06.12.07

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Will We Ever See Oracle Battling Microsoft Over Linux FUD?

Posted in Database, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Groklaw takes a look at the utter disrespect and arrogance Microsoft has shown ever since it began its assault on Free software. A long discussion follows, as one might expect.

So when Microsoft says it respects other people’s intellectual property, what everyone is thinking is, That’s not true. Microsoft doesn’t respect the GPL, and that’s other people’s property. Microsoft is just trying to kill off a competitor. Again.

Also worth quoting is the following exchange of words between SJVN and Woodford. The analogies and predictions will probably surprise you.

Warming up to his theme, Woodford continued, “So far Microsoft hasn’t revealed any legitimate claims of intellectual property infringement. Their strategy appears to be to coerce weak players in the Open Source space to fold. This is reminiscent of the play made by SCO a few years ago, which some say was financed by Microsoft. Maybe that was just their trial run.”

Then, he launches his main assault on the partnership, “I’m reminded of Neville Chamberlain waiving his agreement with Hitler in the air and declaring peace in his time. Linux vendors should be reminded that, if you give your lunch money to a bully, the bully does not go away. Who will have the cohones to just say no? The Linux community may not like the answer, but the only name that comes to mind is — Larry Ellison.”

Let us look at this scenario more closely. Back in March, Oracle joined the Open Invention Network, which is prepared to fight for Free software, if this ever becomes a necessity.

Here is another recent assessment, which seems to touch on some important amd related issues. It made a lot of sense at the time (posted in April).

What If Oracle’s move against Red Hat was not about Red Hat at all? What if it was in response to the Microsoft threat?

Mark Shuttleworth made the point that the difference between $0.00 and $0.01 is huge, at least perceptually. Whatever Oracle’s Windows market share today, that share will undoubtedly fall over the next few years as SQL Server continues to gain market share.

Oracle therefore needs to shore up its market share on Linux, which becomes easier the lower the price of Linux becomes. Price aside, tying Linux into the Oracle database and applications in a similar way to how Microsoft ties its products into Windows makes a lot of sense.

Red Hat, then, could be a casualty in a larger fight: the fight between Oracle and Microsoft.

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