On acquisition, Ellison was scathing about Sun’s management and sure he was going to max out the opportunity. So just how good were Oracle’s decisions with Sun’s assets? I’m not really following Oracle’s business day-to-day, but here’s what seems obvious from reports:
Java was described as the “crown jewels”, but the real reason for buying Java SE – trying to sue $8bn from Google – has failed twice. Maybe it will still yield on SCOTUS appeal?
Oracle criticised Sun for “failing to monetise” Java (ignoring the fact Java made the market which Sun monetised with hardware in 1996-2000) and proposed a freemium model that’s not resulted in revenue.
Oracle abandoned Sun’s identity management projects and now Forgerock uses them in a business valued around a half billion dollars powered by the customers Oracle alienated.
Oracle decided to cancel Sun Cloud and dismantled the ready-for-cloud features of Solaris, then the market went Cloud.
Oracle renamed StarOffice and announced a cloud version but couldn’t make it fly. Sensing the impending EOL of the project and alienated by heavy-handed treatment the community jumped ship to LibreOffice.
The contrast with the approach HPE completed this week with its unwanted legacy products, doing a deal with Micro Focus to look after them, could not be more stark. Oracle said it was going to “reinvigorate the Sun brand” but instead has killed it more dead than any Sun executive managed – the “art of the deal” no doubt. Along with many former Sun staff today, that makes me very sad.