Larry Ellison, CEO and God-king of Oracle, may not be willing to pay a few billion for Red Hat, but he has thought about buying Novell, and he hasnt closed the door on buying a major Linux distributor.
Now, when most people talk like this, I really dont pay them any mind—but Larry Ellison isnt most people.
He buys multibillion-dollar companies like PeopleSoft and Siebel over screams of protest the way you or I might buy a new PC.
Even when Ellison talks idly, people should listen.
And, if they dont want to be ruled from Oracles Redwood City, Calif., offices, aka “the Emerald City” or “Larryland,” they should be afraid. Very afraid.
This is not a man who takes no for an answer easily. Ellison is, after all, the man who once sued, and beat, San Jose International Airport for the right to land his 90,000-pound, fully loaded Gulfstream V jet after the airports nightly curfew.
Stories about Ellison doing whatever it takes to do something his way abound in the industry. And, as some Oracle insiders confess when theyre deep in their cups at a bar, many of them are true.
That said, Im not sure it makes any sense for Oracle to buy a major, or for that matter a minor, Linux distributor.
Ellison, though, is none too sure about the wisdom of paying big bucks for companies that dont own their products intellectual property.
Hes right, in a way.