"The downside is that Oracle's feelings about open
source – and hence its advocacy - are probably more ambiguous
than Sun's. In particular, it seems to have very little truck with
the more idealistic leanings of the free software side of things.
Pragmatists might rejoice at that, but it does mean that Oracle
will be aiming to use open source as a tool rather than see itself
as an evangelist with a mission to convert.
"That can be seen from the press release, where the "two key Sun
software assets" that are named are Java and Solaris.
"Java is relatively unproblematic, since Sun always managed it
tightly, and Oracle will doubtless carry on in that vein. Thanks to
Sun's decision to release it under the GNU GPL, people are pretty
free to do with it as they wish. Oracle's backing should ensure
that Java becomes even more important in enterprise settings -- and
that could be a big boost for open source in quite an unexpected