Here’s a completely non-scientific list of my top five questions arising from Oracle’s $7.4 billion buy out of Sun Microsystems.
5: How could it have been surprising that Oracle was the white knight here? Larry Ellison is the go-to guy for distressed tech companies who don’t want or cannot be acquired by IBM or Microsoft (hell, better throw Google into the mix for the new millenium. ) This goes way, way back. Back in the paleozoic era, Lotus Development Corp. CEO Jim Manzi tried like all get out to get Oracle to buy Lotus so it wouldn’t end up in IBM’s clutches. That didn’t work out so well.
4: What happens to Oracle’s ardent courtship of Dell and Hewlett-Packard? One can only guess that the HP-Oracle Exadata “Database machine” is a goner now. Not that it was setting any sales records.
3: Which virtualization play will survive the inevitable putsch?
2: How soon will a big hunk of Oracle’s revenue be going by way of hardware bundles with Sun servers? This is very much a page ripped right out of IBM’s DB2 playbook. And Ellison could barely contain himself when talking about that “shelfware.”
1: What was deal with Scott McNealy on the call? He sounded ummmm, medicated. Even though this signals the end of the McNealy era in tech (hell, Jonathan Schwartz and the open source pony tail epic already rang the bell on that one.) Still for $7.4 billion, couldn’t Scooter have mustered a little enthusiasm for three minutes? Listen to the playback. It’s shocking