Does Oracle-Sun Help Open Source?: Page 2

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So far, however, Red Hat is remaining fairly tight-lipped about the impact of the acquisition.

"Red Hat has built its business on enabling the best performing platform across the widest range of applications and hardware choices. We will continue on this path," a Red Hat spokesperson told InternetNews.com. "Sun has some important open source technologies such as Open Office and MySQL. We are hopeful that these technologies will continue to grow and mature."

Good for Linux?

For Linux, the Oracle acquisition of Sun is also potentially good news. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux foundation, blogged that in his view, Oracle is strategically aligned with Linux -- since Oracle is a Linux distributor, and develops and offers all of its products on Linux.

He noted that both Sun and Oracle are members of the Linux Foundation. But added that the reality is that it's always about customer choice and preference.

"Oracle is first and foremost an applications and business software vendor, meaning they need to support the OS that the customer wishes to deploy their software on," Zemlin wrote. "This acquisition makes a lot of sense for Oracle to fine tune Solaris for their products, but it certainly will not lessen the support or investment Oracle has in Linux. This isn't a zero-sum game."

"Much like IBM or HP, who continue to build out their Linux businesses while sustaining their Unix investments, it's about granting customers choice and making sure your software is optimized to run on the OS of their choice," he added.

Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth took a broader view of what the Oracle Sun deal means for his company and for open source. In terms of Java, Shuttleworth told InternetNews.com that his expectation is that there will be no reversal of the idea that Java should be widely available and available as free software.

Shuttleworth's firm Canonical has a strategic partnership with Sun dating back to 2006. Shuttleworth noted that over the last several Ubuntu releases, Java has become better integrated with Linux thanks, in part to Sun's efforts.

"The fact that Oracle has just announced a multibillion dollar acquisition of a company that describes itself as the world's biggest free software and open source company ... is enormously instructive," Shuttleworth said.

"To me, it suggests that it cements the idea that open source and free software are the big game in town," he added. "And everyone is trying to figure out what that means and how they integrate it. What they can't do is ignore it."

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com.

Tags: open source, Linux, Oracle, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems

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