…It seems to have ‘killed’ it
This awful new strategy has become worrying. Oracle, Microsoft and Nokia (maybe even Sun, based on Matt Aslett’s new headline ““Why MySQL sold out”) think that they can just buy competitors and then throw them down the ashtray while extracting anything that’s left in them which is still valuable.
This post is mainly about XenSource. Paula Rooney writes about Citrix:
“Citrix is not a virtualization company,” said Phil Montgomery, Senior Director of Citrix’s Virtualization and Management Division. “We’re not trying to be another VMware. Citrix is an application delivery software company.”
In spite of that new positioning, XenSource is — or was — a virtualization company. But the competitive equation is now Microsoft + Citrix versus VMware, Montgomery told ZDNet last night.
Matt Asay takes it further:
Citrix either got completely snowed in the acquisition or, much more likely, it’s getting pressure from its bosom-buddy, Microsoft. What it’s not getting is much value for its $500 million.
Zimbra will be the first product taken out back to be shot in the head once the Microsoft takeover goes through.
Also today, Oracle’s true motives are perhaps made easier to see. It doesn’t seem as though Oracle ever really cared about free open source software. From Matt Asay:
Mike sold Sleepyat, an open-source embedded database company, to Oracle back in February 2006. Much to my aggravation, I’ve never heard a negative word out of his mouth about his two-year stay with Oracle, either in public or private. Mike is class and gave to his employer what was due, and then some.
Remember what we wrote about Oracle’s pointless acquisitions in the past. They were just an anti-MySQL strategy (leaving MySQL ‘naked’).
I don’t mean to incite panic, but I’m writing this as quickly as it comes up, so I am still a tad emotional about it.
This is a truly filthy, anticompetitive behaviour that we increasingly see. It’s a case of paying rivals to stop competing or spending money on sabotaging them. Novell was a similar case. When will regulators finally step in and stop this? █
Update: Another read-worthy new analysis below.
So while Microsoft attempts to persuade the world that it just wants to befriend everyone, Oracle buys, fires thousands of people, and makes a lot of money in the process. Oracle’s method isn’t pretty and it’s certainly not the only way (nor is it the way that I’d personally choose), but it has been effective.
For Microsoft to compete it may have to start owning up to its ambition. It wants market share. It wants dominance. It wants to remove customer choice. Just like Oracle.
It might as well tell it like it is.