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The Most Important Acquisition In Modern Software History?

When Sun Microsystems this week announced that it completed its deal to acquire open source database vendor MySQL , the company set the stage to over promise and under-deliver. As I wrote last month , there’s plenty of reason this deal has a lot of promise -- but at a $1 billion price tag for a company with a fraction of the revenues, Sun needs MySQL to be a blockbuster to pay off.

Looking to show that potential, president and CEO Jonathan Schwartz (no relaton) pressed the pedal to the metal on the hype barometer by not just re-iterating his contention that buying MySQL would represent the most important deal in Sun's history but "the most important acquisition in the modern software industry."

But the platitudes didn't stop there. "With this acquisition, Sun changes the landscape of the software industry and provides the most complete open source solution for rapidly building and deploying efficient effective and secure Web based applications and services," Schwartz said.

Perhaps most noteworthy was the fact that Schwartz sees MySQL as giving Sun a stack closer in line to that of Microsoft, which of course has SQL Server, as well as operating system, development framework and mid-tier integration platforms in its arsenal.

"What we see customers doing is really migrating toward complete platforms, they have clearly elected a proprietary platform for their desktop, and we see them increasingly looking toward open source solution for the server side." Schwartz said. "To the extent that we can deliver that compete platform, we think there's a massive opportunity, not simply in the world of the software marketplace but the computing marketplace the storage market as well as the network market."

If indeed Sun does pull all of that off and regain the momentum it had before the dotcom bust, perhaps the MySQL acquisition will be remembered as the most important deal in the modern software era.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/28/2008 at 1:15 PM

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