Oracle's decision to purchase Sun may have saved the company from financial despair. Looking at their most recent financial report released this week, it’s evident that the company has lost significant amounts of money, taking as much as a 20 percent hit in revenue the past quarter and posting a net loss of $201 million. Once Oracle steps in, Sun will likely head in a new direction – whether or not that can stop their current situation from getting worse is remains to be seen.
Sun's predicament may end up having an impact on the rest of the industry, as the company is responsible for both Java and MySQL, two critically important pieces of technology, not to mention their Solaris operating system. They are already in the middle of a program to make their hardware lineup more closely match what other vendors propose, such as offering mainstream servers that run on chips from Intel and AMD rather than their own. Still, it will take a lot of imaginative thinking for them to fully recover, and many questions remain unanswered as to what will happen with Sun’s hardware and software assets post-acquisition.
One important concern for many, for example, is what will become of the OpenOffice project. While the productivity suite is free of charge, it represents one of the few robust Microsoft Office alternatives and could give Oracle another powerful tool for competing with Redmond in the enterprise. Currently, however, there is a move to make the project 100% independent following the merger.