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13 October 2009, 12:33

Oracle Open World 2009: Sunny prospects for Sun's portfolio

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OracleOpenWorld Over the course of this week more than 40,000 visitors are expected to attend Oracle Open World 2009 which is taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. On Sunday evening, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Sun veteran Scott McNealy opened the conference with an amusing keynote presentation. Introduced by Oracle as the "SUNDay Evening Keynote", the presentation predominantly revolved around Oracle's imminent take-over of Sun. McNealy highlighted his company's innovative character and explained some of the major products and technologies in Sun's portfolio – Solaris, UltraSPARC, SunRay Thin Client and Chip Multi-threading.

Larry Ellison emphasised Oracle's commitment to retain all the products and further expand their market position: "We will spend more money developing SPARC and Solaris than Sun does now." A similar statement was also made about the future of MySQL, which should please the users of this open source database. "We have an open source database called Sleepycat and we own Innobase, and we've increased our investments in both," said Ellison. "We also think that MySQL is a fantastic piece of technology, it's extremely popular, it's an open source product, and we're going to increase our rate of contribution to that product".

The "father of Java," James Gosling took the stage to make reassurances about Oracle and the future of Java. He provoked much amusement in the audience by hinting at Sun's self image of being a hardware company, saying "I've never worked for a software company, so that'll be an adventure". Gosling said he isn't worried about the future of Java. He pointed out that for years Oracle has actively been involved in almost all the major Java Specification Requests (JSRs) and in the development of Java. This won't change in the coming years - quite the opposite, anticipated the executive.

Sun's Executive Vice President John Fowler was then given the opportunity to explain the advantages of the imminent merger of Oracle and Sun to help the large number of Sun customers overcome their fear for the future of some of the hardware products. Fowler said Sun has the fastest hardware on the market and holds the current world records in all of the seven "key commercial benchmarks,". According to the executive, potential future opportunities have already become apparent with the recently released Sun-Oracle database computer, which he considers a good example for the potential synergies created by combining Oracle's software innovation with Sun's hardware innovation.

Oracle not only intends to support and further develop existing Sun products, but also sees a big opportunity for accepting completely new challenges by developing specific optimised software and hardware solutions. Ellison said that there are "limits to how far you can go if you build just software," and "We are in it to win it. Take a great company in Sun and merge it with another great company in Oracle, and it allows us to do things neither could do on their own."


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