Oracle is attempting to use its Oracle 8i database as a marketing vehicle to position itself as the supplier of choice in the Internet space and its product as the de facto industry standard.
The aim is to usurp Microsoft?s dominance of the desktop operating systems market by denigrating such technology as old hat and positioning itself, by association, as the primary vendor for the so-called new wave of computing.
Ray Lane, Oracle?s president and chief operating officer, explained the database supplier?s rationale at the firm?s Openworld user conference in San Francisco today.
?We see Oracle 8i as being to the Internet what Windows was to the PC. It industrialises it and brings to the industry a level of standardisation that was not there before. We?re calling it a platform because we look at it in the same light as an operating system - a means to develop and deploy applications according to the Internet model of computing. The Internet is the platform is the key message,? he said.
But, he claimed, Oracle 8i was more than an OS because users could not develop applications using an operating system.
?We can make an OS less relevant, that?s our raison d?etre. Our aim is to hide OS differences and, unlike our database rivals, we?re including OS services in the database. Our general mentality is that we want to present a platform so that Java programmers can look at Oracle in the same way that C++ and Visual Basic programmers look at Microsoft today,? he continued.
He added: ?Oracle 8i is the most critical thing to us. It fuels everything else, so it?s strategic to us. We?re building our business on it like our applications, consulting and Business Online [Oracle?s applications outsourcing venture].?
But Larry Ellison, Oracle?s chairman and chief executive, claimed that the company already dominated the Internet and ecommerce space.
?This is great for Oracle. We?re the choice of nearly every Web site and ecommerce site in the world. Oracle has 90 per cent of the market, IBM has 10 per cent and even Microsoft?s WebTV site runs on Oracle. Oracle dominates this space. On the Internet, big is beautiful and the right answer is Oracle,? he attested.
The new version of the database, which was launched for the third time today, is due to ship next month. Pricing will remain the same as for former releases.
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