what he will do. I can asure you that he is above simple Slashdot-like hate for Microsoft. That being said he may decide that the profitable thing is exactly what you said but somehow I doubt it.

Re:What about Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163527)

No, he's at the level of "I really fucking personally hate that Gates asshole and that Ballmer asshole." I'm hoping for some amusing billionare-vs-billionaire lulz.

Re:What about Java (2, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163841)

I've run across some of the ex-wives of top Oracle execs (my mother sells houses in Woodside, and many Oracle ex-wives are quite rich). It's a warped view, third hand through my mother, but they would paint Ellison as being very emotionally involved in taking on Microsoft, and running things very much based on his own ego. I'm not surprised he's buying Sun, and I would be surprised if he didn't shove OpenOffice and Java down MS's throat using Oracle's full backing. I'm surprised he hasn't bought Red Hat yet, just to take on Microsoft in earnest. Remember when he wanted to buy Apple? Everyone worries he'll drop MySQL development, but I think a wait-and-see attitude makes sense. Oracle hasn't been a champion of open-source like Sun and IBM, but maybe buying Sun will bring them into the community. Another huge corporation backing open source would be very welcome.

Re:What about Java (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163857)

Do you really believe Ellison hates Microsoft?

When talking about MS you sometimes think he posts here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssX4RL24HT4 [youtube.com]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g_tcdR_pQU [youtube.com]

Re:What about Java (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165151)

Strange. When was the first video shot? Because a friend of mine once said that Microsoft were a competitive company (I know many slashdot readers would disagree) and once they ran out of competitors they start to compete with themselves. What they did with Vista was that they were competing with their own OS (XP) much like Ellison suggested. The strange thing is that this time they lost. Still I don't believe Ellison hates MS that much and I doubt that he would miss a chance to make a deal with MS if he finds it profitable. It is like Ballmer publicly hating Apple and then releasing Office 2007 for Mac. I somehow believe that it is all business.

Re:What about Java (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163745)

I thought Ellison was just buying Sun, not Scott McNealy's failed business plan. McNealy's disproportionate focus on Microsoft instead of Linux is the key reason why Sun is for sale.

Re:What about Java (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164255)

I think a lot of that had to do with McNealy's hate-on for Linux - witness Sun's funding to SCO just in time for the lawsuit. Schwartz went furiously open-source as pretty much a Hail Mary pass.

Re:What about Java (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164871)

Three, Java development stagnates. Does new Java development make any money at all for Sun right now? I don't think so. I think supporting the existing codebase is whats been bring money in.

Is this a joke? Of course Sun makes some money off Java related technologies, they sure as hell are constantly improving it, and Oracle made truckloads more money off Java long before the acquisition.

Re:What about Java (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164945)

Do you understand that devloping *in* Java is not the same as developing Java?

Re:What about Java (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165077)

Do you understand that devloping *in* Java is not the same as developing Java?

Whether Sun made a significant amount of money directly from Java or not it did not prevent them from improving it. I dare you to prove otherwise.

So what is your point, Sun was not improving Java, Oracle will not improve Java, or Oracle does not make money off improving Java?
What does Sun not making money directly from Java have to do with Java development stagnating given the above?

Nice try.

Re:What about Java (0, Troll)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163819)

Anything they do to it is likely an improvement. They could start by deprecating about 90% of the APIs. Rolling the language back to 1.5 might be a good idea, too.

Larry Ellison spoke at JavaOne last month (2, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164665)

The head of Oracle and 3rd richest man in the world visited the lowly Java developers conference last month and gave full support [cnet.com] for Java inside the new Oracle.

Not sure if this is more funny or scary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163039)

Sun sucks. Their overpriced hardware got eclipsed by Pentium 4 PCs which could do the same work for 1/10th the price. In the end, the only advantage Sun platforms offer over PCs is the capability to use massive amounts of RAM (64G, 128G, and beyond). But make no mistake about it, Sun got eclipsed by Intel. Moore's law has a harsh penalty for those who don't keep up.

On the other hand, Oracle having a say in OO, Java, and other projects is a bit scary. I'm not so in love with Oracle's embrace of FOSS or even the concept of FOSS and GNU.

