- So it happened. Oracle has swallowed Sun Microsystems. Monty should have gotten the news by now. Perhaps he could even be interested by the announcements of Oracle? They’re hiring good sales reps. More seriously, the announcements done through webcasts and available on the Oracle website are very impressive, product-wise and strategy-wise. Better server offerings, more powerful hardware, Java continued, OpenDocument Format praised. If Oracle executes what they just announced, we might actually end up having FUN, with capital letters. On the specific chapter of OpenOffice.org, an ODF-based, online version of OpenOffice.org has been announced and my small finger tells me that it’s going to be a very good surprize. What remains to be seen, of course, is whether Oracle will find this strategy to be profitable enough. They have discussed investments so far, but one should also expect the cost cutting part of the equation. Another thing that worries me is the lack of clear emphasis on Free & Open Source. I hear “Open Systems”, “Open Standards” and “Open everything”. But the tough part will also be in the governance of existing Free and Open Source projects. This being said, I have to stress how pleased I have been by what I heard and watched so far. So pleased, in fact, that it seems to me that Oracle has ended up merging with Sun, more than merely acquiring it. The result might very well end up being Sun on steroids, or Sun with a new sales department and a serious database offering that Monty hates. Good luck and congratulations!
- What I have not enjoyed was the presentation of Apple’s iPad. To be sure, it’s a nice device, and I understand that it’s not being advertised as some sort of netbook or affordable MacBook. It’s actually a very nice device, looking like a beautiful picture frame. The inherent weakness is that it strikes me as a more powerful iPhone. The smart part of that story is that Apple is essentially offering easy and elegant Internet browsing to anyone by minimizing its own costs and risk taking. The bad part is that the iPad is riddled with DRM, and that you are essentially locked up in Apple’s infamous App Store. In short, it’s a device letting you browse the Internet as long as Apple wants it, depriving you of your most basic digital freedoms. I do not think that it will pay and that in the end, sole consumer’s satisfaction induced by very powerful marketing and excellent user experience will be enough. Other competitors will eventually be “as good” as Apple, with less restrictions and less of that Diva-like behaviour, which is another way to write the words “anti-competitive” and “proprietary”.
We are in the end of January 2010: Sun just disappeared, Apple re-releases its Newton. Happy future, everyone.