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62% of Sun's Stockholders Vote For Oracle Deal 152

Posted by timothy
from the well-'larry-ellison'-just-has-a-nice-ring-to-it dept.
Moon Workstation writes "In an special meeting held at Santa Clara, CA, 62% of Sun's stockholders voted for the acquisition by Oracle. As a result of this Sun's stock will be taken from the stock market as of Friday. The acquisition is still waiting for approval by the US Department of Justice and anti-trust offices in other countries. The planned acquisition is source for rumors and speculation about the future of different Sun products, like OpenSolaris, CPUs and others." (MySQL among them.)
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62% of Sun's Stockholders Vote For Oracle Deal

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  • MySQL... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ByeSQL!

  • MySQL won't die (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hyppy (74366) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:12PM (#28722797)
    Oracle won't kill MySQL. MySQL's accessibility hurts Microsoft's database division too much. Oracle and MySQL are two different markets, anyway.
    • Re:MySQL won't die (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DavidD_CA (750156) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:54PM (#28723363) Homepage

      They won't kill it by pulling the plug. But we've all seen these things happen.

      They will give it funding, throw some more people at it, and it will become an entry-level system which will be awesome for 1-2 years.

      Then someone will decide to rename it to something like Oracle LiteSQL. It will get a new logo. It all goes downhill from there as people forget what MySQL was, and it just gets integrated right into the main Oracle product line. The free service will be useless for all but the most basic of tasks. Support options will be more expensive. It will become unnecessarily complex. Lawyers will force takedowns of servers still using MySQL. There will be a security issue that takes 2 months to fix.

      Bookmark this and come back in 2012. You'll see.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rattaroaz (1491445)

      Oracle and MySQL are two different markets, anyway.

      It always bothers me when people make this comment, because it assumes things always will be that way. Oracle and mysql are different markets, but does it always have to be? Well, now that oracle owns mysql, yes. But if it wasn't so, mysql could have evolved into an oracle competitor with time. And that is so with a lot of products and markets. They are in two different markets now, and oracle might not kill it off, but we know that oracle is unlikely to develop it to rival their proprietary product, w

      • Remember there's still Postgresql.

      • Pardon my ignorance, isn't MySQL an Open Source project? I thought we could just fork it and continue working on it -- a pipe dream, I know, but still theoretically possible?? In fact, I thought there was already a fork based on MySQL a while back?
      • Enterprise MySQL... crap, I'm going to have support nightmares tonight.

      • Oracle and MySQL are two different markets, anyway.

        It always bothers me when people make this comment, because it assumes things always will be that way. Oracle and mysql are different markets, but does it always have to be? Well, now that oracle owns mysql, yes. But if it wasn't so, mysql could have evolved into an oracle competitor with time. And that is so with a lot of products and markets. They are in two different markets now, and oracle might not kill it off, but we know that oracle is unlikely to develop it to rival their proprietary product, whereas before, any outcome of mysql's future would have been possilbe.

        Oracle and Berkeley DB were in different markets, too. Look what happened.

        Work on Berkeley DB may still be going on, but the tool is far less visible in the community.

    • by iggymanz (596061)
      er, what has that got to do with Sun?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hyppy (74366)
        Sun bought MySQL around the beginning of 2008 for around USD$1 billion.
    • Re:MySQL won't die (Score:5, Interesting)

      by segedunum (883035) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @05:51PM (#28724095)
      MySQL doesn't hurt Microsoft's database ambitions at all. MySQL has basically become the dominant database for web applications simply because it's licensing is cheap and it's cheerful and fast (at one time anyway). However, there is no way at all that MySQL will be allowed to acquire features that will let it compete with Oracle. That is now the sole domain of PostgreSQL.
      • Re:MySQL won't die (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jc42 (318812) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:07PM (#28724277) Homepage Journal

        However, there is no way at all that MySQL will be allowed to acquire features that will let it compete with Oracle.

        It's likely that a lot of MySQL users will consider this a feature. There's a niche for a simple, basic DB that's fairly fast and has a small footprint. If you don't actually need those advanced features that PostgreSQL and Oracle provide, there's no reason to pay for them (with money or memory or slower speed).