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (2, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163225)

Sun's x86 server hardware is quite competitive with Dell, in my experience.

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (3, Informative)

E-Lad (1262) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163283)

Unfortunately said Pentium 4s also would fail 10x more often.

I don't know if you've worked (ie, have had direct administrative experience) with any of the larger Sun hardware such as E2900 and above, or even the Ex500's from back in the day, but if you did you'd also know that these servers have a knack for uptime and resiliency that x86 servers, even to this day, have never had. There was a reason for those higher costs.

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (2, Interesting)

treat (84622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163775)

Unfortunately said Pentium 4s also would fail 10x more often.

I don't know if you've worked (ie, have had direct administrative experience) with any of the larger Sun hardware such as E2900 and above, or even the Ex500's from back in the day, but if you did you'd also know that these servers have a knack for uptime and resiliency that x86 servers, even to this day, have never had. There was a reason for those higher costs.

At the same time, the application landscape changed to prefer scalability that allowed servers to be down without impacting the whole system. A single machine no longer was so important.

And up until a few years ago, people still went with Sun when they had a single important node.

The choice became between more servers that will crash slightly more often with less overall impact to the application, and more servers that will crash slighly less often.

Larger Sun hardware was never amazingly reliable anyway. What it did have over Intel hardware was a greater chance of indentifying why it crashed. An Intel machine that crashes randomly is not unheard of. I've only had a few Sun machines in my life that required me to change more than a couple parts to stop a random crashing problem. (Except the E10K and Ex500 series, which were particularly bad, and the 420R, which had bad hardware by design).

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (5, Informative)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163587)

Actually the advantage is a fast backplane, not the memory. You may remember they bought the rights to the Cray asynchronous (really packet-switch-like) backplane quite a number of years ago, and have been expanding on it since.

It's easy to build a fast chip if it never has to maintain cache-consistency with anything off-chip. If it has to stay sane, even with only 64*4*2 = 512 threads banging on the same memory range, it not only takes an expensive bus, but it's also memory-transaction-rate limited.

That's why you read about transactional memory in Linux Weekly News: we all need it, SPARC and Intel both.

--dave

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (1)

treat (84622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163781)

Actually the advantage is a fast backplane, not the memory. You may remember they bought the rights to the
Cray asynchronous (really packet-switch-like) backplane quite a number of years ago, and have been expanding on it since.

Just to clarify - faster can mean higher bandwidth or lower latency. Sun really screwed themselves by building machines that had bad memory latency, but good bandwidth. Real-world appplications like transactional databases care more about memory latency than bandwidth.

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165419)

I absolutely agree with your last sentence, although I see most of the Sun efforts to be toward reducing the latency, by not making the bus wait in between the request and the reply. That speeded up small memory transactions a lot, targeting the low speed of locking operations that have to go to memory and/or achieve global cache consistency.

I would like to see latency bettered, too. To me, it's at least an order of magnitude high.

--dave

Re:Not sure if this is more funny or scary (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165019)

Sun sucks. Their overpriced hardware got eclipsed by Pentium 4 PCs which could do the same work for 1/10th the price. In the end, the only advantage Sun platforms offer over PCs is the capability to use massive amounts of RAM (64G, 128G, and beyond). But make no mistake about it, Sun got eclipsed by Intel. Moore's law has a harsh penalty for those who don't keep up.

Coming from someone who couldn't tell you the difference between an Intel desktop processor and their Xeon line to save their life, much less know what RAS features SPARCs have over anything Intel has.

Don't forget massive amounts of CPU's, expansion cards, dynamic reconfiguration, partitioning, etc, etc.

Midrange computing is all a lie I guess, someone go tell IBM, HP and Fujistu.

This is just as Marx predicted (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163045)

Periodic capitalist crises allow the largest corporations and banks to swallow up all their rivals and become more monopolistic... which only exacerbates the overproduction of capital leading to the next crisis. The only way out is world war or world revolution! Workers, you have nothing to lose but your chains!

Reason for merger oversight: Java licensing (5, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163047)

For those wondering why the merger wasn't simply rubber stamped, it has to do with the licensing of Java:

http://www.jroller.com/scolebourne/entry/no_java_7_us_doj [jroller.com]

From what I read, it wasn't a *huge* deal, but enough of a concern that the DoJ had to work with Oracle instead of simply approving the merger right away.

