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ORCL and its long suite of B-plans. Next. March 29, 2007

Posted by Sacha in JBoss, Moved from JBoss.org.
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Since RHT’s acquisition of JBoss last June, ORCL keeps reacting.

As soon as the JBoss acquisition was
announced, last April, Larry vented
his frustration and unhappiness in the press
and made public all
of the bad he thinks of open source business models. Then, 6 months
after, he announced ORCL was now a Linux vendor: when Larry has twice
the same opinion, the only thing you know is that he changed his mind
an even number of times.

Truth is that Larry knows very well
that Open Source is real and is here to stay. Open Source is one of
these radical paradigm shifts that take place on the market and put
in danger existing business models that are forced to adapt to these
new rules. What are the options? Essentially, there are three.

The first option is to try hard to
ignore the shift. That is what most software vendors have been doing
until recently, but Larry is too wise and paranoiac to hide behind
his finger.

The second option was for ORCL to take
the lead of that shift and become the new Microsoft of Open Source.
The problem is that the 14B USD gorilla hasn’t been agile enough to
align his ducks and is now left with a situation that shows how he
has been unable to properly execute on an Open Source strategy.

Then remains the third option: If ORCL
is not going to lead that shift, they’d better try to slow it down.
In case you were still wondering, make no mistake, ORCL is not
serious about building a Linux business, they are just trying to
impact RHT’s growth and margin, hence its ability to further invest
and grow the stack in Open Source. This is not about giving value
back to the customers, this is about keeping value in-house a bit
longer. And in order to prove they are getting some traction, ORCL is
willing to slightly
stretch the reality

I bet ORCL is going to announce other
b-plans in the near future. As an example, the recent acquisition
of Tangosol by ORCL
was one of those IMO. ORCL knew they had to
find a replacement for JGroups
in their Oracle Application Server: in the last months, it must have been quite an
embarrassment for ORCL to rely on JBoss to power their Oracle AS
clustering and high-availability features.

So Larry, what is going to be your next
Update (20070402): Andy Oliver mentioned that it might be useful to refer to a previous related post. On that scale, ORCL would sit between the fourth and fifth categories (i.e. between “anti-strategist” and “head-less chickens”)original