I agree - the fact Google uses/relies on Java is really an Achilles heel for them. I'm 100% certain that when Larry bought Sun he scratched a 10 year itch he's had for how "Sun ought to run their business" - by making two versions of java one "free" crippled, and another enterprise one. Get 'em hooked, then bend 'em over and make 'em take it up the ass and pay for the service - that is the Oracle business strategy isn't it? Ellison could care less if anybody new ever uses/deploys Java -- because the installed application base alone in fortune 500 companies (existing oracle customers) is easily enough to pay 10x for what Sun cost. It's a freaking mint, and I think he's doing the right thing (for his shareholders) - he's not interested in the long term business plan, only short term revenue.
Killing mysql (a competitor they were losing business to), killing open office was just icing on the cake, and monetizing Solaris were just a few of the ways he's planning to make money.
I imagine this conversation happening in the Oracle board room:
Ellison: "we gotta nip this free software thing in the bud boys, next thing you know our stupid customers will be expecting our stuff for free too." (look of disgust)
Henchmen #1: "yeah boss, but how we gonna pay for it? the shareholders will never buy it"
Ellison: "those morons at Sun have been doing it wrong for years boys, what have I always told you"
Henchmen #1: "the customer will always pay more?"
Henchmen #2: "who cares if it's crap, ship it anyway?"
Henchmen #1: "who cares if my jet wakes people up? i'm rich?"
Henchmen #2: "nothing is sweeter than making the customer pay up the ass for crap?"
Ellison: "no, well - yes, I've said all those things, but I'm talking about how I'd run Sun, how I'd make everybody pay for Java, nobody should expect to use it for free"
Henchmen #2: "oh yeah boss, that was a good one"
Ellison: "look at this boys, it's like it's a god damn christmas - we stop mysql for a few years while the community 'forks' or whatever, you realize how much revenue that is going to protect for us?"
Henchmen #2: "oh yeah boss, that's alotta money"
Ellison: "then we kill open office, teach anybody who bought it a lesson, nothing is free - you want to use it - you should pay for it"
Henchmen #2: "yeah boss, keep going"
Ellison: "you realize how many of our customers depend on Solaris - they can't replace it for at least a few years, in the meantime we can tear them a new asshole and let the money flow out"
Henchmen #2: "that makes sense"
Ellison: "and then there's Java, wow.. what a stupid bunch of dumbfucks Sun was, I'll replace their free love society with Larrys pleasure palace where you have to pay me for some action"
Henchmen #2: "you mean metaphorically right boss?"
Ellison: "hard to say, all i know is that in the next few years boys, we're definitely going to be busy screwing all Suns customers up the ass, and charging them for the pleasure of it"
Henchmen #1: "so you mean basically we're going to do business as usual here at Oracle Co.?"
The key word in business is "momentum" - the Sun acquisition took momentum from so many projects, and anybody that was using those projects (for commercial purposes) now is in the unenviable position that they need to either starting pay Oracle, or try and find a viable competitor (at least 5 years). In the short term everybody will pay, do you realize how many billions of dollars we're talking about - in 5 years they'll wash rinse repeat. This is the cycle we should expect to see in the future - I think it will be very good for Oracle (bad for the community, but nobody really gives a damn what those free-loving hippies think anyway)
Remember Fortune 500 CIO's can't risk their enterprise to free "crippled" versions of software, they can't use unproven forks, if something goes wrong - it's their ass (and bye bye stock options), they'll choose free only when they absolutely have to. Nobody cares how much money "they save", it's a corporation, it's not about saving, it's about CYA.
Oh my god I hope the folks at Oracle never get ahold of ASF.
I have to admit - the folks at Oracle are brilliant (from a shareholder perspective) because they get how big businesses work.