The EU probably has similar concerns.

So long and thanks for the fish (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163051)

Or something like that.

A sad day.

Re:So long and thanks for the fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163143)

Was nice being employed. Time to look for help wanted signs at my local fast food joints.

Re:So long and thanks for the fish (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163239)

Yuh. Looking at eight years' Solaris on my resume and looking forward to my next job with Debian only.

What about MySQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163117)

Hope that the merger will not affect MySQL, Oracle and MySQL are competing products... scary stuff

Re:What about MySQL (2, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163151)

Well, I suspect that Oracle will attempt to position MySQL as their "free Oracle-compatible" database offering, less support and high-end features but still feature-complete enough that people will continue using it (and hopefully, in Oracle's eyes, upgrade to their full database suite when need arises).

/Mikael

Re:What about MySQL (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163323)

More to the point, I suspect they will position Oracle as a reliable MySQL-compatible database. MySQL uses a lot of weird extensions to SQL and owning the MySQL front end will make it easy for Oracle to add a 100% compatible front-end to their database. This will make it easy for companies that have deployed various things on MySQL to consolidate them all onto one big Oracle appliance (and, coincidentally, pay Oracle a lot of money in the process).

Re:What about MySQL (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163249)

Yeah, Sun already made MySQL fork all over the place ;-)

Re:What about MySQL (2, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163461)

They're competing products in the same way a ford fiesta and a ford super duty truck are competing products.

More tech layoffs? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163157)

I am guessing this will mean more layoffs. I wonder if managers will be targeted, or tech workers?

Re:More tech layoffs? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163405)

Yes.

Re:More tech layoffs? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163409)

I am guessing this will mean more layoffs. I wonder if managers will be targeted, or tech workers?

Yes and yes.

The IT industry is a mature industry and we'll see negative employment growth as further mergers occur in the near future. After that, expect employment to ebb and flow with the rest of the economy. Aside from the very rare entrepreneurial company that figures out some very small niche in the industry, it is just another cyclical industry.

It's happened to aerospace, airlines, electronics, computer hardware, etc...

I less-than-three ZFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163275)

That is all.

Re:I less-than-three ZFS (2, Interesting)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163567)

I wonder if this might lead to a dual-licensing for ZFS so it might be possible to use in linux.

Re:I less-than-three ZFS (2, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164273)

How about changing Linux to use a less restrictive license?

Re:I less-than-three ZFS (2, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164329)

Changing the Linux license is legally impossible without removing a lot of the code.

Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163455)

We're doomed.

Bad deal for both companies (4, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163485)

It's a bad deal for both companies.

The acquisition of Sparc and Solaris further estranges Oracle from Microsoft... Most of Oracle's revenues come from windows-based products and the Solaris portfolio isn't likely to change that. Likewise, they now become a competitor in Java vs. Dot-net. It isn't smart to step up from mere competitor to antagonist without gaining a massive new strength, and that didn't happen here.

Then there's Java. Drains quite a bit of cash without making enough money and Oracle as a company has the wrong temperment to maintain and improve a programming language anyway. Start charging enough to make money on Java and Java dies. Nor does having Java particularly complement Oracle's product line.

And mysql is a mess too. Improving it drains sales from their flagship database product... but failing to improve it causes a fork which loses Oracle whatever value owning Mysql had for them. Bad mojo all around.

The Sun/IBM deal would have been much smarter. IBM has a huge market for the likes of Sparc and Solaris. Better yet, they have demonstrated the wherewithal to take code they own and insert it into Linux. There's lots of stuff in Solaris to like, IBM is already weighing heavily on the side of Linux-based products and services and a well supported Linux on Sparc could save Sparc from oblivion and maybe even return it to being a growing market.

Meanwhile, IBM's database product (db2) never escaped its tiny niche. MySQL would be a great complement to their portfolio, moving them squarely into the mainstream database business.

