Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 26th Oct 2006 00:20 UTC, submitted by Anonymous
Databases "No one saw this coming. People talked about Oracle making its own Linux, or buying a Linux company (Ubuntu?). But, the news that Oracle is erasing Red Hat's trademarks from Unbreakable Linux and supporting it for less than Red Hat is a bolt from the blue. Or, perhaps, I should say that Oracle is firing a shot at the heart of Red Hat, and commercial Linux? This really, really ticks me off." Apparently, Oracle announced that they will provide full enterprise support for Linux and so it competes with RH.
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Member since:

well, it is a free market and open source at its best

Reply Score: 5

whartung Member since:

No kidding.

I can get my Ford truck serviced at numerous facilities, not just Ford. I can buy an extended warranty for the truck that's usable in places besides a Ford dealership. When I bought an iBook, the store offered me their own extended warranty over AppleCare.

So, all Oracle is doing is taking Linux support to the next level. They're not going to bother with their own distro. Red Hat is a fine distro, and the market leader. Support Red Hat rather than inventing a new one.

Ellison made it clear last year that he had no intention of buying a Linux distro (like Red Hat). He basically said "Why should I buy them when they give it away for free?".

And he's right. Is expertise within Red Hat worth their market cap? Is the expertise available elsewhere, where Oracle can perhaps buy it "ala carte"? Because that's all Red Hat has, is expertise. The software is given away, and therefore not an asset.

So, contrived example, say Oracle simply offered core team members at Red Hat, the "brain trust" so to speak, positions at his company, and gave them a large signing bonus. If these team members aren't waiting to vest in Red Hat stock, or, simply, not already "well funded", a fat check from Oracle can be VERY tempting.

If Oracle could get them at the insane price of $1M each, and got 10 members. That's $10M total. A far cry from however many $B's Red Hat may be worth on the market. Hell, they just plonked $450Mish for JBoss.

But, fundamentally, that's Larry's point. He doesn't need Red Hat. He may need some key expertise, but since it's Linux we're talking about, Red Hat doesn't even have a lock on that. I read somewhere else that Oracle has got 3 kernel developers from Novell. Guaranteed they didn't cost Oracle billions of dollars.

Oracle gets the Linux for free, even Red Hats specific version of Linux. They just need some manpower to facilitate knowledge transder to spin up and train his already existing call support center and staff of technicians.

Far far cheaper than buying an existing mainstream distro.

No reason to be angry at anyone here, this is just the market at work.

Reply Parent Score: 5

HappyGod Member since:

Totally agree.

Also, he goes on to say that Oracle are rubbish at releasing bug fixes and that we can expect more of the same with "Oracle Linux" (Oraclux? Linacle?). This is a moot point because if the service is bad, people won't buy it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ma_d Member since:

No it's not. It's ugly business practices and reinventing the wheel at its worst.

I can guess at what'll happen:
1.) This is all media hype and Oracle isn't doing anything nearly this evil (the most likely).
2.) Oracle will make these grand claims about supporting old systems, and then not do it in 6 years when it's a real issue and RedHat has closed its doors in bankrupcy.
3.) RedHat customers will recognize an impossible idea when they hear it and ignore Oracle's offering until their marketing matches their product.
3a.) Oracle will then give up and claim Linux is dead, because they couldn't sell it.
3b.) Oracle will fire its marketing department and hire a much smaller one, one which is instructed to listen to the engineers and not the salesmen.

Reply Parent Score: 3

bryanv Member since:

What part of this is Ugly business practices?

Frankly, I'm surprised this didn't happen a year ago.

Look at it from executive perspective:
Gee, I could really use an OS to bundle with my product, ensuring solid support from the iron up. I can control the whole software stack, and make a killing!

Gee, this other company that a lot of my customers run my product on has to give away it's source code and they can't charge for anything but support and the media it's distributed on.

Gee, I could use their code that they have to release, pay a minimum for development costs now that the market is established and the high risk is gone, offer support for half the price they do, and get my entire high-margin, low maintenance software stack and charge more for full-stack support....

And it's all completely legal, and doesn't break any official agreements with have with this other ISV.... HRMmmmmmm....


This is _not_ shady at all. This is _totally_ legit. I just find it funny how many GPL fan-boi idiots are just now getting upset that the thong panties they've been parading around in for years are just now starting to chafe their buttholes enough for them to realize it's not the 'social hack' they once thought it was. You all just got pwned!

Maybe I should short-sell other vulnerable public OSS companies....

Reply Parent Score: 1