        It's sorta like how the makers of word-processor software would love to eliminate the use of plain text, so we all have to pay them to use formatting features even when we don't need them. So far, they haven't succeeded at this, and it's fairly obvious (even to managment) why. There's no reason the same reasoning shouldn't be applied to databases.

        In fact, I've worked on a few projects in which the management eventually gave up on the fancy database version, because our "preliminary test" setup that used the unix filesystem did everything that was needed, was an order of magnitude faster, required no memory other than the usual libc and kernel filesystem drivers. Why pay good money for a system that doesn't do anything extra, needs more resources, and costs more?

        Of course, as the DB and WP folks know, there's a good market for their products. Some customers do need their extra capabilities. And I suppose it's no surprise that they would also push their products for situations where they aren't needed. More income is better than less, after all, even if it means conning customers into buying things that they don't need.

        • @jc42: "There's a niche for a simple, basic DB that's fairly fast and has a small footprint."

          While I agree, there's a precedent for large corporations stepping on products they've purchased rather than developed in-house, sooner or later. I imagine the sales meetings over time going something like this: "Oh, yeah, we have MySQL, but if you really want a fast, ready-for-prime-time data warehousing solution..."

          That said, I can't imagine Oracle would risk the wrath of the OSS community by nulling MySQL. If the

        • If you don't actually need those advanced features that PostgreSQL and Oracle provide, there's no reason to pay for them (with money or memory or slower speed).

          PostgreSQL has none of those costs, when compared to MySQL. Oracle on the other hand. Holy cow.

        • by segedunum (883035)

          It's sorta like how the makers of word-processor software would love to eliminate the use of plain text, so we all have to pay them to use formatting features even when we don't need them.

          Who makes money out of text editors?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:13PM (#28722809)

    It is truly the end of a era. At one time, SUN was the epitome of enterprise class hardware. Now it will be reduced to Larry's little toy.

    To quote netcraft: SUN is dying.

    SUN is dead.

    Thanks, Larry.

    • It is truly the end of a era. At one time, SUN was the epitome of enterprise class hardware. Now it will be reduced to Larry's little toy.

      To quote netcraft: SUN is dying.

      SUN is dead.

      Thanks, Larry.

      Well I, for one, welcome our new Oracle overlords!

  • Why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the last few years? Why are they finding it necessary to sell themselves to Oracle [sun.com]? My theory is that the highly reliable hardware Sun Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant. The excellent 2008 book Planet Google [amazon.com] describes Google's experiences on page 54: "For about $278,000 in 2003, [Google] could assemble a rack with 176 microprocessors, 176 gigabytes of memory, and 7 terabytes of disk space. This compared favorably to a $758,000 server sold by the manufacturer of a well-known brand, which had only eight multiprocessors, one-third the memory, and about the same amount of disk space."

    Why would Oracle buy Sun? Possibly because there are difficulties in making Oracle database products work with the new fault-tolerant technology. For example, fault-tolerant technology may require performing all database modifications on 4 computers at the same time, and Oracle may not want to sell 4 licenses for one application at the same price as the 1 license used with the more expensive high-reliability equipment.

    What are your ideas about the sale of Sun, and Oracle's interest? There are many people with far more knowledge about this than I have.

    • by randomnote1 (1273964) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:26PM (#28722985)
      As a former partner with Sun, I strongly believe that Sun's insistence on using an Oracle out of the box solution to for its company wide sales to service system is what caused its demise. This software never worked and increased case handling times in the call center. That decreased customer satisfaction to such a point that customers started going elsewhere. I also believe Sun should have never gotten into the x86 server/workstation market. Instead they should have focused their energies behind their flagship SPARC lines and actually produced a processor of their own rather than buying Fujitu's technology. Overall I think Sun offers superior products, but their customer support system is rather terrible.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DiegoBravo (324012)

        > Overall I think Sun offers superior products, but their customer support system is rather terrible.

        I also believe that Sun offered superior products, but too overpriced for the market of the end of the 90s.

        > Instead they should have focused their energies behind their flagship SPARC lines and actually produced a processor of their own

        Yes... but for sure, the sale price would be at 20k/cpu for a performance similar to a Xeon; that's not competitive.

