Oracle now glitters with Sunshine

It has been confirmed that Oracle, a database software giant, has agreed to purchase Sun Microsystems, one of the prominent players in the corporate computing market, for $7.4 billion. The news comes as even more of a surprise, because what has been heard since last month is that IBM, one of the largest and oldest computer systems company, was in negotiations to acquire Sun. By having Sun under its roof, Oracle, well-known for its database, middleware and application products, will newly procure lineups of workstations, servers, storage devices as well as Sun’s portfolio of software platforms including Java, the programming language almost universally used on the Internet. In sum, Oracle turns into even a stronger giant which can produce both its own hardware and software, considering Sun’s expertise in making both x86-based systems (basically compatible with everyday PCs we use) and its own SPARC-based (Sun’s unique hardware design to run its own version of Unix operating system software named Solaris) systems.

As astonishing as such an amount of 7.4 billion dollars of money sound, the implication of the merger between the two corporations is likely to be more profound. Maybe this news is downplayed because neither Oracle nor Sun are household names for even avid consumers of latest technological inventions. Corporate computing and business database/middleware are a whole different world from consumer electronics and software, so it may take us quite an effort to understand how much impact this may have on the rest of the world.


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