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DATE 2008-01-01

HANGOUT

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Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2008-01-19
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] how to make a billion dollars

Monte has hit it big and these numbers are mind numbing:

Ruben


Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:00 PM PST

Sun put its money where its mouth is Wednesday, with the announcement that
it would buy open source database vendor MySQL for a whopping $1 billion.

f the price tag set tongues wagging, however, it was no more tantalizing
than the question that immediately sprung to the minds of IT managers
everywhere: Now that Sun owns MySQL, what on earth does it plan to do
with it?

Sun has toyed with the idea of a database offering of its own for at least
two years. But in a market where basic relational database functionality
is increasingly considered a commodity, competing successfully is no
mean feat, even when playing the open source card.

Certainly, Sun isn't the first to try it. In 2001, leading Linux
vendor Red Hat launched its own branded version of the open source
PostgreSQL database, only to scrap the project a year later after
deciding that servicing and supporting a database was not its core
competency. Similarly, Computer Associates opened the source of the
Ingres database in hopes of becoming a one-stop shop for customers in
need of an enterprise application stack, but had little luck winning
market share away from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. CA spun
Ingres off into its own company in 2005, where continues to nurture a
small installed base.

In his blog announcing the MySQL acquisition Wednesday, Sun CEO Jonathan
Schwartz remains characteristically effusive. "Until now, no platform
vendor has assembled all the core elements of a completely open source
operating system for the internet," he wrote. "No company has been able
to deliver a comprehensive alternative to the leading proprietary OS."

Yet CA's and Red Hat's experiences seem to discredit the idea that a
stem-to-stern platform offering from a single vendor is what customers
really want. Not to mention the fact that Sun already offers enterprise
support for PostgreSQL, a competing open source database that is widely
perceived as being technologically superior to MySQL. Schwartz reaffirmed
Sun's commitment to PostgreSQL in a conference call Wednesday, causing
some analysts to speculate whether the MySQL acquisition was anything
more than a billion-dollar PR stunt. Good Will Worth the Money?

But there may be method to Sun's madness. The considerable goodwill that
MySQL has cultivated among enterprise customers could have benefits for
Sun that technology alone never could.

"I think the answer is simple: ubiquity," says Andy Astor, CEO of
EnterpriseDB, which markets a high-performance, commercial database
product based on PostgreSQL. "[Sun is] a big company; to move their
needle, they need to see millions of potential users, which MySQL
provides."

According to the company MySQL's own estimates, there are already some
11 million active installations of the MySQL database worldwide. What's
more, MySQL is virtually the de facto standard relational database for
rapid application development, particularly for the Web. In future, as
these fledgling sites mature and their needs broaden, they will become
natural customers for Sun's enterprise support offerings.

Sun's new role as steward of MySQL is sure to ruffle feathers in the
software industry, as well -- particularly at Oracle, which, with its
recent acquisitions, increasingly competes with Sun in the enterprise
application platform arena. In 2005, Oracle bought Innobase, makers of
a plug-in component that adds advanced features to MySQL, in what was
widely perceived as a competitive swipe at the open source upstart.

For his part, MySQL CEO Mårten Mickos has repeatedly denied that his
company's aim is to displace high-end databases such as Oracle's. And
that's only appropriate; for those customers who demand Oracle's most
advanced features, no other product will do. But Mickos's protestations
verge on false modesty. On the low end, MySQL is an absolute pandemic,
and it's already making headway into the mid-tier territory traditionally
owned by the likes of Microsoft. That trend is only likely to accelerate
with Sun's backing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:00 PM PST Licensing Issues

What is unclear, however, is whether Sun will take any steps to alter
MySQL's license terms. Licensing and project governance have played key
roles in MySQL's success, and as a result, MySQL's license policy is
somewhat more restrictive than the one that Sun has used for the rest
of its software portfolio.

Although all MySQL code is available under the Gnu GPL (General Public
License), the product is developed primarily by full-time employees of
MySQL. Furthermore, the MySQL company requests that community developers
sign over copyright to their code contributions to the company before
those changes become part of the main MySQL code base. This allows the
MySQL company to offer a separate, commercial version of its database
for enterprise customers who don't want to be bound by the terms of
the GPL. Initially, this license structure was used mainly to allow
companies to embed the MySQL database into their own products, but the
MySQL company was criticized last year for making it more difficult for
non-paying customers to download the enterprise version of the database.