      • by segedunum (883035) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:07PM (#28724269)

        As a former partner with Sun, I strongly believe that Sun's insistence on using an Oracle out of the box solution to for its company wide sales to service system is what caused its demise. This software never worked and increased case handling times in the call center.

        That's pretty interesting. They certainly wouldn't be the first company to have it's left hand not know what it's right hand was doing as a result of bullshit CRM and sales software. Ironic that it's Oracle.

        I also believe Sun should have never gotten into the x86 server/workstation market.

        They already tried that along with every other big Unix hardware vendor trying to protect their own hardware that went bust. The message was clear even in the 90s which is why no one wanted to port their Unix to x86 and why no one has trusted Solaris on x86. Either SGI, Digital and Sun kept up and kept surpassing raw x86 performance to justify their high costs or they were in real trouble when the inevitable x86 based 'Unix' came along. They all went into denial when Linux came along and made that happen.

        Instead they should have focused their energies behind their flagship SPARC lines and actually produced a processor of their own rather than buying Fujitu's technology.

        But how do you put in the research and development to make sure that SPARC keeps up with x86 performance and justifies its added cost? Sun farmed it out to Fujitsu because they could no longer put the development effort in and even Fujitsu cannot manage the costs of keeping up.

        Sun focused far too much on hardware and Solaris without creating any firm advantages in either, apart from a magical pixie and arrogant belief that people would come back to Sun 'enterprise' hardware and software, and the leadership allowed deeply entrenched politics at the company to get in the way. I doubt whether Oracle will allow that to happen. They're a company that looks at returns and precious little else.

      • Instead they should have focused their energies behind their flagship SPARC lines and actually produced a processor of their own rather than buying Fujitu's technology

        I disagree here. Instead, they should have encouraged more companies to develop SPARC chips. In the x86 world, you have Intel and AMD competing, which keeps prices low. In the SPARC world you have very few people making SPARCv9 chips. Quite a few make SPARCv8 systems, but often in very small quantities for niches. Back in the late '90s, Sun should have started competing with ARM using their SPARCv8 line. License the cores cheaply to SoC manufacturers and offer a complete stack to handheld manufacturer

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:35PM (#28723125)

      I was there in the past few years. Basically, why SUN went south can be summarized as follows:

      - hardware company in a rapidly shrinking margin-wise server market
      - commodization of software
      - change of strategy every two months (open source/not open source)
      - disregard of customers (preparing solutions no one asked for, announcing projects while still on a drawing board - see JavaFX, treating low volume customers as "trash" etc.)
      - easy going development pace, slow responses to customers bleeding money caused by bugs in SW/HW, a lot of monetary interest in senior managment to outsource parts of the work and profit on it personally
      - brain drain (I was amazed by the "talent" intake in the past few months), OTOH many great persons have just left the company
      - old boys network in the company (beware Google)

      Anyway, the feeling at SUN was that Oracle was a better fit than IBM, though the expectation is to have massive layoffs in October.

      Larry is a good friend of Scott, perhaps it's just personal prestige to conquer independent empire with some benefits such as SW/HW stack, all-in-one solutions, Java platform control and patent portfolio, or just another step in the ambitions of Larry to conquer the world. I am not playing golf with either of them...

      In the end, I must emphasize SUN was a really nice company, the ethical standards were higher than anywhere else and the feeling of freedom was awesome. It's especially tragic to see the product of enthusiasm and virtues of so many people in the past to fall into the hands of Oracle...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iggymanz (596061)
      actually there are robust data center grade x86 servers, I make my living migrating Sun customers to them, and they're usually not running Solaris either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the last few years

      Um, just as a guess, because they didn't invest in hardware research and gave away all their software? "Services are where it's at" say companies who can no longer compete technologically. Weren't the Sun E-series supers acquired from Cray Research?

      Note to all in this business: if you decide against investing in R&D, don't be surprised if you're left with nothing but "services" in your portfolio and diminishing margins. Someone I respect called this "the race to the bottom". Use your brains and com

      • Sun did invest a lot in R&D. Take a look at the list of recent publications from Sun Research - it's quite impressive. The problem is that they invested a lot more in R than in D; if you can't develop your research into products, then R&D spending doesn't add anything to the bottom line. Microsoft is also bad at this. There are at least 100 good ideas (and 1000 bad ones) coming out of MS Research for every one that goes into a product, but Microsoft has sufficiently large sales volumes that they
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sloth jr (88200)
      Every big proprietary Unix provider faced the same set of issues - comparatively low volume of sales, the resultant premium prices, and much longer evolutionary times for performance increases. Sun's demise was ultimately inevitable, even though they had some interesting technology towards the end (dtrace, zfs, Unified Storage System 7000).

