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Java Developer : Article

The Oracle-Sun Buddyfest: What's It All Mean?

Larry Ellison Commits to Java For At Least Another Decade in "Town Hall Meeting" with Sun's McNealy

In what the two companies billed as an "employee town hall," Oracle and Sun put their respective CEOs on stage January 10 to talk about the companies' relationship and future directions.

The "town" in this case was Redwood Shores, CA, or, more specifically, Oracle's Oz-like campus within that city's confines. The "hall" was Oracle's conference center.

Because the presentation was pitched primarily at employees of Sun and Oracle, the two chiefs, known for their aggressive stances, were in a jovial, frequently joking mood. Oracle's Larry Ellison (pictured) came off as the funnier and more amped up of the two. Sun's Scott McNealy seemed uncharacteristically subdued, perhaps because he wasn't on his own turf. He even joked that Sun lacks a capacious venue like Oracle's conference center, which was why he was in Redwood Shores.


Watch McNealy and Ellison on SYS-CON.TV

Employees of the two companies comprised most of the several-hundred strong that filled the center, and the message to them was:

* Take your Oracle/Sun counterpart to lunch
* Get out and sell
* Hammer the competition
* Prefer Oracle on Sun (over IBM)
* Java Rules, .Net drools

After both confirmed that Oracle was not buying Sun, McNealy did say, "We're on the same side, on the same team." The two men then brought the audience back to the 1980s, extolling the virtues of open systems and standards.

Interestingly, Ellison, more than McNealy, emphasized the "open" message, even though Sun had first staked out that territory with "Open Systems for Open Minds" campaign, launched 20 years ago. "We're betting that standards win," said the Oracle chief.

As part of their mutual initiative, Sun Ultra Sparc 4 models will come with Oracle bundled "free"--"going for share," as McNealy termed this arrangement. Buyers may elect to receive the software by agreeing to buy a one-year service contract from Oracle. Ellison assured the audience that Oracle sales reps will receive a commission on each such bundle.


More Stories By John A. Barry

John A. Barry is a former managing editor of InfoWorld and former editor-in-chief of DBMS Magazine. He also worked for Sun Microsystems in the late 1980s, and is the author of Technobabble, the definitive guide to the use (and misuse) of language in the IT industry.

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