Oracle has assured the European Union that the software giant will continue investing in Sun's MySQL open source database. That move potentially clears the way for Oracle's pending buyout of Sun Microsystems, according to published reports. But more importantly, the move positions Oracle to potentially undercut Microsoft's SQL Server database. Will VARs choose sides?

Let's be clear: Microsoft's SQL Server partner ecosystem is fiercely loyal. And Microsoft's SQL Azure positions application partners to potentially cash in on Microsoft's cloud strategy. Heck, even MySQL is jumping into Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud.

Listen Closely

Still, there are whispers about a forthcoming Oracle move. It involves a potential Oracle plan to launch an Unbreakable MySQL push against Microsoft SQL Server.

The Unbreakable MySQL chatter started during Oracle OpenWorld in October 2009. Fast forward to the present, and Oracle has given the European Union certain assurances that the company will continue to invest in MySQL for years to come. Those assurances potentially clear the way for the EU to approve Oracle's buyout of Sun Microsystems within the next month or so, reports BusinessWeek.

Already, Oracle has built a Linux specialization for channel partners. Hmmm... could a MySQL specialization follow in 2010? The VAR Guy sure thinks so. Such a specialization could help MySQL to energize a channel partner effort that appears to have gone silent for most of 2009.

Staying On Message

How ironic: Oracle hasn't changed its tune at all. CEO Larry Ellison has repeated multiple times that he plans to pump up MySQL as part of the Sun takeover. Oracle even followed up with a pledge to MySQL customers, developers and users. And by directing assurances to the EU, Oracle appears poised to get its hands on the world's most popular open source database -- despite protests from some key MySQL voices.

If Oracle gobbles up MySQL, should Microsoft panic? Certainly not. But more intense competition is coming, folks. And it's going to be fun to watch.

Already, up-n-comers are hedging their database bets a bit. One example: Red Hat's October 2009 investment in EnterpriseDB.

The VAR Guy is waiting -- and listening -- for more clues about a potential Unbreakable MySQL move, and/or a MySQL specialized partner initiative.

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