There has been a lot of news lately about Oracle buying out Open Source companies. Dana Blankenhorn has been giving extensive coverage to this topic as well as this piece from Tom Foremski, but it doesn't seem to getting the kind of outrage that I expected. Oracle seems to be hell-bent on controlling the dominant Open Source database platform MySQL to make sure it stays in its place and not encroach on the Enterprise database market, but what if Microsoft started doing the same thing?
What if Microsoft went out and bought OpenOffice.org which competes with Microsoft Office or if Microsoft bought out Open-Xchange which competes with Microsoft Exchange server? While it's arguable if OpenOffice.org or Open-Xchange has as high an impact on Microsoft as MySQL on Oracle, it is still interesting to contemplate. But if Microsoft ever did make such a move, would the reaction be equally muted? My guess is that it wouldn't.
Ironically, Oracle's acquisition of MySQL's database engines has some positive benefits for Microsoft as well because Microsoft SQL server is the dominant database platform on Windows. I wouldn't put it past Ellison to only unleash MySQL's Enterprise features on the Windows platform just to give Gates and Ballmer some indigestion.