NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Oracle ( ORCL) swallowed Taleo ( TLEO) whole this week for $1.9 billion, further reversing course on its formerly strident and mocking take on cloud computing.
And wouldn't you know it? A good chunk of the media didn't mention the reverse, which was severe enough to give longtime Oracle watchers whiplash. A violent change in direction is important to mention, though. It can be a sign of rudderlessness and desperation, think Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), listing this way and that. But a sharp change in direction could also provide evidence of a flexibility needed to remain viable in a competitive marketplace over time. What's the case with Oracle? Probably the latter, but you can't even proffer a guess at the answer if you are not asking the question. Marketwatch ( NWS) is one of many media outlets that did not bother to point out the wide spread between Oracle's old aggressive disregard for the cloud and its newfound embrace. They even called Oracle's move "aggressive" without putting that aggression into proper context by setting beside their old disregard. When Marketwatch dipped into the past, it was to mention a personnel connection with a software merger from a decade ago. Considering, that was an irrelevancy. The New York Times, by contrast, got to the relevant item right from the first sentence: "Oracle, once wary of Web-based applications, has now embraced the cloud."