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Recurring Revenue: Article

Will Oracle Buy JBoss?

This move, if it's true, follows on from Oracle's highly publicized buying spree of several high-profile companies in 2005

During the recent Sun / Oracle Town Hall Meeting, which was broadcast live by SYS-CON.TV from the Auditorium at Oracle Headquarters, Scott McNealy's first question to Larry Ellison was: "So Larry, everybody here wants to know, right up front so we can take this off the table, get the big announcement out of the way, are you buying Sun?"

Ellison's answer to this opening question was, "Well, you know Scott, as you will see in the newspapers, it turns out Oracle's strong preference is to do everything hostilely." The audience responded to both McNealy's question and Ellison's answer with laughter.

In less than two weeks after this televised event, the rumor in Silicon Valley is that Oracle is in talks with JBoss to acquire them, although neither company so far publicly confirmed or denied this acquisition rumor. This move, if it's true, follows on Oracle’s highly publicized buying spree of several high-profile companies in 2005, including Siebel Systems.

The move, again if true, could be interpreted as a number of things. Competitors can interpret it as Oracle’s application server not being up to the task of working in low-end environments, which it has become famous for. It could also signify Oracle’s goals of capitalizing on the open source movement, an area where it has not had much success in the past. It could also signify its intent to buy up and destroy the only open source application server, which has undoubtedly made it difficult for Oracle to see more of its own application server in open source environments. This option would be like Phillippe Kahn buying dBASE in 1991 for the sole purpose of killing the biggest competitor and displacing it with its own Paradox product.

Any move to acquire JBoss would take Oracle into the world of Enterprise Open Source: anyone can use JBoss LGPL software as a component of their business applications in any way they wish, including linking to JBoss from their own or other proprietary software. JBoss has also been touting its support for “EJB 3” apparently, which Sun is not very happy about due to its technology license scheme.

The chances are that every rumor might have some facts behind it, but we won't know the extent of the reality in this case until and if there is an official statement by either or both companies, confirming or denying it.

Note: On Friday, January 27, 2006, 11:30 AM we receved this official response from JBoss: "JBoss' policy is not to comment on rumor and speculation, as we prefer to remain focused on the delivery of superior open source middleware and services."

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Oracle News Desk trawls the world's news information sources and brings you timely updates on Oracle and its ever-expanding enterprise software portfolio, including its entire range of tools for managing business data, supporting business operations, and facilitating collaboration and application development.

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