      Sun materially offered nothing that couldn't be achieved cheaper elsewhere, and in this race-to-the-bottom commodity market, made it impossible to compete. Sun kept tr



      • "Oracle bought Sun because buying Innodb didn't kill MySQL."

        I don't understand that.

        There's nothing else that Oracle can likely do with the other assets of Sun other than sell them for parts. I refuse to believe that Oracle has either the ability or the impetus to continue any of Sun's hardware or non-DB software.

        Wow.
        • by sloth jr (88200)

          "Oracle bought Sun because buying Innodb didn't kill MySQL."

          I don't understand that.

          Oracle bought the Innodb engine that provided much of whatever ACID compliance MySQL has. They had no real reason to do so, other than to give MySQL the finger. That didn't really slow MySQL down - but now that Sun owns MySQL, buying Sun will at least stem some portion of Oracle's market share being eaten from beneath. Maybe.

          Oh yeah, Sun has a lot of storage and systems software that can be sold off or cannibalized

    • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:45PM (#28724593) Homepage Journal

      Many many small processors without a fast interconnect will give good database performance if and only if all the operations are wonderfully parallelizable, and don't require coordination.

      This is somewhat hard to arrange(;)) A bank, for example, always debits one account when it credits another, so in the general case ties up two machines for every operation. If there is another transaction outstanding against either of these accounts, you've tied up three. Think about how well this scales in a busy bank branch and you can guess that the dominating cost is the coordination. This is true for most thing you *use* transactions for, pretty much by definition.

      That works best on a machine with a really fast locking regieme, which in turn you need a backplane like a Cray. That's what you get when you by a Sun or IBM machine: hardware to make database transactions go fast.

      --dave

      • But if your only customers are megabanks that already have systems in place it is no wonder you go extinct like a panda, you only have one income source. Ok one income source can be sustainable if it is very large and stable, but a situation like this results in only one company making the money so it's probably IBM who took Sun out of business.

    • I always thought the point of Oracle buying Sun was so they could offer a full stack. After all before only IBM could offer the full stack from top to bottom from a single vendor. Now Oracle has their DB+Solaris+Sun hardware all under their control, which they can then optimize for DB throughput and if the customer has any problems there is only one vendor to call. Never underestimate how valuable not having to deal with multiple vendors saying "its not our fault" is to a corporation.

      The software I would figure would be most likely to hit the chopping block (besides OO.o which seems to be a mess with lots of forking going on) is unbreakable Linux. After all they don't control Linux, but with Solaris they can now have the OS designed to integrate perfectly with their DB and they can control the direction of development. It always seemed to me that Oracle was a better fit for Sun than IBM, which would have had more overlap. But while you are correct that there are many like Google that prefer to "throw more boxes at it" there seems to still be a market for IBM "big iron" so I'm sure Oracle will still have plenty of customers.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      My theory is that the highly reliable hardware Sun Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant.

      That's not a theory, that's the accepted industry paradigm. Even Sun has accepted it, at least on paper. Which is why Sun now sells hardware with commodity processors.

      Which nobody seems to know about. That's because Sun still has a lot of people (too many of them in sales and marketing) that are in total denial about the end of the Sparc era.

  • Only the assholes survive. At least it looks to me that way.
  • wait a minute... wasn't Sun allready bought by Oracle..?? what about Sun's stockholders??
    • holders?

      They are probably hoping to the holy oracle that they don't get ... SUNburned....

    • Re:wait a minute (Score:5, Informative)

      by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:59PM (#28723423)

      The buying was de facto, but not official yet. To buy a public company, what you are really doing is buying out the shareholders, but the Board of Directors does most of the work in deciding if it is a good idea for the company. The board also usually also has representatives from major shareholders on it, so usually their determination also has some built in voting power, if not all of it.

      So, if the Board says they are bought, they pretty much *are* bought.

