Breaking news: Sun's management, unhappy with IBM's offer of $9.40 a share has unanimously accepted a deal with Oracle for the much higher price of... $9.50 a share. Besides the extra dime, what was different? Speculation has it that IBM balked at the millions of dollars of acquisition payouts to top Sun executives such as CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Chairman Scott McNealy. It looks like Oracle didn't. It's as simple as that.
It's ironic and sad that developers who poured their heart and soul into MySQL because they wanted an alternative to proprietary databases like Oracle, now see their baby being owned by the very company that they fought so hard against. Because MySQL is licensed under the GPL, only the copyright owner (soon to be Oracle) can benefit from certain commercial deals using the source.
And what about Java? If IBM had bought Sun, at least we would have seen an end to the pointless and resource-draining bickering between the IBM and Sun Java teams. OSGi vs. JSR277. Harmony vs. OpenJDK. Eclipse vs. NetBeans. But now now. Oracle's involvement will likely insert new life into these squabbles as they prop up Sun's formerly failing positions. Go go gadget Java EE.
It's hard to imagine a worse partner for Sun than Oracle. How about Microsoft? Open source purists would never have accepted that pair-up, but perhaps even MS would have been a better choice. The deal would have injected a lot of OS culture into the veins of the #1 software vendor, and might have led to an ultimate resolution of the Java/.NET rivalry that started when Sun sued MS over Java purity oh those years ago.
As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.