Friday, April 18, 2008

MySQL: No soup for (some of) you!

When Sun bought MySQL for $1 billion - the open source database maker was struggling to make money. In a ComputerWorld interview in June 2007, former MySQL CEO MÃ¥rten Mickos said that "...only one in a thousand users ever pays.." for the software.

1 in 1,000? And you got $1 BILLION for your company? Yes, please!

Anyway - back to the story. Now that Sun owns it - I can picture them in a product marketing meeting thinking "hmmmm.... how can we make some money out of this widely-installed database?"

Then, the new guy, I'll call him "Tom", comes up with a brilliant idea, "Let's make the cool new features in our 5.1 release only available to those who have a paid license! The rest of the people using it for free - can either just wait for it - or can write their own version."

Applause all around. Problem solved. Until - their user conference this week in Santa Clara, California.

The "Community Edition" (free) users were all up in arms about Sun having "the nerve" to actually charge some money for a database (oh, the horror!).

Then the bloggers got a hold of it. In one post user Paul Saduauskas threatened to abandon MySQL in favor of Postgresql that he categorized as "fast enough." He was incensed that the free version and pay-for version would have a different feature set - and he wasn't alone.

Now, I can understand that if you're used to something being free (even though it's really not free, and most people who are using it SHOULD pay for it) - it can suck when you realize that you aren't getting the latest and greatest in the next release - just because you didn't pay for it in the first place.

Although, now due to the community and bloggers coming undone over the last 24 hours, Sun is now in full waffle mode on what they will finally do in the end.

However - I think Community users should just stop bitching about it and either dump MySQL for another free, open source database or pony up the inexpensive license money and shut the hell up.

People - how do you think Sun got the $1 billion to buy MySQL in the first place? Yep, it had to actually "sell" something to someone...

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