We all woke up Monday morning and heard the news. Oracle just bought Sun Microsystems for 7.4 billion. Oracle produces business software and databases. By acquiring Sun, Oracle becomes a hardware vendor with Sun’s family of servers and workstations. Oracle also inherits Java and its assortment of programs. It also gains an operating system called Solaris. And most importantly, Oracle is now the proud owner of the widely popular open-source database called MySQL.
At first, the acquisition makes a lot of sense. But, some think that this buyout is a mistake. Does Oracle really want to become a hardware vendor? Can it sell servers and workstations better than Sun ever did? Can it make Solaris more popular than Linux? Or was Oracle only after MySQL? We will never know the answers to these questions. At least, not in the immediate future. So, what happens to MySQL?
No one knows for sure. Will Oracle make money from it? No one has done it before. Not even MySQL. So, will Oracle simply kill it or charge existing and future users? One thing is for sure, some people will bail out. There are other options out there. One thing about open-source, you can’t really kill it. You can buy it, but you can’t stop it from forking.
Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder of MySQL and Monty Program Ab has already left Sun a few months back and has forked MySQL with a database called MariaDB. Another option is to go with PostgreSQL, another open-source database that has played second fiddle to MySQL all these years.
It will be interesting to see which direction will MySQL go to under the direction of Oracle.