WSJ.com - 'Open Source' Database Poses Threat to Oracle: "For decades, software makers got rich by selling programs for a steady flood of ever-cheaper computers. Now the forces of commoditization are starting to turn against one of the richest makers, Larry Ellison.
Mr. Ellison, chief executive of Oracle Corp., has long led the market for databases -- software that acts as a kind of universal filing cabinet and a foundation for writing other programs. That success gave Oracle the resources to move up market into business applications, and to make its recent $6.3 billion hostile bid for PeopleSoft Inc. to try to accelerate that push.
But now, Oracle and other database suppliers face a growing threat from below: 'open source' databases, which give customers a free or low-cost alternative to commercial products. While the impact has been small so far, some analysts expect open-source software to eventually turn databases into a low-cost commodity, just as the open-source Linux operating system is posing a threat to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows franchise."
"Oracle executives will discuss industry trends Wednesday at an annual meeting with financial analysts at the company's headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. Ken Jacobs, Oracle's vice president for product strategy, says MySQL's offering "is certainly interesting, but I don't see it as competition for Oracle. Not now and not for some time to come."
"MySQL's chief executive, Marten Mickos, makes a virtue of his product's stripped-down simplicity. "Software shouldn't be glorified," he says. "We say, 'Let's do this as compactly as possible and then sell it at a price that blows the competition away.' "
WSJ demand generation for MySQL...
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