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Oracle Hates Free/Libre Software

“If an Open Source Product Gets Good Enough, We’ll Simply Take It.” --Larry Ellison

Summary: A roundup of news about Oracle, which took and ripped apart many valuable Free/Open Source software (FOSS) projects

MATT ASAY, who sells FOSS databases (a disruptive force), points out [1] that "Oracle Still Hates Open Source Software" because, based on some reports [2,3], The United States' Department of Defense is being lobbied by Oracle to avoid FOSS. Remember that Oracle has roots and connections with the CIA/NSA. This is an organisational position, not some opinion posted by an employee in some personal blog. Oracle's current position on patents is also troubling.



As pointed out by some [4], VirtualBox is oddly enough one of the few FOSS projects which Oracle did not shoot in the back [5], maybe because it helps run proprietary operating systems. Most famously, Oracle chose to litigate with software patents over Java and pretty much abandoned OpenOffice.org, passing it to Apache at the end. Microsoft Office is widely loathed by technical people [6], so Oracle missed a real opportunity here. South Tyrol wants to be using ODF/LibreOffice [7] to avoid layoffs (through savings) while LibreOffice conferences [8] and workshops [9] show that despite SUSE stepping out of backing/support for this project (just like Oracle), FOSS is just too hard to kill. Too bad for Larry Ellison, who can't just buy FOSS out of existence...

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. News Flash: Oracle Still Hates Open Source Software


    Oracle wants the U.S. Department of Defense to believe open source costs more and is less reliable. Too bad the DOD knows better.


  2. Oracle tells the military to buy their products instead of using open source
    Oracle has never been shy about promoting its products. The Register is reporting today that Oracle is recommending that the military stay away from open source apps.
  3. Oracle says open source has no place in military apps
    Oracle has popped out a white paper that may well turn some heads, because it contains robust criticism of open source software.

    Titled “The Department of Defense (DoD) and Open Source Software” and available here as a PDF to those with Oracle accounts or here in Dropbox, the document's premise is that folks in the USA's Department of Defense (DoD) could think it is possible to save money if they “... avoid buying commercial software products simply by starting with open source software and developing their own applications.”


  4. VirtualBox 4.3 Lets You Run Many Cutting-Edge Platforms at Once
    It's been interesting to watch which components of Sun Microsystems' portfolio of products--many of which were open source projects--Oracle has chosen to embrace or abandon since its acquisition of Sun. One project that it hasn't jettisoned is VirtualBox, which has just arrived in a new version 4.3. The popular hypervisor is now tuned to work with operating systems that have just arrived, including Windows 8.1 and Mac OS X 10.9 ( "Mavericks" ), and it's also tuned to work smoothly with Linux distros. The new version also supports multi-monitor setups and touch interfaces conventions.


  5. VirtualBox 4.3 comes with New Multi-Touch Support, virtual cam and more
    Oracle announced the release of VirtualBox 4.3, this is a major release that comes with important new features, devices support and improvements


  6. Why Microsoft Word must Die
    I hate Microsoft Word. I want Microsoft Word to die. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning, fiery passion.


  7. Avoiding layoffs motivates South Tyrol province-wide switch


  8. Slides for my talk at LibreOffice conference


  9. LibreOffice Marketing Workshop Milano 2013 – an overview
    This year saw, among other conferences, the second marketing strategy workshop for the LibreOffice project. While a workshop’s slides tend to be rather short and relatively unimportant, I intended to publlish some feedback that’s on the Marketing Pad as well as my own impressions about the state of marketing activities in the project. My slides emphasized what was going wrong more than what was right but it was nonetheless useful to start the workshop on that basis.


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