Fall of Costly Database Systems from Oracle, Microsoft and IBM
About 10 years back none of us would have thought that MySQL would be household name in the field of information technology.
Larry Ellison, the arrogant CEO of Oracle, had declared the victory and Sybase was about to die. IBM’s DB2 was doing fine and Microsoft’s SQL Server was winning among small businesses who could not afford IBM and Oracle. Microsoft had pretty much murdered Ashton-Tate’s DBASE IV and MS Access seemed unstoppable. The world was in love with the dotcom companies and those who built their grandfather’s home page were turning millionaire day and night.
As predicted by Warren Buffett, dotcom companies started to fall apart. As pundits say “one can fool some people all the time, all people some time, but not all the people all the time,” dotcom guys’ day dream shattered and millions of dumb investors lost money (this blog writer did lose some money too.) I was dumb too. With the fall of dotcomers, people started to become cost sensitive and millions of engineers continue contributing to open source systems like MySQL, Linux and others. The LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP combination) became poor people’s choice for software development. As Professor Clayton Christensen says, one of the ways for any disruptive technology to get attention is to enter market from the lower end and gradually move up the ladder, the LAMP started to become popular among enterprise software developers and people started to question usefulness of costly packages from Oracle, Microsoft and IBM.
Google surprised the world by managing billions of transactions without using product from Larry Ellison and Bill Gates. Facebook followed the footstep by ignoring the technology from the duo.
These days, uses of LAMP and its likes are getting more popular by minute and tech dinosaurs are showing their nervous openly by acting weirdly. Microsoft’s investment into Facebook at the valuation of $15 billion (Microsoft injected $240 million) and Oracle’s proposed purchase of Sun Micro (still to be closed) are some examples. Let us promote open source by contributing to the revolution and further punish these costly database owners. They will give up if we all try.