Et Tu, Scott?Oracle ( ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison never seems to worry about being popular -- and that's a good thing these days. What with Microsoft ( MSFT) and SAP ( SAP) teaming up to beat on the database giant and Wall Street wondering when (or if) his $13 billion acquisition binge will pay off, you'd think he'd like some love from his friends. Well, he didn't get any this week from longtime ally Scott McNealy, CEO of struggling Sun Microsystems ( SUNW). Sun, which desperately has been trying to boost sales of its powerful, but not so popular Solaris operating system, is going to give away copies of Postgres, an open-source database. Sun will start distributing Postgres with Solaris immediately and will integrate it into the operating system in the first half of 2006. Postgres obviously won't make a material difference to Oracle's database franchise, but the move is surprising because the two companies have been close. Oracle, for example, was the first major adopter of Sun's Java programming language, and Sun's products are optimized to work with Oracle databases. Asked about the seeming rift with a key partner, John Loiacono, Sun's executive VP for software, said: "We'd love to see Oracle move in this direction itself." But until Oracle makes an open-source version of its database, Sun will distribute the best alternative, he said during a conference call. Oracle didn't have a comment on the Sun announcement. The reason? Industry sources said the move caught Ellison & Co. by surprise and the crowd at Redwood Shores, Calif., was still trying to make sense of it. Sun's venture into the database world could be more than a symbolic slap at MySQL, a Sweden-based provider of open-source databases that has become something of a darling to Silicon Valley's digiterati.
|TechWeek Scorecard |
|Goldman Sachs Software||168||-1.2%|