[K12OSN] Oracle CEO Ellison Invents the LTS

Ken Meyer kmeyer at blarg.net
Tue Oct 19 05:36:35 UTC 2004

OK, which one of you guys is behind this?

Ken Meyer


Oracle CEO Ellison: Don't tug on Superman's cape

By Dave Kearns
Network World, 10/18/04

Never underestimate Larry Ellison. Former PeopleSoft CEO Craig Conway is the
most recent of those vanquished by the rogue from Redwood City. But there's
another triumph coming that might be sweeter for Ellison if only because
other people thought he stumbled badly a half-dozen years ago when he might
have been ahead of his time.

In 1995, Ellison boldly told the world that he would take on the Microsoft
monolith with a new breed of computing device, dubbed the network computer.
This would be a low-power, stripped-down hardware platform running a
low-power, stripped-down operating system with a Web browser as its user
interface. Ellison touted a vision of a $500 computing device on everyone's
desktop. From this idea was born the entire application service provider
model of computing in which users would no longer purchase software
licenses, but would rent or lease the services as they needed them delivered
via the browser on their network computer.

The ideas garnered lots of support in the mid 1990s but eventually
floundered as people wanted more power on their desktop. With prices on
standard PCs dropping below $1,000, the network computer looked less
desirable. We'd thought Microsoft had won that war, but it might have only
won a battle.

A couple of weeks ago, at the Fall Processor Forum conference in San Jose,
Bob Bailey, CEO of chip maker PMC-Sierra, announced a new consortium of chip
makers aligned with Asian (primarily Chinese) manufacturers that would
re-launch the network computer, dubbed by some the "open source" computer.
One major difference with the new network computer would be price - Bailey
estimated a retail target of $150. Not only would it cost less, but it also
would do more.


=>> The new network computer would run an almost free distribution of Linux
coupled with free or low-cost open source applications on top of a
commoditized hardware platform. <<= Server-based computing is also helped by
today's larger, less-expensive bandwidth than that available in 1995. The
new network computer's success isn't guaranteed, of course, but =>> the
genesis was Ellison's idea. <<=


And to paraphrase the late Jim Croce:

Don't tug on Superman's cape
Don't spit into the wind
Don't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger
And you don't mess with Larry Ellison

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