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

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.