Oracles Linux Push Is a No-Brainer

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2006-04-17 Print this article Print

Opinion: Microsoft is Oracle's most threatening rival in its quest to get its own piece of the Linux pie.

Oracle wants to cook up its own stack, based on Linux and has pondered purchasing Novell as a quick way to get its own Linux flavor to kick-start the project, Larry Ellison recently told the Financial Times. Thats a no-brainer. Oracle has been pushing Linux like mad for some time. Small wonder, given that it provides Oracle users who run on Microsofts operating system and applications with an alternative stack. The IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group) recently put out the results of a survey showing that only 7 percent of 812 surveyed Oracle shops run exclusively on Oracle, with the Microsoft product set being the closest contender at these sites: Seven out of 10 respondents support SQL Server.
Click here to read more on the IOUGs report.
Oracles Linux push has paid off, with Linux in the coming year set to unseat HP-UX as the dominant operating system on which to run Oracle technology, according to the IOUGs survey. Forget IBM and DB2; Microsoft is Oracles most threatening rival. Microsofts control over the Windows operating system and its applications have given it a complete stack for some time now. More recently, Red Hats announced acquisition of JBoss means that it, too, is set to be a serious threat to Oracle, given that it has grown that much closer to offering a complete stack. So why not buy Red Hat? As Ellison told the Financial Times, the price was just too steep, particularly when youre talking about open-source—in other words, free—software. Click here to read more about Oracles push to become a Linux power. "I dont see how we could possibly buy Red Hat... Im not going to spend $5 billion, or $6 billion, for something that can just be so completely wiped off the map," Ellison was quoted as saying in the FT. He also said that he had considered making an offer on Novell. Novell is too expensive as well. Why pay billions for Novell SUSE Linux when there are much cheaper and more deployed Linux distributions out there, with robust communities in place, to be had for probably what would amount to a few million? I had a recent conversation with Richard Monson-Haefel, an analyst with Burton, in which he told me that Ellison is likely telling us he doesnt have to buy a company with a huge existing open-source presence. Instead, Ellison likely wants to buy an existing variation of Linux around which Oracle can build a community. Next Page: Strong contenders.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for 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, 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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