Should Oracle Get into the Linux Business?

News Analysis: Industry watchers are all over the map with their thoughts on the matter. (Linux-Watch)

If Oracle were to get into the operating system business with Linux, would this be a good thing for the database giant? Industry watchers are all over the map with their thoughts on the matter.

On the plus side, Dan Kusnetzky, executive vice president of marketing strategy for Open-Xchange, said, "Oracle would then own the whole stack from operating system through application development, and deployment environment through the application."

This is one of the goals that Larry Ellison mentioned in his Financial Times interview, which sparked this debate.

On the other hand, "If Oracle purchased Novell; many are likely to be upset," Kusnetzky added.

Top on that list of upset people would be IBM, said a consultant with a global system integrator who asked not to be named.

"SUSE is critical to IBM because it supports all the IBM architectures. Oracle competes with DB2, although the SP2 [Scalable POWERparallel 2 supercomputer line] and zSeries [mainframe] are very important Oracle platforms."

Of course, it wouldnt be just IBM that wouldnt be pleased with a move by Oracle into the operating system space.

Kusnetzky continued, "The same is true if Oracle purchased Red Hat. In any case, Oracle would find it increasingly difficult to work with Microsoft and some of the suppliers of Unix, because Oracle would have become a clear competitor."

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