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When Microsoft Met Xen (Updated)

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, SUN, Virtualisation, Xen at 11:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…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 strays far from XenSource’s original open source mission

“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 strips XenSource of virtualization, open source…everything

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.

Meanwhile, thoughts about Zimbra come to mind again [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is an annoying new writeup which someone has just brought up in a Web forum:

Translation From PR-Speak to English of Selected Portions of Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang’s Company-Wide Memo Regarding the Microsoft Takeover Bid

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 Olson, co-founder of Sleepycat, leaves Oracle

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.

What Microsoft can learn from Oracle: greed and market share

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.

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  1. Matt said,

    February 8, 2008 at 5:03 am


    Hi Roy,

    You’ve used the MySQL heading completely out of context there, the post is actually about the positive reasons why Sun is seen as a good home for MySQL. As for Mike Olson leaving Oracle – I would say it is a more troubling issue for Oracle than it is for open source.

    Oracle acquired Sleepycat because it had a whole in its portfolio and the fact that Mike stayed for so long is testament to the fact that the company did not mess with the BerkeleyDB business.

    As for Citrix/XenSource. The writing was on the wall when the announcement was made. See my thoughts here: http://blogs.the451group.com/opensource/2008/02/08/citrix-and-xensource-six-months-on/

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 8, 2008 at 6:08 am



    Thanks for the correction regarding MySQL. I write all my posts quite fast in a single pass and this one was particularly impulstive with little fact-checking, as I’ve stated above.

    About Sun, as I said when the announcement first came, it seems like good news for FOSS, but bad news to Linux (the kernel). Lastly, your initial analysis of Citrix/XenSource (CBR) is among my favourite references that I still use. Many came after this which confirm this to be true (about a dozen independent stories and sources I’ve added to this list).

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