ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- This morning Sun Microsystems announced that it was purchasing MySQL AB for $1 billion, $800 million of which is supposed to be paid in cash. This is a huge deal in the open source community. Two minutes after I heard the news, I begged an invitation to the "no press" MySQL company meeting at which the announcement had been made, drove two hours to Orlando, and sat down for lunch with Sun vice president (and Java creator) James Gosling and MySQL AB cofounder David Axmark. After lunch I corraled MySQL CTO (and original MySQL creator) Michael "Monty" Widenius and MySQL chief database architect Brian Aker, and got their opinions about how the acquisition might work out and what it means for both companies.
Wandering around the company meeting, listening to lower-level MySQL employees. I heard a little fear, but mostly hope that Sun will bring new clients and opportunities. "I think the engineering staff is safe (from layoffs)," one gentleman said. "Really, the only people who may be looking for new jobs, I think, are some of the admin and HR staff, especially the junior ones. But a lot of them are new hires because we were talking about an IPO, so I'm sure they'll be OK."
Another sentiment I picked up from employees who are not authorized to speak to reporters was that "Sun is the best possible buyer. What if it had been Oracle? Or ... Microsoft."
That last line drew a groan from at least half a dozen nearby MySQL-niks.
At the same time the 400-strong MySQL contingent was meeting at the Disney Swan resort hotel, a regional Oracle meeting was taking place in the next-door Disney Dolphin hotel.
"Hey, we ought to go moon them," said one young MySQL worker.
I didn't stick around to see if they did. Sorry. That could have been a great video!