EU-Oracle battle collapses into a lovefest

Well, the big showdown in Europe between EU regulators and Oracle ended in smiles and positive talk all around, which is about the last thing anybody expected from all the tough talk that had been flying back and forth. My take is that in the game of chicken, Oracle blinked first, releasing a list of MySQL-related commitments yesterday afternoon that pretty clearly aim to assuage European regulatory opinion. Among other promises, Oracle pledged to spend more money on MySQL than Sun did last year, to maintain MySQL under the GPL, to sell commercial MySQL licenses without requiring customers to buy support from Oracle, and to create customer and vendor advisory boards, all for at least five years. And in response, the formerly implacable Neelie Kroes, the EU's Competition Commissioner, said that she's "optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome." Predictions are that the green light will come for the merger sometime next month.

And what does this mean for Java? Well, it appears that the EU really was primarily interested in the European-born MySQL; despite SAP's best efforts to get Kroes sniffing around Oracle's Java plans as well, Oracle was not compelled to come up with any similar list of promises about the future of Java. And looking at those MySQL pledges, that's too bad. MySQL users now have fairly long-range security; Java users should be so lucky.