Here's a good move by Oracle. It plans to release, by year end, a free version of its 10g database. Dubbed Oracle 10g Express Edition, the free version will run on 32 bit Windows and Linux systems. Use of the free version is limited to 4GB of data, 1GB of memory, and one processor servers.
No, Oracle hasn't suddenly gotten generous. It needed to do this to counter Microsoft's similar program for its Sequel Server database, and especially to counter the open source MySQL database, which is widely used by developers at the low end of the market--and increasingly is moving up into higher end applications.
Furthermore, developers tend to stay with tools they learn when they are young, and there's no doubt that many students, hobbyists, and small development firms are getting to know MySQL a lot better than Oracle these days.
As I noted last month, Oracle is also countering MySQL's popularity by acquiring Innobase, a tiny firm that is the primary developer of the open source InnoDB, which is used as a storage engine by MySQL to provide higher end features such row-level locking. It's still not quite clear what Oracle plans to do with InnoDB.Computerworld
has more on Oracle's freebee.Related postsOracle bid for Innobase a threat to MySQL?Software buyers turn cheap