The following excerpt from your article indicates that MSFT will not be the white night PSFT holders are hoping for. SAP already stated this week that they are focused on growth fom within. Besides IBM, what other suitors are out there that could afford a $7 billion purchase of PSFT? Not many I can assure you
"Stockstad said Microsoft won't try to derail Oracle's bid with a competing offer because her company has no interest in the big customers Oracle and PeopleSoft serve."
Microsoft is too late in this game. They might catch up little bit here and there but their products will always be inferior to estrablished companies in the field. If they start giving away software, that might sway some customers but that tactic is old, illegal and not sustainable. SAP, ORCL and PSFT are not some little fellows that you can push around. Microsoft will try to get into many bussiness but that will be a problem. With LINUX momentum, MSFT will have too many fronts to defend. I don't think we will have a world where a company with mediocre products will take over all spheres of our life. People are not that stupid. Gartner, Meta are known get paid for their positive and negative comentries. Many of their researchs are just vogus and wrong. They have lost their credibility. This kind of commentry is mainly designed to boost MSFT share price.
PSFT can go alone for a while but with ORCL future will be brighter. I do not see any alternative to the merger. There will be more merger to come.