Today I read an article on The Register by Gavin Clarke. This was about Microsoft’s potential response to Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems and was entitled (rather cryptically in my opinion) Microsoft’s DNA won’t permit Oracle-Sun deal – Ballmer knows his knitting.
Gavin quotes Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, as saying that his corporation will be “sticking to the knitting” in response to Oracle‘s swoop on Sun. He goes on to cover some aspects of the Oracle / Sun link-up; specifically referring to the idea of “BI in a box” that seems to be gaining credence as one rationale for the deal. In his words, this trend is about:
storing, serving, and understanding information [...]: the trend for getting fast access to huge quantities of data on massive networks and making sense of it.
However mention is then made of co-offerings that Oracle and HP have teamed up to make in this space – surely something that would be potentially jeopardised by the Sun acquisition:
Oracle last year announced the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server and HP Oracle Database Machine, a box from Hewlett-Packard featuring a stack of pre-configured Exadata Storage Servers all running Oracle’s database and its Enterprise Linux.
Returning to Microsoft’s response, the article stresses their modus operandi of focussing on software components and then collaborating with others on hardware. Refernce is also made to Kilimanjaro, Microsoft’s forthcoming SQL Server version that will further emphasise business intelligence capabilities.
In closing Gavin states that:
Acquisition of a hardware company would break the DNA sequence and fundamentally change Microsoft in the way that owning Sun’s hardware business will change Oracle.
It’s tempting to note that DNA is broken (and then recombined) millions of times by RNA Polymerase, that is after all how proteins are synthesised in cells; one characteristic of Microsoft’s success (notwithstanding its recent announcement of its first ever dip in sales) has been a willingness to reinvent parts of its business (else where did the XBox come from), while relying on a steady income stream from others. When it comes to the idea of Microsoft acquiring a major hardware vendor, I agree it seems far-fetched at present, but never say never.
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