By comparison, Sun has been freer with its own code, foregoing separate,
commercial versions of its products in favor of a subscription-based
enterprise support scheme. PostgreSQL is arguably even more free; it
is governed in a much more distributed, community-based fashion than
MySQL, and its permissive license even allows proprietary derivatives,
such as EnterpriseDB. Name Recognition Factor

Ironically, however, MySQL's stringent intellectual property policy
may be precisely what makes it so appealing to Sun. Red Hat Database
and Sun's own version of PostgreSQL were merely different retoolings
of an existing open source software product, one that customers could
just as easily download from elsewhere. To the enterprise IT community
at large, however, there's really only one MySQL -- and from now on,
that name will be indelibly associated with Sun. Remember, for all Sun's
talk about open source, this is a company that banks so heavily on its
trademarks that it had its stock ticker symbol changed to JAVA.

Ah, but there's the rub. Sun open-sourced the Java platform in 2006,
and while the move has been widely hailed by developers, not everyone
in the business community was as thrilled with the idea of Sun giving
away its crown jewels. As former Sun vice president Larry Singer put it,
"We [at Sun] were spending all of our time and attention ... on things
that were important from an intellectual standpoint, important from an
innovative standpoint, [but it was] hard to understand how they were
going to drive revenue for the company."

So far, MySQL has built a solid business selling open source database
software. Whether Sun has the strategic acumen to take that success to
the next level, however, remains to be seen. But stay tuned; after all,
$1 billion gives Sun a hell of an incentive.



--
http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attached at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt. I guess you missed that one."

© Copyright for the Digital Millennium

  1. 2008-01-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [events-at-networksolutions.com: Reminder - Invitation to the New York SEO Seminar 1/09/08]
  2. 2008-01-03 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Mike's Children Workshop
  3. 2008-01-06 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com: Re: WE MET AT BK MUSEUM!**]
  4. 2008-01-11 email <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] craigslist
  5. 2008-01-11 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] craigslist
  6. 2008-01-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Comics On Line
  7. 2008-01-13 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] craigslist
  8. 2008-01-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] craigslist
  9. 2008-01-13 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] craigslist
  10. 2008-01-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] BAYONNE SQLEDGER
  11. 2008-01-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fios - David Sugar
  12. 2008-01-14 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] recommendations on donating equipment
  13. 2008-01-18 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] recommendations on donating equipment
  14. 2008-01-18 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] recommendations on donating
  15. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] how to make a billion dollars
  16. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fios - David Sugar
  17. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] ASUS mini-laptop available
  18. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Blackouts and Computer Networks
  19. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Human Cloning
  20. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Time/Warner - Less for more is a boon
  21. 2008-01-19 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Human Cloning
  22. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Human Cloning
  23. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Fios - David Sugar
  24. 2008-01-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] ASUS mini-laptop available
  25. 2008-01-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Coming Patent Wars
  26. 2008-01-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Cheap Laptop Parade continues
  27. 2008-01-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Democracy in Europe part II
  28. 2008-01-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Democracy in Europe
  29. 2008-01-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Ayan Hirsi Ali
  30. 2008-01-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Freedom-IT Planning
  31. 2008-01-21 ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Ayan Hirsi Ali
  32. 2008-01-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: What happened to NYLXS?
  33. 2008-01-23 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: What happened to NYLXS?
  34. 2008-01-23 email <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: What happened to NYLXS?
  35. 2008-01-23 ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: What happened to NYLXS?
  36. 2008-01-23 ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The linux infestation starts in Russian youth!
  37. 2008-01-25 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: What happened to NYLXS?
  38. 2008-01-25 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: What happened to NYLXS?
  39. 2008-01-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] The linux infestation starts in Russian youth!
  40. 2008-01-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  41. 2008-01-27 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  42. 2008-01-27 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  43. 2008-01-27 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  44. 2008-01-28 From: "Ronny Abraham" <ronny.coder-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  45. 2008-01-28 From: "Ronny Abraham" <ronny.coder-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  46. 2008-01-28 From: "Michael L. Richardson.com" <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  47. 2008-01-28 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  48. 2008-01-29 From: "Ronny Abraham" <ronny.coder-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Republican Endorsements and the facts
  49. 2008-01-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] Nokia N810
  50. 2008-01-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com: Re: [nylug-talk] Nokia N810]
  51. 2008-01-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [slynch-at-grandstreet.org: [501 Tech Club NY] RE: computer lab]
  52. 2008-01-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] Nokia N810

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