giving something for free, you encourage customers to buy something else from the same company.
They put that model to work with open-source software like MySQL and hoped that customer will buy their hardware servers.
Oracle hasn't had a hardware side (as far as I know of) and I was wondering what they would do with their new acquisition of Sun's hardware.
It occurred to me that Oracle could be in a position to develop an SQL-chip, like that on kickfire and sell a "Turn-Key" hardware solution to its customers. One that they will control and be able to support from the ground up, probably including the operating system.
It would make sense to me that Oracle would invest in hardware that will improve their database's performance and even more probable would be to sell it as a whole to customers.
In addition, if it would be something like kickfire's SQL-chip, then Oracle would increase its position in the BI world and compete with vendors like netezza and teradata.
Ultimately, it would provide a one-stop-shop solution to its customers and probably decrease drastically the combined cost of purchasing from several vendors.