A couple additional thoughts..
When I put my DBA hat on there is no way I'd even think about using something like this until somewhere around Rev. 3 and everyone else, including upper management, are on board. That has been the observed pattern right? 😉 That requires "bubble-up buzz" that reaches the point where the marketing folks see opportunity.
So, in order to get more quickly to Rev. 3 in order to gain (and preserve) market share we need to compress time. Money compresses time in most cases but this project would seem to be quite large and expensive; perhaps prohibitive in terms of catching up. Thomas Sowell in his fabulous book, "The Vision of The Anointed" which addresses the practical application of the economic truths of Adam Smith's invisible hand of the market noted that (my words) "300 million pairs of eyeballs will always be more correct that 535 pairs (Congress) of eyeballs."
Regarding the stability-related issues I'd also be willing to wager that MSFT's decision to put SQL 'out there' is really a great way to vet the product and speed up the development cycle time, correspondingly lowering development costs. Microsoft understands good wine comes from crushing grapes. What better place than the open source community who love not very many things more than taking Microsoft down a notch. This falls under the 'iron sharpens iron' or 'what does not destroy me makes me stronger' category.
With respect to market share this looks like Microsoft's time honored and well-honed strategy of redefining the market by "drawing a larger circle". Think Novell when they redefined 'network'. n'est–ce pas?
Microsoft has a long history of goofs, right Bob? 😛 Contrary to the very fiber and core of the DBA they are risk takers. They understand that turtles, in order to get anywhere must stick out their necks. Ask a good DBA to do this. :ermm:
With respect to Oracle, and I'd add specifically RAC they have a loooong way to go yet.