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Who will buy whom?

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supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Oracle is hungry to purchase some Linux stuff and improve their backend "stack".

I think Oracle will snatch up EnterpriseDB. Wouldn't surprise me. They may just want to continue it as a good idea but put a marketing spin of a low-end solution for some customers.

I think Oracle is looking for a Linux distro to snatch up. The major options are:

* Mepis -- unlikely because they rely on Ubuntu now
* Slackware -- unlikely
* Gentoo -- likely
* Ubuntu -- highly doubt they would sell
* Novell -- highly doubt it b/c Novell has too much cash on hand

Or perhaps I'm missing something here.

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Joined: 2006-03-28

I don't really see why Oracle should buy Gentoo. Gentoo isn't much of a really wide-spread distro. I could imagine that they'd go for something like Mandriva, but I can't really imagine them buying one of the hardcore-distros.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Gentoo can't really be baught up, it's a real community distro ( see the numbers online on their forums!). So even if Oracle wanted to buy it - it's not realy buyable.

I'm not very up on Oracle but I have the impression that they like server side things - stuff business want - so I doubt that they will go for more desktop distros such as Mandriva or Xandros (who can both be baught).
The only real server heavy business minded people out there are RedHat and Novel - but I doubt either would be bought. Maybe Oracle will look into something like CentOS, but that's rather a community thing so I doubt it.

dylunio

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Joined: 2005-12-20

Maybe debian, as they are having quite a few problems at the minute, and to mention the fact that they are being eaten alive by ubuntu

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

Oracle can only buy companies, communities are not for sale. That rules out most distributions. Yes they could buy Canonical to get some control over Ubuntu, but that wouldn't really work. IIRC RedHat has cooperated a lot with Oracle for a long time already, so I suppose Oracle would buy that (if they could afford it?).

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Yep, so Oracle is up the creek. That's good, anyway. I'd much rather work on PostgreSQL than Oracle, anyday. What a mess. And their installers and config files are from hell.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
"onlinebacon" wrote:

Maybe debian, as they are having quite a few problems at the minute, and to mention the fact that they are being eaten alive by ubuntu

Debian cannot be bought. It is also a community project, though one with a rather political structure (which is not necessarily bad nor good). I can't even imagine anyone buying debian.

Since majority of Free Software projects are community oriented and even those that are companies cannot live without community it is impossible to buy anything (even if you could) without still having to rely on that community. When it comes to Free Software, no company can be an ultimate dictator on how should things be.

That said, even if Oracle would find a buyable distro (which would almost certainly rely largely on a community) and buy it, it wouldn't just like that be able to control it at its whim. Indeed they could do whatever they want with it, even bad things not approved by the community, but not to the detriment of the community, but to their own. If community doesn't like it they'll just turn around and make their own project totally independant of Oracle (basically saying "screw you" to Oracle).

That's how Free Software works, it is user oriented because everyone is a user (while not everyone is a developer). It will always, therefore, benefit that user as part of its community.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

The best they could do at Oracle is to create 2 foundations. One foundation would invest huge sums of money into one distro's community, helping them pay the developers for their work and making suggestions. Another foundation would invest in budding projects with merit and existing projects. I *know* that Oracle has a lot of cash.

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Dang, makes me want to get my FLOSS project out there. I'd love for a big contributor to pay my salary for a few years to improve my project.

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Joined: 2005-12-20

Oooohhh maybe we could make a distro and sell it to oracle?

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

Mandriva?

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Yes, Mandriva seems to be the kind of company that could be bought. It has started as a community oriented project, but is now increasingly turning into a businesses oriented corporation (angering some of the people from the community in the process). As such it seems like a target for acquisitions, unfortunately...

But still, community can't be bought and wont really loose anything. There already is a Mandriva offshot in form of PCLinuxOS and new Mandriva based distros could certainly spring up that would contain all the benefits of Mandriva while being community run.

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18

Mandriva is my vote.

As for gentoo...I dont like the way the foundation is swinging. I would not be surprised if they did sell up....

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

I heard a certain unix/linux company will be for sale really cheap soon, after it loses some lawsuits...

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Which company tbuitenh?

It's actually generally not a very cheerful thing to have GNU/Linux companies bought off by larger and still more proprietary centered companies.

For example, Madriva was a pioneer of desktop GNU/Linux which has had very close ties to its community (even though it was formed as a business entity) to a point that this community basically saved the company from certain death (people donated to save the company from bankruptcy). It is sad to see things turn around like this after such history, firing their own founder in favor of their new business orientation, becoming a company that is a state where they may be more of an acquisition target than someone who will stand on its own for a long time. Noone will buy RedHat or Novell, but Mandriva.. that's another story.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

SCO. I thought that joke was obvious...

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04