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Oracle may launch own Linux version

Tash Shifrin

Oracle is considering launching its own version of the open source Linux operating system, the company’s chief executive Larry Ellison has revealed.

The company had already looked at buying Novell, the second biggest Linux distributor after Red Hat, Ellison told the Financial Times newspaper.

A move into Linux would step up Oracle’s rivalry with Microsoft, allowing it to offer an operating system as well as applications. “I’d like to have a complete stack,” Ellison said. “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.”

He added: “We’re a big supporter of Linux. At some point we may embed Linux in all of our products and provide support.” Oracle might also choose to have Linux as part of the Oracle database server “at some point” Ellison said.

Arguments against Oracle distributing its own version of Linux were “not very strong” Ellison said, suggesting that a move by both Oracle and IBM into Linux distribution would change the balance of forces in the software market.

“If Oracle were to have its own Linux distribution, or just provide paid support for Red Hat, that’s one thing – if Oracle and IBM both did it, it’s a whole new world.”

But he added: “I don’t think Oracle and IBM want to create a second Microsoft in Red Hat.”

Oracle is due to make an announcement at 4.30pm today.


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