Sun Microsystems – made famous by their Sun machines and SunOS, has agreed to purchase MySQL for $1 billion, promising to push the open-source DBMS to larger corporations. MySQL has always been the DBMS of choice for freelance programmers because it can be easily set up and configured – with a large community for support.

With Sun’s acquisition, and pending further analysis and information, this could go either way in that:

  • part of it will remain free and supported by the community while another part becomes commercialised (pretty much like how it is now)
  • the entire thing goes commercial, with a watered-down version for free

This is pretty much like where Redhat was headed for – Redhat Enterprise for corporate and Fedora Core for enthusiasts.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sun Microsystems Inc. has agreed to buy open-source software maker MySQL AB for $1 billion, beefing up the server maker’s database offerings with a company whose technology is used by some of the world’s biggest Web sites.

Santa Clara-based Sun, in separate announcements before the market opened, said its second quarter revenue would narrowly exceed Wall Street estimates. It also said profit would fall at the high end of analysts’ expectations. The company revealed its preliminary results ahead of schedule.

Sun is paying $800 million in cash and assuming $200 million in options to acquire MySQL. The Swedish company makes open-source database software used by companies such as online search leader Google Inc., popular Internet hangout Facebook Inc. and Finnish phone maker Nokia Corp.

Sun said the deal will help spread MySQL’s software to large corporations, which have been the biggest customers of Sun’s servers and software, and boost its distribution through Sun’s relationships with other server makers such as IBM Corp. and Dell Inc.

The acquisition, expected to close in the third or fourth quarter, takes pressure off Sun to spend some of the cash it’s been accumulating. It also bolsters its software offerings with a well-known known name in Internet data retrieval.

Sun also said it expects net income of between $230 million to $265 million, or 28 cents to 32 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting profit of between 22 cents and 38 cents.

Sun said it expects to notch about $3.6 billion in sales during the second quarter. Analysts were expecting, on average, $3.58 billion in sales.

Article obtained from Associate Press on 18th January 2008

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