My 2009 Top Story: Oracle Buys Sun

 |  Includes: JAVA, ORCL
by: Larry Dignan

Among all the top stories on Between the Lines in 2009—Windows 7, Google Chrome and Apple’s iPhone and the AT&T reputation hit—Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems gets my pick for the top tech development in 2009.


Oracle swooped into buy Sun Microsystems garnered a few reactions from the average tech observer:

  • What does Oracle want with hardware?
  • Oracle now owns all of Java.
  • Will Larry Ellison’s master plan to be a complete systems provider work?

Turns out the big hitch with this deal was MySQL, notably the European Union’s concerns about it. When Oracle announced it was buying Sun, MySQL was a bit of an afterthought. Who knew MySQL threatened to derail the merger?

Indeed, Oracle’s acquisition of Sun got the green light from U.S. regulators, who had no problem with MySQL. Earlier this month, Oracle threw a bone to the EU that appears to have made the deal a lock to close in January. In the meantime, Ellison gave a nice preview of what to expect from Sun once it’s in the Oracle fold.

Can Oracle turn around the bleeding Sun? Sun bleeds market share. It bleeds workers. And it bleeds red ink. Yet Oracle thinks it can make Sun a big moneymaker.

Whether Oracle succeeds in its mission will be an interesting tale for 2010.