Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Larry Ellison and his Kamikazes

Larry Ellison and his Kamikazes

As we all know, Larry is a big fan of Japanese culture (insert your own Memoirs of a Geisha joke here). Could it be that his latest push into open source with the rumored acquisitions of JBoss, Zend, and SleepyCat represents a grand kamikaze strategy?

When the acquisition rumors came out, I noted with interest that the one piece Larry wasn't buying was an open source RDBMS. Perhaps, I thought, Larry is getting into open source not to generate more revenues, but to destroy his competitors' margins.

Apparently I'm not the only one with this thought. Jeff Nolan of SAP, whose group focuses specifically on how to defeat Oracle, believes that Larry is looking to change the nature of the game with SAP by taking away the license cost of enterprise software, thus cutting out SAP's legs from under it.

As an added kicker, imagine if Larry actually shorted his competitors right before he announced his plans to give away all his apps for free. I have no idea if it's legal or not, but it's just the sort of thing I can imagine him doing with glee.

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