Sun Microsystems' acquisition of MySQL last week came as a surprise to many people in the industry – not least of all to Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz, who says he had given up after trying to buy the company for the last five years.
Writing in his blog, Schwartz describes how he continually broached the subject with MySQL CEO Marten Mickos over the last five years, to no avail – until last December, when they finally started talking about an acquisition.
He also answers some questions about the move, including why Sun would want to spend $1-billion on a company that gives its products away for free.
"Facebook gives its products away for free, too," says Schwartz. " They make money on ads, we make money on service, support and infrastructure. MySQL has a big business, growing very rapidly. Investing in the future has more value than buying the past – which is why the latter so often comes at a discount."
He also assured users that Sun will increase its commitment to Postgres, Apache Derby and JavaDB, while recommiting to the company's relationship with Oracle.
Schwarz is coy about whether the MySQL buy is the first move in a series of acquisitions, but says its has shows the the open source business model has value. "And I'm hoping it fuels yet more investment from the venture community in truly open source innovation. There is a ton of value to be had, just ask MySQL's investors."
Schwartz expects integration with the new company to be straightforward and confirms that Mickos will continue to lead MySQL, reporting in Sun's software organisation.
In term's of the product's platform and functionality, he doesn't envisage any changes.
The full text of Schwartz's blog can be read on http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/