Oracle-Sun Merger Could Benefit Small Business

Cautious optimism were the watchwords as Oracle completed its purchase of Sun. MySQL and OpenOffice have survived, for now.

Small business has reason the cheer Oracle's acquisition of Sun, now that it appears OpenOffice.org and MySQL look to do well--perhaps better--under new ownership.

Time will tell, but market forces may make the OpenOffice.org suite important to Sun. MySQL is protected, in part, by an agreement with the European Commission.

Oracle this week took control of Sun and held a webcast to detail its plans. Most of those plans are enterprise in nature, but some impact SMB customers as well.

MySQL is a key Internet technology for many businesses and can be seen as competing with Oracle's legacy database products.

The good news is that Oracle has promised to continue to offer a free MySQL and is taking a mostly hands-off approach to the MySQL commercial products, which retain their own sales and development organizations.

Oracle has already committed to a cloud-based apps suite, dubbed Cloud Office, which is positioned to compete with Microsoft and Google. OpenOffice.org could play an important part in the project, given both its installed based and the value of its technology and brand.

Alternately, OpenOffice.org could remain what it is today, and be totally independent of Cloud Office. Oracle has not said what will happen to StarOffice, Sun's paid version of OpenOffice.org.

(If you'd like to read a good summary of the enterprise implications, CNET's Gordon Haff offers a take on them. There is also an excellent summary from Computerworld, by Eric Lai).

While no one will confuse Oracle with a company that specializes in small-business solutions, it has become a player there and is likely to increase its presence in that market.

My take: Oracle has generally gotten good marks for its plans to keep most Sun products and technologies alive and even invest more resources in many of them. Both OpenOffice.org and MySQL benefit from the Oracle take-over, mostly because Sun had become so enfeebled in recent years.

A strong, independent Sun would be a better home for MySQL, but given Sun's lack of success in popularizing OpenOffice.org, that software might do better under Oracle's stewardship. While OpenOffice.org recently celebrated its 100 millionth download, it took a decade and multiple releases to reach that milestone.

My guess is there are no more than 10 million daily OpenOffice.org users, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

MySQL is much more important than OpenOffice.org, in that it powers so many Web sites and applications. When the acquisition was announced there were immediate concerns that Oracle would kill it as a competitor to its own SQL products.

That hasn't happened, but my optimism is cautious. MySQL could yet fall victim to Oracle, but for now I am taking the company at its word and promise of good things for the open source database.

David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as @techinciter and may be contacted via his Web site.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags sunbusinessOracle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?