"I've never seen money create innovation," said Mickos, during the Ubuntu Live conference in Portland, Oregon. "But I've seen innovation create money."
"Look at Sun [Microsystems]," said Mickos. "When they had money they got complacent and didn't do anything [innovative]. When they were running out of money, they got innovative. Kudos to [Sun CEO] Jonathan Schwartz and his team."
Simple math ensures that the open source community will beat Microsoft on innovation, Mickos. He estimates that there are 1.2 million full-time equivalent people working on open source, compared to 71,000 Microsoft employees.
Still, Mickos failed to address the power of Microsoft's partner ecosystem--thousands of which add value to Windows, SQL Server and other Microsoft applications.
Although Microsoft generates cash far faster than most any technology company, MySQL will likely cash in on its momentum soon as well. Mickos confirms that MySQL has "always been on a mission to go public and we're making good progress toward it." He declined, however, to predict exactly when MySQL will launch its IPO.