Sun Microsystems announced today that it will buy MySQL for a billion dollars, paying off the MySQL founders and investors.
For only a billion dollars… Now, that’s a steal, don’t you think? If MySQL had gone IPO perhaps they could’ve raised 5 billion dollars or more – I believe they could have because the open source market is only growing stronger. On the same day, Oracle announced its acquisition of BEA for 8.5 billion dollars – just for acquiring market share. So a billion dollars for MySQL seems cheap.
How does this affect Linux? Sun has marketed open source initiatives such as OpenSolaris, Netbeans, GlassFish and OpenOffice. Now MySQL joins that list. MySQL is a key player in the Linux solution set. Linux could benefit if MySQL is provided with more resources to help build more powerful open source solutions. Linux could be hurt if MySQL becomes more encumbered and less free.
2008 promises to be an interesting year for open source. Let’s hope Sun will play to its strengths of great engineering and innovation and support the entire open source community. This means Linux too.