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The software company will now cease support in June 2003, heralding a small victory for the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and users across the world.
Oracle originally announced it would stop supporting the suite in June 2002, a decision that was greeted with anger and concern by its user community. Two months ago, the company relented slightly and extended the support deadline to December 2002, before going further and setting the June 2003 date.
Oracle executives are describing the move as a goodwill gesture. Chief marketing officer Mark Jarvis said customers had told the company that while they were capable of upgrading by the end of 2002, they were concerned about current economic conditions.
"This is a goodwill gesture for the OAUG, in order to make it easier for our customers," Jarvis said.
However, some users believe Oracle has realised that it could lose out on a very lucrative revenue stream if it upsets its customers.
"Since when did the IT trade have goodwill gestures?" said a big Oracle customer, who wished to remain anonymous. "Let's be cynical about this: there's a good stream of revenue from 10.7."
Ronan Miles, UK chairman of the OAUG, believes the decision is more significant for UK users than for those in the US.
"This is good news for a large number of existing customers who aren't ready to upgrade yet," Miles said. "I think it's fair to say the UK is a lot more conservative when it comes to application upgrades, and a higher percentage of UK customers will benefit from this."
Oracle will continue support for both client-server and Web versions of all 10.7 modules, with the exception of the payroll module, which will need upgrading as a result of changes to US law.