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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

By Joe Barr on January 16, 2008 (1:39:46 PM)

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According to a post on the MySQL blog site last night, by MySQL's Vice President for Community Kaj Arno, Sun Microsystems plans to purchase MySQL AB, the commercial firm selling enterprise database products built atop the ubiquitous open source database which represents the M in the LAMP open source software stack.

In his blog post, Arno describes reaction to the news by the MySQL community as "a mixture of various feelings, including excitement, pride, disbelief and satisfaction, but also anxiety." In a blog post on Sun's Web site, CEO Jonathan Schwartz noted "MySQL is by far the most popular platform on which modern developers are creating network services."

Sun Microsystems confirmed the surprise announcement with an official press release this morning, saying, "it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MySQL AB, an open source icon and developer of one of the world's fastest growing open source databases for approximately $1 billion in total consideration."

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on Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.162.2.138] on January 16, 2008 02:09 PM
that sucks...

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Why should it suck?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on January 16, 2008 02:43 PM
Why do you think it sucks? The community loses nothing by this deal. MySQL is distributed under the GPL. The MySQL that people are using today will always be free software, and you (or anybody else) has the right to extend it, fix bugs, etc and release the new version under the GPL. That is the great thing about the GPL.

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Re: Why should it suck?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.43.173.190] on January 17, 2008 11:40 PM
You speak as if that benefit was exclusive to the GPL. But it isn't.

If MySQL were distributed under the MIT license, it would remain free forever as well. It would remain even if it were under the public domain. No one can retroactively revoke given rights - unless you didn't met the license's conditions or the license expired (in which case it wouldn't be free in the first place).

Moreover, Sun bought MySQL AB, which in turn means it has bought the actual copyright over MySQL. Sun is MySQL's owner now. They could change the license of their versions of MySQL if they wanted to, no matter what the previous license were (GPL, MIT, whatever).

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.162.2.138] on January 16, 2008 02:20 PM
One billion is a lot of cash ... Wonder what they are going to close up in MySql to get back all that cash.

This does suck.

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Re: Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on January 16, 2008 02:49 PM
'Wonder what they are going to close up in MySql to get back all that cash.' It sounds like you do not understand the GPL license under which MySQL is distributed. Current versions which have been released under the GPL CANNOT be closed up. Anybody - you, for example - can legally grab the source and make it available for download from your server by anyone. Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu, etc etc are already doing this and will doubtless continue to do so.


Sun might add new features/better performance and make the improved version proprietary. But if they did this, probably somebody would fork the current MySQL, building the new features into the free version.

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.221.100.28] on January 16, 2008 02:31 PM
I don't think that sucks. I think this is great. Sun offers more Open Source than anyone else and it's products are great (Solaris, OpenOffice, Java, JRuby, Glassfish, Netbeans). This can only be good for MySQL.
I wonder if Sun buys RedHad next.

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A billion? That is NUTS.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on January 16, 2008 02:39 PM
MySQL is a good program, but no way is it worth a billion dollars.

Some good might come out of this. MySQL AB (the company) does some pretty stupid things with MySQL; for example, the default installation uses non-ANSI operators (e.g. for logical or) and the default collation sequence for characters is Swedish. Sun will presumably fix lunacy like that.

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 195.224.196.100] on January 16, 2008 03:11 PM
"MySQL is a good program, but no way is it worth a billion dollars."

Erm, they're buying the company that services this code ....

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.151.73.110] on January 16, 2008 03:25 PM
The MySQL program itself is worthless to sun - Sun could easily fork the source and make a version with proprietary addons. Sun is buying the existing business as a going concern, which makes sense considering that MySQL is doing quite well (as a business) and lots of Sun's operations currently aren't. I simply hope that Sun doesn't suck all the talent out of MySQL into it's other blighted operations.

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 200.161.149.245] on January 16, 2008 04:08 PM
They are buying MySQL AB, the firm. MySQL, the database software, just happen to be one of the many things they got with that. So, say 'Mysql does not worth 1 billion' is a retard attitude.

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.28.179.226] on January 16, 2008 04:38 PM
This is great! I think we can expect much faster development times, better support, etc. out of this. Go Sun!

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.236.163.214] on January 16, 2008 06:00 PM
Many differing opinions out there on this one. I think its too early to tell, but I am certainly fearful this will be a damaging impact. A billion dollars has the power to conjugate a lot of change.
<a href="http://shoutcast.setnine.com/">shoucast</a>

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 194.65.5.235] on January 16, 2008 06:15 PM
Is that a billion long-scale or short-scale?

Short-scale sucks.

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Market economics?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 169.233.25.12] on January 16, 2008 07:23 PM
How would a for-profit institution, like Sun, gain from forever supporting Open Source / Free Software? I was recently told by a Sun employee that they have been hit with hard times, so where is this 1 billion dollars coming from and what can shareholders expect to see? Seeing Sun as a champion of FOSS is a rosy view of the whole situation. When push comes to shove, they will sell out FOSS, so don't expect much.

