Posted by: Steve Hamm on October 25, 2006
Red Hat’s stock took a pounding earlier this year when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison suggested that he might buy a Linux company and compete with the No. 1 Linux distributor. He didn’t do that. But now he has done something even more devilish. Oracle announced today that it will take Red Hat’s version of Linux, strip off all of Red Hat’s trademarks, and sell it to customers for a big discount off of what Red Hat charges. It’s a ruthless and brilliant act of capitalism.
Here's the Oracle press release
Oracle Announces The Same Enterprise Class Support For Linux
As For Its Database
ORACLE OPENWORLD, SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 25, 2006 – Today Oracle announced that it would provide the same enterprise class support for Linux as it provides for its database, middleware and applications products. Oracle starts with Red Hat Linux, removes Red Hat trademarks, and then adds Linux bug fixes.
Currently, Red Hat only provides bug fixes for the latest version of its software. This often requires customers to upgrade to a new version of Linux software to get a bug fixed. Oracle’s new Unbreakable Linux program will provide bug fixes to future, current, and back releases of Linux. In other words, Oracle will provide the same level of enterprise support for Linux as is available for other operating systems.
Oracle is offering its Unbreakable Linux program for substantially less than Red Hat currently charges for its best support. “We believe that better support and lower support prices will speed the adoption of Linux, and we are working closely with our partners to make that happen,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “Intel is a development partner. Dell and HP are resellers and support partners. Many others are signed up to help us move Linux up to mission critical status in the data center.”
“Oracle’s Unbreakable Linux program is available to all Linux users for as low as $99 per system per year,” said Oracle President Charles Phillips. “You do not have to be a user of Oracle software to qualify. This is all about broadening the success of Linux. To get Oracle support for Red Hat Linux all you have to do is point your Red Hat server to the Oracle network. The switch takes less than a minute.”
“We think it’s important not to fragment the market,” said Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven. “We will maintain compatibility with Red Hat Linux. Every time Red Hat distributes a new version we will resynchronize with their code. All we add are bug fixes, which are immediately available to Red Hat and the rest of the community. We have years of Linux engineering experience. Several Oracle employees are Linux mainline maintainers.”