Oracle's Open-Source Shopping Spree

The database giant is in talks to purchase at least three software companies that would help it shift customers to a subscriber-based model

The open-source community may be in for a jolt. Oracle (ORCL) is plotting what could be the biggest endorsement yet by a mainstream software company for a movement that involves legions of developers across the globe who publish "open" software distributed freely over the Net, making money instead from support and maintenance. It's a bold bet for a company that gets a healthy chunk of its $16 billion in annual sales from multimillion-dollar software packages deals, but Oracle is ready to spend big on open source.

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