451 Group Research Explains How Oracle / Sun Open Source Will Work

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Includes: JAVA, ORCL
by: Dennis Byron

Recent 451 Group research helps make the argument that the European Union (EU) objection to the Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) acquisition of Sun (JAVA) is a sham.

The EU is supposedly worried that the dreadful "proprietary" software supplier Oracle will squelch continued use and development of the sort-of-open-source licensed MySQL and thereby restrain database software market competition. Oracle says in rebuttal (among multiple rebuttal points to the incoherent EU position), that the EU Competition Commission simply does not understand open source culture dynamics.

Oracle is right (in this case) and the 451 Group numbers, listed in a blog post by Matthew Aslett, indicate how it will work:

  • Less current MySQL users will use MySQL because it is "owned" by Oracle
  • These deserters are the "French wine/Italian shoes" open-source crowd of which I write occassionally; they represent the small sliver of the market that rates license terms and conditions more important than function
  • They will move to MariaDB, the MySQL fork project that the EU is trying to unfairly protect, and PostgreSQL, not to Oracle

That's how the open source culture is supposed to work.

There are some methodological issues with the 451 Group Research in that respondents appear to be 451 Group customers only, so I would question that the absolute numbers reflect the information technology market to any meaningful degree. But directionally, the numbers reflect exactly how market dynamics should theoretically move. And it's not the way the EU reportedly says in its Statement of Objections.

The entire 451 Group research report is available only to its subscribers.

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