MySQL CEO: Sun Deal 'Huge Victory' for Open Source

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The $1 billion acquisition is not expected to close until the end of Sun's 2008 Q3 or early Q4, but Mickos says he's already received many emails from partners thrilled with the deal. He was quick to allay any potential apprehension from partners concerned by the acquisition. "We have always had a partner-centric view, and we've always been focused on that and we will continue to focus on that," he says. "And now, we can offer faster evolution of our own products and maybe some new channels for our partners."

Mickos, who will join Sun as an SVP and report to Sun's EVP of software Rich Green, says his highest priorities will be building MySQL bigger and faster than before while in the immediate term actively engaging with their current clients. "We have a simple rule here at MySQL: We're here to serve customers," he says. "This is a super big announcement, but at the same time we can't take our hands off the steering wheel."

In speaking of the acquisition in a historical context, Mickos doesn't hold back his pride and enthusiam for open source. "It validates it as a superior way of developing software and building a business," he says. "You could see when Linux went into the enterprise it was a big thing. I think this is an even bigger thing -- you see the whole stack going into the enterprise."

Through the acquisition, he says MySQL is now able to reach out to the more conservative large customers. "It will be easier to reach into larger corporations because we have the backing of one of the huge players in this space," he says. "That's where we have taken a step, because now we have access to the support structure for the most demanding customers."

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He remains steadfast in his view that open source is the best way of producing software and says the acquisition is far bigger than MySQL alone. "Wherever it goes in other open source applications go in," he says. "This is the adoption [of open source] in the corporate world, in big business, and that's what's significant."

Mickos predicts as large corporations see the benefits and value of open source software, adoption will steadily increase. "This is a great validation of the value we are providing to the world," he says. "The trend is clear. The benefits of open source are undeniable, and smart guys will adopt it."