First, Marie Antoinette said "let them eat cake." Will Oracle buying Sun have a similar outcome?
If Oracle goes down one path, it could be a brilliant strategy. Oracle was previously competing with two other enterprise software vendors: IBM and SAP. Now, they only have one competitor: IBM. Two vendors providing turnkey solutions: hardware, software, and services all rolled into one. What's more, cloud computing is essentially a turnkey services business as well - so it positions Oracle to capture a huge slice of both traditional and cloud computing worlds. Down this path, enterprises end up with the ultimate in flexibility: whether on-premise or cloud, powered by a common Java-based technology stack and hoards of consultants, the business needs rule the day.
On the other hand, if Oracle goes down the other path (taking Java, MySQL, and other Sun assets and clamping down on them), it risks alienating a large community of both vendors and customers. Frankly, Oracle doesn't have a great reputation in this regard - so, even if they do everything right, people might still turn away because of (historically well justified) fear. If this happens it could turn the continuous trickle of people moving from Java to other technologies (.NET, Ruby, PaaS, etc.) into a flood - a rebellion triggered by a ruthless but short sighted empire builder. If this happens, the traditional enterprise software market as we know it could implode, to be replaced by fundamentally different technology base (almost certainly cloud native - can you say Google Apps?).
Which path do you think Oracle will take?
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