Microsoft stirs up a price war in the database market

A price war is about to break out in the database market. Oracle and IBM won't be the winners.

Even as MySQL and PosgreSQL yank the carpet out from under Oracle and Microsoft, Microsoft is turning the other cheek by cutting Oracle off at the knees on price, as Mary Jo Foley reports:

Microsoft officials announced on September 19 that they have no plans to increase the price of SQL Server 2008 beyond what the company already charges for SQL Server 2005. Microsoft execs also announced that, starting today, customers who migrate from Oracle to SQL Server will get a 50 percent discount on the price of SQL Server Enterprise Edition or 25 percent off the price of Standard Edition. However, both discounts are available only when users sign up for Software Assurance, Microsoft's annuity volume-licensing plan.

Software Darwinism at its best. Open source is nipping at the heels of SQL Server. SQL Server is nipping at the heels of IBM's DB2 and Oracle. Oracle and IBM are nipping at the heels of....?


The big catch in all this, of course, is that customers have to sign over their lives/future database freedom to Microsoft to get the discount. Software Assurance, in other words. I'm not sure it's worth it, at that price.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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