Oracle, Sun seek to reassure customers

It looks like Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison and Sun Microsystems’ chairman Scott McNealy took to the stage in fighting mode this weekend at Oracle Open World 2009.

They both lashed out at competitors that have been seeking to take advantage of uncertainty created by delays in Oracle’s plans to  acquire Sun for $7.4bn.

Although the deal was announced in April and has been approved by US authorities, their European counterparts are delaying the process.

The EC is concerned that the acquisition could be anti-competitive because it claims Oracle databases and Sun’s MySQL compete in many parts of the market.

McNealy said MySQL competes with Microsoft’s SQL Server and not Oracle’s database, according to reports out of the US.

That was the first issue that the duo attempted to set straight, before rounding on competitors who have been attempting to take advantage of the situation.

The biggest target was IBM, which according to Ellison has been claiming that Oracle will not invest in Sun’s Solaris operating system and SPARC processor technology.

Ellison said Oracle does not plan to sell off any of its hardware business and McNeely said Oracle will spend more money on SPARC than Sun has on its development.

In an obvious attempt to talk up the benefits of the panned acquisition, Ellison said a combined hardware and software capability will enable Oracle to design “faster, cheaper, and more reliable” systems.

Even Java creator James Gosling was roped in to bolster confidence around the programming language’s future.

According to Gosling, Oracle’s fastest growing products use Java and Oracle continues to be one of the biggest contributors to the code.

Ellison has also thrown down the gauntlet to IBM and challengers, saying he pay $10m if it fails to run any existing database twice as fast on Sun gear.

Ever the showman, Ellison appears to be putting his money where his mouth is, which is probably a good sign for end users seeking an end to the uncertainty and doubt.