Microsoft Shrugs Off Latest Oracle-Dell Play on SMB Market

Oracle's announcement that it is bundling its Standard Edition One database prepackaged on Dell PowerEdge servers formed the latest salvo in the ongoing database price war launched against Microsoft and its low-cost SQL Server database. Predictably, Micro

Oracle Corp.s announcement Tuesday that it is bundling its Standard Edition One database prepackaged on Dell PowerEdge servers formed the latest salvo in the ongoing database price war launched against Microsoft Corp. and its low-cost SQL Server database. Predictably, Microsoft was dismissive of the move.

"They did the same thing back with Standard Edition One," said Mitch Gatchalian, product manager for SQL Server, in Redmond, Wash., referring to a January announcement by Oracle President Chuck Phillips at Oracle AppsWorld. At that time, Phillips said it was time to go on the offensive against Microsoft and that pricing for the Windows version of Oracle Database 10g would be set at the same list price per processor as SQL Server.

"They said, Well lower the price and compete with Microsoft," Gatchalian said. "There didnt seem to be much uptake there, so theyre trying a new trick."

Although the stakes in the database war are much higher with todays announcement—after all, Dell has inroads into the small and midsized business market that Oracle sorely needs if its to successfully compete with SMB king Microsoft—Gatchalian repeated the same mantra that Microsoft voiced in January. At that time, Tom Rizzo, Microsoft director of product management, told eWEEK.com that customers have to pay for a lot more than a database when they purchase Oracle.

Gatchalian said Microsoft ships free business-intelligence functionality that gives crucial reporting and analysis capabilities to SMBs. "In the SMB space, folks are trying to play in the big world. Theyre amassing considerable amounts of data," he said.

"The question is, what do they do with all that data? Microsoft provides ways to analyze it with BI. With Oracle Standard Edition One, thats not included. That would take another $40,000 to be on par with SQL Server functionality."

Next Page: Competitors are also waging war over manageability.