Sun Rains on the Open Source Software IPO Parade

by: SoundView Technology Group

Some open source software [OSS] purists on the blogosphere–and some outright double-dipping conflicted for-profit OSS company executives–have been beating the drum for over a year about the upcoming parade of IPOs that we would see from the OSS movement. But reality happened, market forces intervened, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) bought Zimbra, Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) bought Xensource (paying way too much), and the OSS IPO marching band kept getting smaller and smaller. Wednesday Sun (JAVA) acquired MySQL, pulling the lead trombone of the OSS IPO parade, out of the line of march. The marching band is about to become a quintet.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the rapid convergence of the open source software movement with the enterprise software world’s leading suppliers. Sun had already begun to open-source many of its software assets and switch to the subscription accounting that is the primary way of measuring OSS in the market, so in a way this means no change to that opinion.

But it does mean the MySQL OSS database is less of a threat to Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), buried in the bowels of Sun along with SeeBeyond and other piece parts than MySQL was as a separate organization. It does mean that the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) usage of MySQL gets a little more complicated. And it seems to mean that Sun wants back in the game up and down the stack, competing with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and to a lesser extent with IBM (NYSE:IBM).