Lastly, IBM actually has a need for Java given the breadth of hardware and OS platforms they sell. Write once run everywhere would be a huge benefit to IBM. It strongly complements the rest of what they sell, even if they never make a nickle off of it directly. Sadly, IBM can't rely on Java when it's controlled by a company as boorish as Oracle. It has to remain a minor player in their portfolio.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (4, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163697)

My leaky memory says that 40% of Oracle's income (profit?) comes from Oracle on SPARC, and another 20% from Oracle on other Unix.

If IBM had bought Sun and phased out SPARC like they did Sequent, then they'd probably own 50% of Oracle's market.

It's far better for Oracle to buy their own hardware supplier than depend on others: the Sequent was highly optimized for Oracle performance, and then disappeared in a little puff of greasy smoke when IBM bought it and shut it down in favor of Power. That's got to have been painful!

As other commentators have pointed out, Oracle is heavily invested in Java, and sees MySQL as a "channel" that brings them customers. You note that Oracle invested in improving the performance of the transactional engine that MySQL uses instead of shutting it down...

I suspect Sun was a perfect fit: it complemented the things Oracle needed, and didn't have any important products that compete directly. Win-win.

That in turn could be good for me, as I'm a capacity planner & performance guy, working mostly on large systems, like the ones Oracle and Sun customers use.

--dave

Re:Bad deal for both companies (3, Informative)

treat (84622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163911)

My leaky memory says that 40% of Oracle's income (profit?) comes from Oracle on SPARC, and another 20% from
Oracle on other Unix.

I did the migration of the last Oracle Sparc to Oracle Linux system at my previous employer a couple years ago. Before this migration, it had moved to Fujitsu from Sun several years previous. (Oracle on Linux just wasn't there yet, a high-performance 8-CPU Intel machine monopolizing a whole SAN for performance reasons was full of race conditions because driver developers never had seen a machine or storage that powerful).

Sun just couldn't compete. For Sparc stuff, we would have needed a $5 million machine to outperform the $500k Fujitsu. The diminishing returns from the supposedly scalable Sun systems meant we had to skip two entire product lines. Unfortunately we couldn't test the next level up, and our experience with the E10K (64 CPUs underperforming 12) was that Sun machines don't always scale like this.

When we went to Intel hardware, we would have needed a $250k Sun machine and $250k SAN storage to perform comparably to a $50k Intel machine including internal storage.

We gave Sun a really good chance to compete each time, everyone involved had a strong personal attachment to making it work and had not yet accepted that Sun had failed as a business. We allways talk about that initial revelation that if Sun couldn't compete for our setup, they probably couldn't compete anywhere unless this is just a temporary gap in the product offering.

The Sun machines were the least reliable compared to the Fujitsu and Intel solutions. Random were weekly events on the Sun machines (e.g. [456]500s, E10Ks), every few months on the Fujitsu Primepower 850 machines, and hasn't happened ONCE after two years on the Intel machines. And I'm comparing it to a MUCH larger population of Intel machines (we added dev, qa for each of app groups, sysadmins, DBAs, "yesterday's data" for support people, added another server for performance, and then duplicated the entire 5-server setup when we took over another business unit's almost identical application.

Although I could say in theory I miss being able to identify and replace failed hardware components easily, the reality is that the HP servers identify the part that caused a crash with a fault light most of the time. Sun needed a case to be opened with them to explain a complicated error. This changes the hardware fix from under 5 minutes - a datacenter tech can do it himself - to hours at minimum, and days if their support screws you around.

Being able to do the hardware replacement faster also means no second downtime to do the actual fix. And the confidence level from a clear fault light is huge versus a vendor's first line support that is known for lying when decoding an error message based on what looked "obvious", not based on the real complexities involved.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165137)

Thank you for posting some real facts about Sun hardware, performance, maintenance, and support. The Sun zealotry around here needs a balanced perspective.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165387)

When we went to Intel hardware, we would have needed a $250k Sun machine and $250k SAN storage to perform comparably to a $50k Intel machine including internal storage.

Thank you for posting some real facts about Sun hardware, performance, maintenance, and support. The Sun zealotry around here needs a balanced perspective.

Yah, fair and balanced, or it supports what you want to believe?