      However, sometimes there is a significant shareholder rebellion, and hostile takeovers are possible, where the buyer has obtained enough shares to impose their will on the board either through direct vote or through shareholder suits. You can usually see that coming a mile away, though, because its unlikely that individual shareholders of tiny numbers of share will care about anything more than making the straight money on their stock that they will be getting. That means a corporate raider or some similar organization would have to appear who buys into the company for it to be a real threat.

      And of course, the government needs to approve for anti-trust reasons.

      In this case, the shareholders' meeting is required, but is likely just a formality. The government inquiry is actually a bigger threat by far. The Board's determination in this case is sort of like Election night in the US. You aren't elected until the Electoral College has met, but it would be fair to say that you're pretty much President-elect as soon as the popular vote totals are tallied and the margin is wide enough.

  • Pedantry (Score:5, Informative)

    by maxume (22995) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:25PM (#28722973)

    It is likely that shareholders owning 62% of Sun stock voted for the Oracle deal. This is slightly different than 62% of shareholders (for instance, if 1 person owned 50% of the company, another owned 12%, and 15,000 people owned the rest, 0.013% of the shareholders would have 62% of the vote).

    • by Reason58 (775044)
      You are right, and I was just about to post this. There is a large difference between 62% of the shares and 62% of the shareholders. The article gets it right, the summary gets it wrong.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by timeOday (582209)
      It's funny how we confuse democracy with capitalism sometimes. But "1 person, 1 vote" is a whole different ballgame than "$1, 1 vote." I am not saying Sun should be a democracy. But seriously, sit back for a minute and imagine how horrible a capitalist government would be.
    • It is likely that shareholders owning 62% of Sun stock voted for the Oracle deal. This is slightly different than 62% of shareholders (for instance, if 1 person owned 50% of the company, another owned 12%, and 15,000 people owned the rest, 0.013% of the shareholders would have 62% of the vote).

      Slightly different? The difference is huge. The number of shareholders means squat. The number of voting shares means everything.

      Usually, it's the institutional shareholders that decide these deals, not the individual ones, unless you are Buffet or Soros.

    • by curunir (98273) *

      Right, and that doesn't even account for all the shares that are owned by funds where the fund managers act as a proxy for the actual shareholders. I own quite a bit of stock in my 401k and yet I've never voted for anything. So it's very likely that some of the actual voters weren't even shareholders.

      However unlikely, it's technically possible for 62% of the stock to vote for the deal without a single shareholder doing so.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Not pedantic, an important distinction. In fact, I suspect that a majority of the individual stockholders are against the merger. Many of small stockholders will have paid $20 or more for each share, and would be in denial about the fact that it's never getting up there again. So of course they balk at being forced to sell to Oracle for $9.50. How else to account for 38% of the shares voting against a purchase at a nice premium over market?

      Another important distinction:

      As a result of this Sun's stock will be taken from the stock market as of Friday.

      Not true. The stock doesn't get delist

  • PostgreSQL anyone? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pEBDr (1363199)
    "...I think that the need for an independent true Open Source entity for MySQL is even bigger than ever before." Umm, PostgreSQL, anyone? Try working with it after having used MySQL or Oracle. It's just years ahead.
  • GO MONTY! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:28PM (#28723023)
    Monty is the man who will keep MySQL alive regardless of Oracle. Oracle can funble and bumble it all they want. In fact, you can expect MySQL development to slow to a crawl over the next 3 years as Oracles tries to figure out what to do and to integrate it. In the meantime, Monty AB is going to become the new defacto standard for MySQL replacing Oracles version in the open source community. Distros will start picking up Monty AB and as a result, more installs of Monty AB will be used than that Oracles MySQL in 5 years do to licensing issues or lack of development.
    • *OR*.... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brunes69 (86786)

      *OR* everyone will just wake up to the fact that PostgreSQL is superior in pretty much every way now (including performance and ease of maintenance) and dump MySQL altogether.

      • Re:*OR*.... (Score:5, Funny)

        by turbidostato (878842) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:54PM (#28723353)

        "and dump MySQL altogether."

        How can this been modded up as "insightful"??? Everybody knows it's not "dump mysql" but "mysqldump"!!!

