My initial reaction to this is fear that Sun will try to force things a little too hard. When I think of MySQL, I think of ease-of-use and reliability. When I think of SQL Server and Oracle, I think of the ancillary tools and the fierceness with which DBAs cling to their specialized knowledge. DBAs don’t have the programmers predilection to throw aside their tools for The Next Big Thing.
Actually, just a brief post. LINQ has injected into the mainstream a whole range of functional programming topics previously seen as esoteric. Putting aside the merits of each of them, the interesting dynamic to watch will be if these approaches generate a new sub-niche of programming. For instance, C++ templates led to template metaprogramming, just such a sub-niche. To what extent will awareness of lambda functions and monads be integrated into mainstream awareness and to what extent will they exist as a self-perpetuating “eddy” in the mainstream? (Or will functional programming actually spread and come to be a dominant way of thinking about software construction in the same way that objects did? I still view it as unlikely, but not nearly as low-chance as I did a few years ago.)