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Sun buys MySQL for one billion dollars

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.167.194.20] on January 17, 2008 12:18 AM
Why is it that when I saw the subject of this article that I had Dr. Evil's voice in my head pronouncing the "one billion dollars". :D

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.38.248.17] on January 17, 2008 10:09 AM
What is the real purpose of Sun's buying MySQL, and to note that it worth alot of money. For humankind?

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.212.219.42] on January 17, 2008 05:34 PM
I don't know why SUN bought mySQL for $1 billion.. didn't anyone tell them that it's open source, they could have just downloaded it and saved all that money... stupid suits...

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Re: Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.43.173.190] on January 18, 2008 02:21 AM
They would never be able to combine MySQL with their own proprietary products because of the GPL's artificial "freedom restriction field". Hence the purchase: they get the copyrights and can do whatever they want with the goddamn program.

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.162.2.138] on January 17, 2008 05:37 PM
This is really a big blow to the web applications. SUN really sucks! We need out FLOSS MSQL BACK.

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Time for a more reliable database

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.31.47.221] on January 18, 2008 04:08 AM
Right <a href=http://www.postgresql.org>here</a>. Postgres, acid compliant and available on both Linux and Windows. And easy migration (not to mention about $25,000 cheaper per core-cpu).

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.130.106] on January 18, 2008 06:58 AM
I agree, not much good comes out of Sun these day. Just thinking of the whole openDS issue that just past. Postgres here I come.

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.162.2.138] on January 18, 2008 08:01 AM
postgres sucks, mySQL is the definitive database!! mySQL is GOD (GOD(GOD Of Databases) Of Databases)..

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.232.202.245] on January 19, 2008 11:02 PM
My guess is that sun wants to fork MySQL and create the next Oracle.

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.25.131.250] on January 26, 2008 06:14 AM
Who gets all this money ?

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.165.41.202] on February 04, 2008 12:50 AM
I can relate to the anxiety; this change does bring a lot of uncertainty. But I don't get this assumption of doom and gloom. I'm sure that you have heard of OpenOffice? :-) but you may not have realized that it was created by Sun after they bought $$ StarOffice and that they also have a paid license version?

Yes, Sun is struggling, it is hard to make money when you are giving so much away, and the bottom has fallen out of the hardware market with the predominance of commodity computers. You can argue this all you like, but from where I sit, now that Linux has captured mind-share, all other *nix are receding into the niche, including Sun's. I suspect they are trying to reinvent themselves as the next mega-database and office products company. mySQL has a successful business model which includes giving mySQL away under the GPL and selling support. It's not too different from what Sun was hoping to achieve with OpenOffice, the difference is that companies are a lot more likely to purchase support for a database then an office suite. Sun wants to see if they can scale it up to a higher level of market penetration. Seems reasonable to me. Also this is a good time to buy, with the current adoption and profitability trends mySQL's value is near certain to be increasing a lot. Seems like a sound investment to me. Wait much longer and it gets a lot more expensive. Also with the solidity of Sun's backing, companies can feel a lot safer about switching from MS SQL, thus accelerating growth even further and that's probably why mySQL sees this as an opportunity for them as well.

Perhaps too it was a defensive tactic, designed to protect all of us, consider the alternative, what would have happened if M$ had decided that they were going to buy mySQL in order to acquire the superior technology, and to get rid of a competitor at the same time. Can't happen, you say? anti-trust and all that. Well er let's see, there is MSN and MS Live but that somehow does not stop them from offering 44 billion for Yahoo. So what happened to anti-trust? Remember FoxPro?

I don't know about you, but I much prefer Sun to M$. Sun has proven themselves to be a responsible corporate citizen; whereas Microsoft seems intent on proving to us in every way possible that they are the opposite of anything good.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way associated with any of these companies, I do however use software from all of them, this is strictly my personal opinion based on publicly available information. codeslinger (compsalot.com)

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Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.202.101.193] on February 06, 2008 10:32 PM
AHH, Red Hat used to be free as well. Now we have Fedora and Red Hat is sold. If I am not mistaking RH was under the same GPL licensing as MySQL. Time will tell and my bet is that MySQL free will go the way of watered down.

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Re: Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion

Posted by: Joe Barr on February 07, 2008 12:44 AM
Red Hat has always been a commercial product, since day 1. And it is still available for free. That's where CentOS and the other RH clones come from.

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Some open source history

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.134.38.66] on March 10, 2008 06:57 PM
Have you forgotten Red Had made an offer for a database company a few years ago and that company along with its 80 employees turned it down. Red Hat then went with PostgreSQL and a few months later there were 80 people and another database company gone bankrupt. Oracle offer a clone of Red Hat software and support for half the Red Hat price. Red Hat is and always has been a shrink wrap packaging company that employ a few people who improve one thing or another open source. MySQL has had a dual license since its inception. Sun and Netscape both got badly burned by MS and the results are fascinating -- Open Office and Fire Fox grew out of their for profit, now defunct products. Still, the price does seem high until one considers that Sun is the network and MySQL is the network database. It could be good for them and all of us as well.

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