Oracle announced today that it will purchase Sun Microsystems. The deal dials down the competition to HP's Unix solution. IBM was near a deal to buy Sun last month, but talks fell through. Oracle said that the $7.4 billion acquisition brings it the most important piece of software Oracle ever purchased: Java. But the world's biggest database supplier sees the Solaris operating system, key to Sun's server solution, as an important prize, too.
There are substantial long-term strategic customer advantages to Oracle
owning two key Sun software assets: Java and Solaris. Java is one of
the computer industry’s best-known brands and most widely deployed
technologies, and it is the most important software Oracle has ever
Oracle's statement goes on to place the Solaris-Oracle combination of OS and database as the best possible for a company choosing Oracle. The future seems to hold special features for Unix customers who choose Sun's hardware.
The Sun Solaris operating system is the leading platform for the Oracle
database, Oracle’s largest business, and has been for a long time. With
the acquisition of Sun, Oracle can optimize the Oracle database for
some of the unique, high-end features of Solaris. Oracle is as
committed as ever to Linux and other open platforms and will continue
to support and enhance our strong industry partnerships.
There's nary a mention in there about HP's HP-UX, but this is an announcement to validate a $7.4 billion Sun purchase. Sun shareholders, and stock regulatory agencies, still have to approve the deal. An HP Unix customer might be glad that Java isn't going inside IBM, but to another software company. Oracle's efficiency, however, has sold and retained many HP-UX customers.