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165425)

Odd, one of my customers reports the very opposite: they were constantly replacing Intel components during the eight months I was there at the very least weekly, and had one Sun board die. They said the disk failure rates were lower on the Sun too, but I don't know by how much.

--dave

Re:Bad deal for both companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163757)

Wrong. The IBM/Sun deal would have been the end of Sun as we know it. There's too much overlap in their product lines and IBM would have wiped out what Sun brought in order to reduce competition for their [arguably inferior] products.

Linux could save SPARC? Huh? Sun already supports Linux on all of their SPARC (and x86) products. IMHO, there's practically no good reason to do that, though. The only reason I could really see it is if you're in a big Linux shop and somehow ended up with a single SPARC box and have no Solaris experience. There's already an excellent OS available that's highly optimized for SPARC and it's called Solaris. Linux and gcc are highly optimized for x86. If you want Linux, you're better off sticking with that. The only thing saving SPARC is the gigantic installed base in large companies. Sun has totally mismanaged it. Back in the day, they had an awesome processor. Then years went by when Intel was lapping them on a regular basis. Sun was still happily selling the US-II boxes with the same 500-550MHz processor they used 5 years earlier. US-III and US-IV were big improvements, but not enough to keep up with Intel. Sun dumped piles of money into US-V and killed it. Then they dumped piles of money into Rock and killed it. The Niagara products are interesting in the right applications, but with the wrong workload, they're miserable. Also, they're now killing off the T1000/T2000 boxes, so list price for the cheapest Niagara box is $13K. Linux can't save this. IBM can't save this. Oracle can sell ice to Eskimos and charge a premium for it. Oracle's database customers are already SPARC customers. Oracle might actually be SPARC's best hope of survival.

Java doesn't complement Oracle's product line? Do you realize that Oracle bought BEA a while back? Go read about Weblogic.

I do agree with you about mysql being a mess. Sun never should have bought that. Waste of $1B.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

kamatsu (969795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164747)

These days, Linux/gcc on ARM are getting alot more attention. I don't think it's fair to say linux is highly optimized for x86 anymore.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163983)

I agree that Sun would have been a better fit for IBM than for Oracle.

But IBM wasn't sufficiently eager (or desperate) to acquire them.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (2, Insightful)

trifish (826353) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164015)

Moderating "-1, Disagree" is simple censorship. Have the guts to post your opinion.

So you think it's ok to see a total misleading bullshit moderated +5 Informative? Then you must be a crazy person. The moderation system is there to weed out nonsense, garbage and crap and to promote only quality posts to the the +5 level.

I will continue to mod any incorrect or misleading posts down, because that's one of the reasons why I have mod points.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164645)

makes more sense to comment and support your argument then someone else can mod you up.
Of course if someone has posted something accurate and informative then promote that and perhaps downgrade the +5 although sometimes it helps to leave the high modded post just to provide the alternative argument.

It's not important to use all your mod points I have them most of the time and I only use them when I see a reason to use them. Tell me how saying your wrong benefits anybody even your self you can't unread a post, thats the point of moderation to help other users read better quality posts.

Sometimes that you can see a viewpoint that you totally disagree with but sometimes its needed to bring forth better posts.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

kuhneng (241514) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165149)

From where I stand, either IBM or Oracle were good matches.

Regarding Microsoft - as far as I know, the majority of Oracle's database revenue is coming in on Solaris/sparc and Linux/x86 platforms. Oracle was already squarely in the Java / Linux camp before the acquisition - their applications and middleware stacks are almost entirely Java (or moving there), and they have their own Linux distribution.

The Java acquisition is an imporant defensive move - there are too many free languages and tools out there to make a significant revenue directly from selling languages. With Oracle and IBM both distributing JVMs, Java has a high probability of holding on to its vibrant developer community. I suspect Oracle had concerns about relying on IBM (a very direct competitor) for Java (a foundation technology for Oracle products). The cost of running Java is nothing compared to the costs Oracle would experience if Java either faltered or was tilted against them. Oracle actually built their own JVM for use within the database years ago, though it's essentially dormant now.

The same likely goes for Sun's commercial middleware offerings - Oracle is likely interested in incorporating the best pieces of these into their own stack (see BEA, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, etc.).