        (/me ducks away)

      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        *OR* everyone will just wake up to the fact that PostgreSQL is superior in pretty much every way now (including performance and ease of maintenance) and dump MySQL altogether.

        Non-sense, a fork of MySQL will take over.

        • by TheSunborn (68004)

          But who should fork MySQL? >80% of the development is made my the MySql inc company(now sun, soon oracle) so there is not many developers left to do a fork.

          • by Ash-Fox (726320)

            But who should fork MySQL? >80% of the development is made my the MySql inc company(now sun, soon oracle) so there is not many developers left to do a fork.

            Forks already exist, see MariaDB, Drizzle, Percona, OurDelta etc. Some of these even have the original MySQL developers working on them. I feel that if MySQL falls, one of it's forks will take over instead. Mostly due to the fact it's a easy transition.

      • by Foofoobar (318279)
        hmmm... uh... yeah. About as likely as everyone realizing that TRS-80 is better than Linux.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So now instead of MySQL/PHP stack we'll have the Monty/Python stack?

  • Release ZFS as GPL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:30PM (#28723047) Homepage Journal

    You all know you want it.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...and expect it to still get rejected from inclusion in the Linux kernel due to ZFS implementing its own volumes and RAID instead of using existing Linux infrastructure. See Reiser4 for a precedent.

      • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @05:09PM (#28723573)

        It wouldn't get rejected because of the internal volumen-raid implementation. Btrfs has that aswell, and has already been merged. ZFS would be rejected the first time due to other reasons, ZFS is not just a filesystem, it is a complete IO stack. Linux could merge the filesystem, but not the rest of IO stack, because Linux developers would not tollerate two separate IO stacks. ZFS would need to be ported first to the Linux layers.

    • Well, we'll see. Oracle has Btrfs for Linux. It's possible they may keep pushing that for databases running on Linux BUT keep ZFS as a value added solution to get people hooked on Solaris.

    • by swordgeek (112599)

      Um...why?

      Oh yeah--because obsessive Linuxites are unwilling to accept anything other than the GPL as Richard Stallman's One True Path.

      The CDDL works for the rest of the universe. Get over yourselves.

      • It's not an ideological problem, it's a practical problem. You can not practically change the licensing of Linux.

        I think much of the 'special' open source licenses like CDDL are designed to NOT be compatible with the GPL and therefore make it impossible for (in this case) Linux to inherit the same feature. Sun wanted their Solaris to have some unique selling points after all - and that's their right. We Linux users would welcome a GPL'd ZFS, but can not demand it, they don't have to give it away...

        • by swordgeek (112599)

          OK, some very concise points here.

          "You can not practically change the licensing of Linux."

          Well then, I guess Linux and co. are SOL. Honestly, that's what it comes down to.

          "I think much of the 'special' open source licenses like CDDL are designed to NOT be compatible with the GPL..."

          I disagree on this point, although I can see where it would come from.
          It's not that Sun (or others) really want to block the GPL per se, but there are clauses and conditions in the GPL that are unacceptable to them. Fundamentally

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            No need to get so nasty. I am not one of the faithful but I don't see why they couldn't change ZFS to GPL. They might but then they might not.
            If they don't then if Linux wants the features of ZFS they will have to write it themselves.

  • Meh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jmorris42 (1458) *

    It has been obvious that Sun was a zombie since the dot com bubble burst. That their corpse was going to be bought by someone was equally obvious. So of the available suitors was Oracle the best the Sun shareholders could hope for? Probably. Which explains they vote.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:52PM (#28723333)

    Personally I think Oracle and Sun are perfect for each other business wise. Two companies that have some good products, often don't even realize the potential of what they have, have no real vision other than getting big contracts signed, and couldn't market their way out of a wet paper bag.

    Now that there is even a hint that something might change, I halfway expect managers to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off spewing crap like "Solaris is going to be desupported!" or "Sparc servers are 'going away' soon". (I went through this with Oracle Forms when Oracle dropped the Win32 client ARRAGGG!)

    It would just be nice if they could make their intentions 100% clear on what specifically they plan to do with Sun's products.

    • by sloth jr (88200)

      Personally I think Oracle and Sun are perfect for each other business wise. Two companies that have some good products, often don't even realize the potential of what they have, have no real vision other than getting big contracts signed, and couldn't market their way out of a wet paper bag.

