Microsoft launched its SQL Server 7 database to great fanfare at Comdex this week, but industry pundits and rivals still deem the offering to be behind the rest of the market in performance terms.
The product is being targetted primarily at the data warehouse space (Newswire, 5 June), but Big Green is also touting its improved scalability and ease of use as key messages, with Internet support thrown in for good measure.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft?s president, said: ?It?s time to take a bold new step forward to become the leader in the database world. The quality of PC systems coming onto the market will make them the most powerful and scalable in the world, so we need to provide an operating system and database to match. SQL Server is more scalable than 6.5.?
He continued: ?SQL Server won?t scale to the very largest products in the largest companies, but ISVs say that 95 per cent of their applications could run on SQL Server running on PC servers. Most SQL Server customers have so far come from our installed base, but we expect to broaden that out in future due to the interest we?ve seen in data warehousing and Olap.?
But Larry Ellison, rival Oracle?s chairman and chief executive, was sceptical.
?If anyone here will publish Microsoft TPC/D benchmarks, then we?ll give them $1 million. It?s in the Microsoft contract that people can?t publish them, but for $1 million you can go to Bermuda and publish them from there - though I didn?t advise that,? he said.
He offered customers another $1 million if they could get SQL Server to support more than 100 users per server compared with Oracle?s 10,000 users per server, and said that by the end of the month, the company would publish an Olap query on its Web site for comparison purposes.
?If you can make Microsoft?s product run slower than 100 times Oracle 8I, we?ll give you $1 million. Just get out there and try it and we?ll give you $1 million,? he exclaimed.
The Meta Group was also less upbeat than Microsoft?s Ballmer. In a statement, the consultancy, said: ?SQL Server 7 still lags Oracle, IBM, Sybase and Informix from a pure technology standpoint, for example, lacking object support and partioning. But it is closing the gap and should address 70 per cent of the database market.?
It continued: ?Moreover, with strong channel and ISV support, Microsoft will challenge established vendors in the database sweet spot - data warehousing, application packages and Internet servers. Microsoft?s presence with a maturing SQL Server 7 will force established database players to adjust pricing downwards to remain competitive.?
Big Green claims that 300 SQL Server 7 applications will be available in the next 90 days, with 3,000 appearing within 18 months. The product will ship at the end of December in the US, but will follow in Europe by January next year.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago