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Oracle eyes opening

Software giant Oracle is looking at launching its own Linux variant to round out its product lineup, its CEO said last week.

Software giant Oracle is looking at launching its own Linux variant to round out its product lineup, its CEO said last week.

“I’d like to have a complete stack,” Larry Ellison said in an interview with the UK’s Financial Times. “We’re missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux,” he added.

Oracle has been steadily building up its stack of products in recent years, with a portfolio that spans middleware, databases and business applications such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management. However, paying large sums for open source firms that do not own the intellectual property did not make sense, Ellison claimed.

“The reason I have a hard time writing checks for billions or hundreds of millions of dollars for things that are open source is that if we could do this, other people could do it too,” he said.

Ellison’s remarks may have been motivated by Red Hat’s capture this month of middleware firm JBoss, for US$350 million (see IT Weekly 15 – 21 April 2006). While Oracle had previously supported Red Hat becau- se it helped it compete with Microsoft, it was now a competitor, he said. “Now that Red Hat has JBoss and competes with us in middleware, we have to relook at the relationship,” Ellison said.

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