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MySQL for a Billion Dollars

Alex Christie

18 January 2008

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Probably one of the biggest stories of the week is that Sun will be purchasing open source database vendor MySQL for a whopping $1 Billion.

The price tag might have set tongues wagging, but even more tantalising is the question which immediately arose in the minds of IT managers world wide: Now that Sun owns MySQL, what on earth are they planning to do with it?

In his blog announcement on Wednesday, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz remained 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."

Sun’s new role as parent of MySQL is sure to ruffle feathers in the software industry, especially 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.

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