MS SQL enjoys a very nice spot within database community. Here Oracle is seen as the most pricey but most trusted enterprise grade software. A real challenge can be IBM DB2, but somehow IBM kind of lost the game many years back. I believe the main reason of IBM DB2 not being able to dethrone Oracle has a lot to do with it being closely associated with IBM products only at least in consumer mindspace. You always have likes of Postgres (MySQL was not a direct replacement channel so much anyway) or the Enterprise Databases based on it. But even that cost factor could never dethrone Oracle on the trust factor.

The only other database in the market with enterprise credibility is Microsoft SQL Server. However, like IBM DB2, it was closely associated with software built on .NET framework running on windows. The MS SQL was never available on Linux and although it could be used as backend of non .net applications, many java or php applications used Oracle just because of the perception of it playing better with other language programs. Offcourse Oracle DB’s legendary scalability and reliability played a huge part.

MS SQL is the only other database having so many ready certified resources available in the market. Trust me that plays a huge role in choosing a solution in enterprise for any technology domain.

Now Microsoft apparently is saying that the next MS SQL is going to run on Linux and Microsoft will have lucrative offers for all existing oracle customers.

That’s how a below the belt blow looks like. The 2nd most trusted (arguably) database on planet available on most reliable operating system (arguably again) on x86 hardware, available with a lucrative migration service offering (and a bucket of free goodies), is definitely going to hurt Oracle’s database market in my opinion.

But lets come back to freedomware world. What do we make out of this. First and foremost, this may be serious bad news for Postgres based enterprise database solution market. Companies such as EDB have been positioning their solution as the most cost benefit solution to migrate from Oracle. They have trying to woo customers with the compatibility of postgres with Oracle.

The compatibility of Postgres with Oracle is offcourse still superior than MS SQL’s compatibility with oracle. But consider if Microsoft offers free lifetime licensing with free support as can be heard, then compatibility factor would be looking like a trade off for many businesses.

MS SQL also would take a hit for sure as the decision in that case would be even easier.

Recently Microsoft has started playing the free game very maturely. Look at the way they did it for future upgrades of Windows OS. The MS SQL is also a good strategy to kill off both oracle and postgres.

However, as per my understanding Oracle will survive this blow with its loyal followers and maybe by doing some changes on their own side of commercials. My worry rather is about the open source data base market. What value can they now offer to woo oracle customers any further. How can they hold on to their current customers against that free license/free support enterprise database solution coming in from none other than Microsoft.

Microsoft is no more playing straight face evil, they are now smart allies trying to make most benefit for them in this engagement with open community.

Freedomware community can welcome Microsoft for what it is doing. Pushing open software solutions to create serious real tangible values for their products too compete in the real enterprise market head to head, shoulder to shoulder without those benefits enjoyed so far just because Microsoft allowed those benefits to exist so far.

EDB or MySQL has to prove their database to be technically better choice than falling back on commercial benefits.

Freedomware community now have to produce solutions that are technically better and not just commercially cheaper. I love that.

MySQL, EDB, Postgres are pride of our community. Tough times are ahead for them. So we wish them well. Microsoft is coming in hard, we may not like it because we dont like proprietary products on Linux; but that does not change the fact that industry may just be asking for it. And Microsoft is delivering for sure.

The views expressed herein are my personal views and not necessarily of any other person or organization anyway associated with me