Thursday, March 29, 2007
Larry Ellison, "Mission Accomplished"
So Larry has caused another splash in the press, in time for RHT's earnings call. Basically, Oracle has released a list of companies that "allegedly" have switched from RHT's "real RHEL" to Oracle's "magical mystery RHEL".
Funny thing is, Larry spoke of Yahoo! as a switcher on a earnings call and Yahoo! quickly denied the rumor. How embarassing, but if it makes you feel better, Larry, I have been there too :) It may be true, I know from experience that big IT shops do not like to be referenced, not for tiny JBoss and, apparently, not even for big mighty Oracle.
Whatever the case may be, this strategy of dipping one's toe in the water and declaring victory reminded me of another "successful invasion" supported with "faulty intelligence" where we are constantly reminded of "how we are winning, but "we need to send more troops to consolidate our winnings, because, you know, we are winning". See picture for hint.
It is clear by now that ORA is going nowhere with a Linux distribution. Larry may be declaring "mission accomplished," but no one cares in the market place. This leaves us to interpret the noise as ego and vindictiveness towards RHT, or a strategy to beat up their stock and buy them on the cheap.
I was amused by the Sys-con made-up quote of "Larry Ellison: hide your wives and daughters". Having worked with the good soccer moms of Raleighwood, trust me, the emotion is wasted. It doesn't matter who is at the helm of that ship. Open Source is a brute force of nature; it's just momentum. RHT is reaping the rewards of early entry and brand hegemony.
Take it from an ego-maniacal frenchman: Open Source is Russia. You think you can invade it. Sure, you can walk in easily enough, the borders are wide open. You can occupy land there, but you can't force your way into the minds of the people. You can even reach Moscow, but all you'll find is a deserted city. Eventually the terrain will swallow you up. You either become assimilated or you get frustrated by the irrelevance and go home.
Unlike Russia, however, RHT can be bought. So just buy the freaking company, already. You get 2 leaders, RHEL and JBoss. Everything else is a plan B. Do it before the improbable happens and SUNW wakes up from its Solaris/ass-fish meth-addiction and buys them first.
Disclosure: I am not associated with RHT management anymore. I still own a buttload of stock that I would love to see go back to $28 a share.