Why You Should (Still) Pay Attention to the DOJ-Oracle Trial

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-06-07 Print this article Print

Microsoft's admission that it tried to merge with SAP is just a taste of how much juicier the tale will get now that the two parties are finally in court.

The Oracle-PeopleSoft-DOJ saga is similar to water torture. It just keeps dribbling on, only getting to trial in San Francisco federal court this week. Every drip of news over the past 12 months has been of incremental interest to attorneys and to journalists, who are still driven to writing about every twitch in Judge Vaughn Walkers eyelids because we know that God is keeping score of how many words we write and wont let us into heaven if we miss something. Enterprise customers, meanwhile, have been the recipients of the constant drip-drip-drip of news and the diverted attention of their software vendors.
As Renee Boucher Ferguson wrote in an article that sums up what will happen in court this week and how the industry has been affected so far by Oracles hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft, customers are fed up with this dragging-out of the story.
For example, Mike TenEyck, manager of administrative information systems at Texas Christian University, in Fort Worth, has an attitude thats representative of a majority of enterprise customers. TenEyck told Ferguson that this type of debacle is just a distraction that takes PeopleSoft "a lot of work, time and money" to fight off. Thats work, time and money that the company could be putting into making better products, of course. Rouse yourself from the enervation caused by the Oracle-PeopleSoft saga, though, because were finally at the point where it really gets interesting. Microsofts and SAPs admission Monday that Microsoft last year talked with SAP about a possible acquisition is just the first taste of the fascinating—and useful—insights into the acts of software giants well be gleaning during this trial. Next page: The Microsoft-SAP deal is a harbinger of the market intelligence that will pour from the trial.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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