Oracle Ponders Novell Purchase For Linux

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With an earnings announcement coming up on April 18th, Oracle founder Larry Ellison has been wondering whether his firm should pick up SuSE Linux by buying Novell.

Now that Ellison has paid out some big bucks for JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, and Siebel, he should have everything Oracle needs to abuse his rivals Microsoft and IBM.

But something is missing from Ellison’s well-stocked koi pond of acquisitions.

He has told the Financial Times that Oracle is missing an operating system in its array of products to fill out its offerings.

“I’d like to have a complete stack,” Ellison said to FT. “We’re missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux.”

That Linux may have been, and still could be, SuSE Linux. Novell owns SuSE, a well-regarded distribution of the open source Linux operating system. Only Red Hat leads Novell in the Linux distribution market.

Red Hat made waves with its purchase of middleware software maker JBoss for $350 million.

Oracle had its eye on JBoss as well but couldn’t complete the deal.

“Now that Red Hat . . . competes with us in middleware, we have to re-look at the relationship – so does IBM,” Ellison said in the article.

Ellison has to sell investors on his plans, though. Instead of worshiping the Holy Grail of license purchases, Ellison wants to convert Oracle shareholders into believers in subscription payments.

A reliable stream of subscription revenue, increasing over time as more firms pick up subscriptions, could be what is needed to move Oracle’s flat stock price up and out of its $13-$14 range.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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