Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Weepy Windowsites Ogling Oracle


Oracle Database 11g, which was preannounced a month ago, is now generally available...on Linux.

As Jack Loftus notes, an initial release on Linux is nothing new:

Oracle announced today the general availability of 11g for the Linux platform only. You Windows and Unix guys will just have to wait your turn! Don’t worry though, because if historical trends are any indication, you’ll be rolling in 11g love a mere month or so from now.

Loftus then speculated on possible reasons for the delay for other operating systems - well, one operating system in particular:

After the tip, I called over to Forrester Research analyst Noel Yuhanna, who follows Oracle, to discuss 11g, Linux, and the fact that Windows SQL Server is pretty hot right now. Hot enough for Oracle to take notice anyway, and make a huge push behind Linux....

Yuhanna told me during our call that Windows customers are a “lost cause” to Oracle because by and by they are completely content with SQL Server and would be hard pressed to switch soon, if ever. But Linux is growing by leaps and bounds, and Unix is still there to be cannibalized. Oracle, Yuhanna said, might be using Linux not only as a moneymaker, but as a defense against losing more market share to SQL Server.

Loftus then references Michael Dolan:

Solaris and SPARC are on their way out, Windows = Microsoft and Oracle hates that, and HPUX is on a rotting Itanium vine and many users wouldn’t dare go there… I suspect with Oracle going to Linux as its primary OS of choice (RHEL based) we’ll probably see yet another round of thousands of systems moving onto Linux.

And Australian IT compares the reception of Windows Vista against the possible reception for Oracle Database 11g...with some other points for consideration:

THE imminent release of Oracle's 11g database, the first new version of its core product since 2003, is an important event for more than just the world's third-largest software vendor and its rivals.

Initial reaction to 11g from Oracle's current customers seems to be positive
It will also provide insight into a recurring question: is a lukewarm reception for recent major releases, particularly Windows Vista, a function of their circumstances or part of a more general trend towards slower uptake of new products (outside a few consumer segments) because benefit delivered to users by each product generation are shrinking?

Does that, in turn, mean hi-tech has matured to the point that outdated products are good enough (giving users the option of sitting pat) whereas value delivered with each product cycle is incremental (and ho-hum) rather than transformative (must-have)?

Inasmuch as I am employed as a product manager, this question interests me greatly.


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