      Nicely stated, and I happen to agree with your assessment. Given that you've already experience the "Ellison touch", I think you know exactly what's going to happen with Sun's hardware. Fuzzier for software.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    62 percent of the voting shares. this does not mean 62 percent of shareholders.

  • by kithrup (778358) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @04:55PM (#28723373)

    I really would have expected more than 62% to vote for the acquisition. Having 38% abstain or vote against it... I will be surprised if some of the nay-sayers didn't file a lawsuit to prevent it from happening.

    • As a SUN shareholder, I don't recall seeing any literature about this vote. I have been busy so maybe I simply forgot.

      In any case, I believe that Oracle buying SUN is perhaps the best way to keep SPARC and Java alive. MySQL is valuable simply for the brand and goodwill. Wether the MySQL product will continue or we will get a Oracle Lite rebranded as MySQL ... who knows. They could easily close-up MySQL and then we would have a split similar to what happened with InterBase becoming Firebird when Borland clos

  • Great, now Oracle can slice off the good bits and push the rest of the corpse into the bay where it can slump among the rusted JavaStations and corpses of former SGI employees as a reminder[1] that the chewbacca defense is not an effective business strategy.

    1. http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/sunstrategy2x.gif [guardian.co.uk]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Stockholders, representing 62% of the voting shares, approved this this merger.

    Lets use voter for democracy please. If it isn't yet a good way of using the term, it should be.

    But, good English dictates that it was not 62% of the voters. There could for example be two 2 people holding 57% of the shares, and 1,234,984 people holding another 5% of the shares. Lets be accurate about what kind of decision was made by whom and how.

    BTW there could have been and may be another couple of billion dollars of shares, t

  • "an special deal"? Is it not a requirement for anyone moderately fluent in English to even GLANCE at a post before it's green lighted? WTF?
    • by arndawg (1468629)
      What's the point of language? To make your ideas understood by the audience or to write and speak 100% correct grammar? Typos like these just parse "correctly" in my head anyways. I notice it when people mention it, but it really doesn't matter as long as the message is loud a clear.
      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        Sites that claim some sort of journalistic content and have "editors" are supposed to be held to a slightly higher standard than "is understandable." Your language centres may have been corrupted enough that they pass over errors without noticing, but for many, including me, an error like that makes something unpleasant to read. Constructions like "speak 100% correct grammar" require at least one extra reading.

        How many editors does Slashdot have? How many stories do they post a day? It's not like they'r

  • by jsled (11433) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @06:29PM (#28724459) Homepage

    JAVA will be removed from the *NASDAQ-100 composite index*, but will continue to trade as normal until the company is actually acquired. This point was even mentioned in the press release, so extra points for getting it so (so!) basically wrong.

    (Man, /. just continues to accumulate fail. I wonder when it'll implode.)

  • Two clarifications (Score:3, Informative)

    by cartman (18204) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @10:17PM (#28725771)
    Two things in the article summary require clarification:

    62% of Sun's stockholders voted for the acquisition

    First, 62% refers to the number of shares, and not the number of stockholders as the summary claims. Probably, the 62% mostly represents 30 or 40 large shareholders, made up of pension funds, stock funds, and rich people. Second, 62% refers to the number of outstanding shares, not the number of shares for which there was a vote. Very small shareholders rarely bother to vote their shares and do not vote one way or the other. I doubt very many shareholders voted in opposition to this deal, which would be very silly because Sun's prospects without this deal are very dim.

  • by Roskolnikov (68772) on Thursday July 16, 2009 @11:34PM (#28726143)

    This is one sideshow I wish I didn't have a front seat to; it was hard enough dealing with the re-branding every 2 months, not being one of the elite (try being a contractor supporting folks that 'wrote' what your supporting, especially when they didn't) lip service to a eat our own dog-food policy and an internal culture that expects weekly heroic acts; add to that the company trying very hard to sell itself for nearly the last year, being in offer status for half of that and having absolutely no forward momentum because no one seems to know what the 'Oracle' has in mind so why bother, well really, I would like to see this end so we can all see where the chips fall; unfortunately for me I believe I will be on the losing side of this deal, Oracle seems to avoid contract/outsource like the plague and I fall squarely in that bucket.

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