Ellison: We're keeping Sun's hardware (pity the Sun ISV)

Oracle's intentions to keep Sun's hardware business spell bad news for Sun's ISVs and good news for Linux

Oracle has released a Q&A with Larry Ellison surrounding the Sun acquisition. It's an interesting read. The net is that Oracle is going to keep Sun's hardware business because it wants to sell customers tightly integrated systems and software.

[ For the full rundown of the Oracle-Sun merger, see InfoWorld's special report. | Keep up on the latest open source developments with InfoWorld's open source topic center and newsletter. ]

Here's a snippet that I found interesting (and pretty much sums up the Q&A document):

Reuters: Why does Oracle, a company that prides itself on high margins, want to get into the low-margin hardware business? Are you going to exit the hardware business?

Ellison: No, we are definitely not going to exit the hardware business. While most hardware businesses are low-margin, companies like Apple and Cisco enjoy very high-margins because they do a good job of designing their hardware and software to work together. If a company designs both hardware and software, it can build much better systems than if they only design the software. That's why Apple's iPhone is so much better than Microsoft phones.

Did Larry mean to say that ISVs building solutions for Sun's systems are in for a world of hurt?!? Considering that the lifeblood for a hardware system are the applications that run on it (through the associated/affiliated operating system), why would ISVs continue to target Solaris on Sparc in light of this news? Wow, this move will hasten the ISV shift away from Solaris on Sparc to Linux on Intel/AMD/Power/System z.

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p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

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