Oracle Ad Refutes Sun Hardware Fears


Is Oracle getting worried about the loyalty of Sun Microsystems' customers and channel partners?

Taking steps to counter questions about the future of Sun's product lines, Oracle -- in a front-page newspaper advertisement -- is vowing to devote more development, sales and service resources to Sun hardware and software than Sun does today.

And Oracle took a dig at archrival IBM as well.

Oracle is in the process of acquiring Sun for $7.4 billion. But Oracle has had to work hard to convince Sun customers that it intends to continue developing and selling Sun's server and data storage hardware products. A number of Sun VARs and ISVs, saying they are worried about the future of the Sun product line, have taken stepsto join IBM's and Hewlett-Packard's partner programs.

In a front-page ad Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, directed at "Sun Customers," Oracle said it plans to spend more money developing Sparc (Sun's microprocessor architecture) and the Solaris operating system than Sun currently does. Oracle also promised to "have more than twice as many hardware specialists selling and servicing Sparc/Solaris systems than Sun does now." And the company intends to "dramatically improve Sun's hardware performance by integrating Oracle software with Sun hardware."

The ad then offers a quote from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: "We're in it to win it. IBM, we're looking forward to competing with you in the hardware business."

While U.S. antitrust regulators and Sun's shareholders have approved the acquisition, the European Commission last week said it would investigate whether the acquisitionof Sun's MySQL open-source database would reduce competition in the database software market. That could delay the acquisition into next year.