Oracle is launching a programme to encourage its software partners to offer versions of their applications for Linux, and it will pay out some $150m a year as part of the initiative to help with their marketing and development efforts.
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Oracle already offers versions of its database, server and applications software for Linux, and last year it agreed to provide technical support for customers running its software on Red Hat's version of Linux. Just last week it extended that program to include distributions from Conectiva, The SCO Group, SuSE Linux and Turbolinux.
"We've heard from our customers that the things inhibiting their movement to Linux are technical support, which we addressed last summer, and also the availability of applications. So we're providing technical and financial incentives to ISVs [independent software vendors] to develop and market Linux applications," said Bob Shimp, vice president of Oracle9i database marketing.
The company has earmarked $150m for the program in the first year, which will be doled out to qualifying ISVs for marketing and development costs of applications that run on top of Oracle's database. The company expected to continue that level of funding for "a number of years," Shimp said.