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Mailbag: What To Do with Sun, Microsoft Earnings, More

During last week's big Oracle-Sun hoopla, Doug asked readers what they think Oracle should do with Sun's portfolio. Here are one reader's suggestions:

Here is my wholly unqualified opinion on the subject from the perspective of what I could see being the most valuable/sensible actions for Oracle: Sun hardware, along with Solaris, becomes a pre-packaged Oracle database solution complete with storage, software and hardware optimization (sort of a database appliance, if you will). NetBeans and Java, including the recently released JavaFX, get packaged and sold together (to IBM, perhaps?). MySQL becomes an Oracle-backed open source project with the goal of pushing the envelope and proving concepts that will get refined and optimized into Oracle. OpenOffice gets released to the public domain and/or Open source community to thrive or die. VirtualBox goes one of two ways -- either the whole xVM project gets placed in its own division to survive or die as a strategic counter to the other virtualization solutions Oracle is able to run on (in theory), or the xVM project gets scrapped and sold or left to die on its own.

Is this what will happen? Who knows. Is this what I would like to see? No. I like Sun the way it was (well, except for the nearly non-viability of the operation). What I want to see is marketing and business operation consolidations between the companies and the rest left alone. I just have never seen any buy-out like this happen that way.

Sure, Microsoft's Q3 earnings report was kind of a downer, but James thinks the company can learn something from it:

Is this the beginning of the end for Microsoft? No, I don't think so. What I do believe is that if MS continues laying eggs like Vista, then yeah, they might as well fold up shop and retire as millionaires or maybe become reclusive hackers. But I don't think that is really going to happen.

Hopefully, this will make Microsoft realize that they can't just throw out software that nobody really likes and expect people to blindly buy it and rejoice in it. Without getting into who's fault, the bottom line is that Microsoft paid for it. Now, will people that still use MS move to Windows 7 or bail for good? I guess that is something that we will have to watch for in the coming quarters. Keep watching those MS headlines...maybe the next one will be "Microsoft Rebounds from 32% Q3 Loss."

Chris wonders whether VMware's vSphere is actually a cloud, and why localized clouds aren't a bigger deal:

Is it a cloud? I don't know, but I do know that we need localized clouds. Localized clouds need to become the replacement for SANs. For example, in the database space, the vendors all need to support having clients connect to a virtual IP that front-ends a database, but allow the data in the database to be moved between different instances inside a locally managed database cloud. They also need to let us specify where to store different pieces of the data, including which pieces should be stored on multiple instances (and how many instances). Then they need to give us the ability to move the data from one instance to another so that individual instances can have service packs and patches applied.

Some vendors support this kind of vision partially, but Microsoft needs to get into this game in a large way. Otherwise, they run the risk of losing market share to other products that are less capable from a data query, modeling and management point of view for two reasons: first, proponents for those other data platforms are being very vocal about their benefits; and second, because Microsoft is being too slow to deliver on this kind of model with SQL Server.

More letters coming on Friday, including thoughts about Microsoft's latest ad campaign, the so-called "Mac tax" and more. Meanwhile, coment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on April 29, 2009