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Acquisition of start-ups and open-source projects ?

David Payne
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 27, 2012
Posts: 35
Sometimes, start-ups or open source projects make a new technology which a big company cannot make or compete with. So, the big company acquires it to make up for that shortcoming or to integrate it into their existing products. But, sometimes they may use that tactic to kill the competitive threat.
The big company that I am looking is Oracle. While searching some links for an recent post on IDE battles, I searched oracle killed netbeans and came up with many links with a similar theme. Is Oracle trying to kill MySQL, GlassFish and Netbeans ?

<edit>
maybe there is hope - amazon
William P O'Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 28, 2012
Posts: 859

Look at the recent Google vs. Oracle legal battle.

You can download the source of MySQL and do whatever you want with it.

They can never really "kill" any open source project, unless allowed to do so in the courts.
They may not "support" it any more, but that's the nature of the beast.

WP
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

I don't think that Oracle can "kill" anything that is open source. But they can, and probably will, reduce the number of engineers, amount of support $$$, etc. down to zero.
David Payne
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 27, 2012
Posts: 35
Pat Farrell wrote:I don't think that Oracle can "kill" anything that is open source. But they can, and probably will, reduce the number of engineers, amount of support $$$, etc. down to zero.


In that case, who can step in to support it ?
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Support? You expect Oracle to "support" an open source product?

For some open source products, the original MySql was a good example, they company's business plan was that the code was free, and you could, if you wanted, pay for professional support. RedHat uses a similar model. This can work well for all. If there is no professional support, you can either use the user community (usually there is a forum or mailing list) or pay for local consultants.

IMHO, the concept of paying for support for most software products is an idea that only managers love. I haven't seen good support from Microsoft for one of their products in two decades. Yet companies still pay for it.

Oracle will support their professional products, such as the Oracle DB, but they charge a lot of money for the service each year.
David Payne
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 27, 2012
Posts: 35
Pat Farrell wrote: I haven't seen good support from Microsoft for one of their products in two decades. Yet companies still pay for it.


It would be great if you could give me some examples where Microsoft has flopped in the service area. I strongly suspect that many of their (and other firm's) core support staff are just good "googlers".
Microsoft "Fails" are always fun to look at.
Anayonkar Shivalkar
Bartender

Joined: Dec 08, 2010
Posts: 1510
    
    5

I don't think that killing of an open source project is possible. I mean - if the source code is open, then somebody might (and definitely will - if the product is worth it) maintain it and release new modifications etc.

Yes, Oracle can reduce budget to such project to zero, and that is the time when talented people leave the company. The exactly same thing happened when they tampered with OpenOffice project - the majority of developers leaved, and forked LibreOffice - which is quite good(better than OO).

But I won't say that Oracle is doing some wrong thing - they can save the money - which they will put in some other commercial projects - which will make more money. And we(users) are anyway getting more choice (OO and LibreOffice instead of simply OO) to choose from. So, for me, its a win-win situation. Only bad thing out of this is - Oracle has lost some talented people, and Oracle can't use them now on their flagship products.

David Payne wrote:I strongly suspect that many of their (and other firm's) core support staff are just good "googlers".

Not always. Otherwise, why companies buy corporate support? Some problems are specific to user (client company) environment, and then it is necessary to get actual support.

Just my two cents.


Regards,
Anayonkar Shivalkar (SCJP, SCWCD, OCMJD, OCEEJBD)
Mohamed Sanaulla
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3071
    
  33

Quite a few occasions there are forks of the open source projects and these forks then continue their work in an independent way. For MySQL there's MariaDB, there was one for OpenSolaris as well.


Mohamed Sanaulla | My Blog
 
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