Trying to put MySQL out of business would be a fairly short-term tactical move. I think Oracle is looking 5 years down the road and seeing what the world looks like as the commoditization of enterprise scale infrastructure software components continues. They’re seeing that they “own” a progressively smaller piece of that pie unless they act soon. The rumors of Oracle eyeing JBoss and others are completely in line with this thinking.
If Oracle can become a one-stop shop for folks building the next generation of big business applications, whether or not they use “traditional” Oracle software, the company manages to stay relevant in the new world–and that includes their lucrative consulting services.
Is this reminiscent of IBM’s approach to Linux circa 2001? It sure is.