MySQL may be different story - Oracle doesn't seem to have any strategic need for it and they already sell / give away smaller editions of the Oracle DB. I'm personally expecting Oracle's MySQL distribution to wither on the vine but some of the open source forks have a good shot at thriving.

Sparc is likely to continue dying off slowly, whether in Oracle's hands or as a spun off property. There are still plenty of companies happy to upgrade legacy boxes at this point and there's non-trivial revenue that can be derived from them, but the high end systems market will likely consolidate into Power and Itanium, as well as being absorbed into x86. Sparc doesn't have a champion any more and the larger price / architectural trends don't look good for it.

Solaris is an interesting piece of technology and it's less clear what's likely to happen to it. Oracle may see strategic benefits to distributing it themselves as a favored , or they may take some of the technologies (ZFS, scheduler, etc.) and port them to Linux.

OpenOffice and NetBeans are also less clear. There doesn't seem to be significant revenue or strategic potential for either unless Oracle wants to go up against MS Office. Oracle already has JDeveloper in the IDE space and it seems more likely they'd build on Eclipse if there's interest in a new platform.

Re:Bad deal for both companies (1)

netdur (816698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165241)

I don't think you know what you are talking about... most of Oracle profit is from Oracle database, and they recommended Solaris as OS for Oracle database server... and while you can run database on Windows, only idiots would do that

Re:Bad deal for both companies (2, Informative)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165295)

Then there's Java. Drains quite a bit of cash without making enough money and Oracle as a company has the wrong temperment to maintain and improve a programming language anyway. Start charging enough to make money on Java and Java dies. Nor does having Java particularly complement Oracle's product line.

http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/jrockit/index.html [oracle.com]

This page is getting funnier by the minute. There are people who's last experience with either company is from ten years ago, people who think either company is 'not big enough for X', and people who are only familiar with one facet (if any) of the companies businesses.

Open Office has a target on its back (2, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163737)

It's a niche product, doesn't and probably can't make enough money to support itself. Perhaps they will sell it to Mozilla, but I don't see any compelling business reason to keep it around except for the sole simple reason that it is a thorn in the side of Microsoft. come to think of it, given how much Ellison detests Gates and Ballmer et al, he might just sink millions into OpenOffice and make it work right and be a true competitor to MSOffice. I guess it depends on Ellison - will his hate of all things MS make him sink millions into OO and make it a true competitor to MSO, or will he head the bean counters and cut it lose?

It will be very interesting to see how that pans out. I rather like Open Office - it's quirky and kind of ugly, but it does work and its drawing tools are great for business graphics. but its presentation tool (competitor for PowerPoint) sucks even worse than PowerPoint, and PowerPoint is at an advanced stage of suckitude. That said, I hope Ellison sees the promise in Open Office and really runs with it. If he could make OpenOffice presentation better than Keynote, word processing better than Word, and spreadsheet better than Excel, I would pay real money for that.

Re:Open Office has a target on its back (1)

treat (84622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163945)

It's a niche product, doesn't and probably can't make enough money to support itself.

Openoffice was sadly never any good. It was never even good enough for them to have leapfrogging MS Office as a goal, they just had to play catch-up from years behind.

Look how much better Excel 2007 was than the previous versions. (I don't know what version exactly had the tremendous UI change). This looked like a new product, the usability was greatly enhanced. Any other spreadsheet manufacturer could have done this. All were so caught up in playing catch-up with Excel that they never thought to sit down and redesign a good portion of the UI.

What a morale destroyer this must have been.

Re:Open Office has a target on its back (1)

gander666 (723553) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164215)

I will probably get moderated into karma hell for this, but I wholeheartedly agree with you. I really, REALLY wanted to like Open Office, but it can't even play catch up with MS Office.

Your point about Excel 2007 are spot on. I live on pivot tables, and the conditional formatting, and while I could do some of it with Excel 2003, the new paradigms in the 2007 version are awesome.

Lots of people here drink the Koolaid that OO is a contender, but it really falls flat.

I just woke up... (2, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164107)

I just woke up and on reading the title I thought they meant Oracle was actually purchasing the sun...

Re:I just woke up... (2, Funny)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164739)

Would that make them responsible for skin cancer?!
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