Not surprisingly, IBM is relying on internal and/or commissioned studies to back up its assertions that Oracles support is poorer than its own, according to an IBM spokeswoman. As for independent input, Gartners Graham noted that shes not hearing customers complain about spectacularly poor customer support from Oracle. Shes not hearing that the support is stellar, either, but her clients arent bellyaching excessively, she said.As far as IBMs assertions that Oracle is more expensive, that assertion is true when youre looking just at the list price. But when you bundle in Oracles tools and options and take into consideration costs such as the training and rebuilding of staff skills that would be required by a database migration, the price picture gets decidedly murky.Where Oracle gets really interesting with regards to price is, of course, with what Graham calls Oracles "Linux story." Thats the one where enterprises run Oracle databases on a cluster of Linux boxes and experience huge hardware savings. Of course, if you do run a cluster, you need Oracle9i RAC (Real Application Clusters), an option that comes at about a 50 percent premium. "So, its kind of like, yeah, youll save money on the hardware, but youll spend extra on the software," Graham said. The long and short of it is that you have to be leery about both IBMs and Oracles claims about their respective rivals support, price and everything else under the sun. That goes without saying. What really needs to be pointed out is that May 28 is the last day you can lean on Oracles very hungry sales reps to get major discounts as they wrap up their fiscal year. Read more here about Oracles price breaks on 10g. If you havent already, for Gods sake, drop everything and twist some Oracle arm on the last day before the holiday. Dont miss the boatGrahams clients are reporting discounts of as much as 80 percent. Thats right, 80 percent. As Graham so eloquently put it, "Up to 80 percent discounts. Thats, like, whoa!" Or, as we might rewrite IBMs ad to read, "May Day! May Day! Rescuing Oracle usersfrom paying high prices!" Please register for TalkBack below and tell me and other readers what you think, or write to me at email@example.com. eWEEK.com Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas has written about enterprise applications since 1997. Editors Note: This story was updated to correct the date for Oracles fiscal end of year, which is May 28. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at http://database.eweek.com for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.