Oracle cuts price of lower-end database

Oracle has announced a price cut for a lower-end version of its database, part of an effort to lure potential customers away from...

Oracle has announced a price cut for a lower-end version of its database, as an effort to lure potential customers away from Microsoft's SQL Server software.

The 10g version of Oracle's Standard Edition One database, aimed at small and midsized companies, will be listed at $4,995, a $1,000 price drop. Oracle will also allow customers to run the software on up to two processors. The Standard Edition One is for use on only single-processor machines.

Oracle is also considering adding limited RAC (Real Application Clusters) capabilities to the Standard Edition of its 10g database, which is also aimed at small and midsized businesses, for no additional charge.

The company has positioned the technology, which lets companies run their database across a group of servers, as an important differentiator from its competitors.

Oracle president Chuck Phillips said the company is going to make more of an effort to promote its database on Windows in the hope of stealing some business from Microsoft.

"This is the first time ever we've had the same list price per processor as Microsoft," Phillips said. Pricing for SQL Server 2000 starts at $4,999 per processor.

A Microsoft official said the company is not threatened by the planned pricing move.

"Lowering cost of ownership is not just about lowering the price per processor. What matters to customers are the long-term costs associated with running a database like maintenance, support, staff overhead, training and completeness of functionality," said Tom Rizzo, director of product management for SQL Server.

James Niccolai writes for IDG News Service

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