Rather than wondering how open source will be negatively impacted by Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin sets out his thinking on what the acquisition will do for Linux. Not that what happens for Linux will necessarily happen for open source in general, but it's a good place to start.
Zemlin points out that Oracle was already both a Linux distributor and a Linux user. The company is a platinum member of the Linux Foundation, and its chief architect spoke at the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. Though Glynn Moody doesn't trust Oracle's assertion that it "is as committed as ever to Linux and other open platforms," Zemlin takes it to the bank. He says:
Oracle is first and foremost an applications and business software vendor, meaning they need to support the OS that the customer wishes to deploy their software on...This acquisition makes a lot of sense for Oracle to fine tune Solaris for their products, but it certainly will not lessen the support or investment Oracle has in Linux.
The acquisition could also benefit ODF and OpenOffice in the enterprise, Zemlin says, because it "strengthens" Oracle's position as an open standards supporter.
I'm sure this isn't the last opinion we'll see on what this buy will do to the industry, but as always, it will be interesting to look back and see whose predictions proved most accurate.