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back to article Microsoft: Oracle will take us back to 1970s hell

Microsoft's server and tools chief Bob Muglia has chided Oracle for peddling a return to "1960s computing," accusing its rival of going against industry trends and backing a dying and expensive operating-system architecture. Last month, Oracle modestly justified its $5.6bn purchase of Sparc and Solaris dinosaur Sun Microsystems …

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Stop

Seriously?!

Right, because Microsoft knows nothing about an integrated and proprietary architecture OR denying customer choice.

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@Nicholas Rttal...

...really?

I'm running windows on a HP laptop, with an AMD processor an IBM mouse, hypertec memory, a Compaq keyboard and TFTP monitor, connected to a Cisco switch, with a plantronic headset sat next to it, running 80% of software NOT by microsoft.

How dare they lock me in so tightly.

Oh whats that, I can also run something called Linux on exactly the same hardware. Wow those linux guys must be really tied into MS, god I hate this proprietry hardware.

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Stop

RE: Seriously?!

...and we all believe everything that MS tells us about computing trends...!

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Anonymous Coward

According to some tech rag...

...Windows is thrashing the ass off Unix/Linux on the server.

Of course it could be that the existing Unix/Linux infrastructure is working perfectly well and they simply don't need to run on the same insane upgrade-treadmill that the Windows users do.

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Jobs Horns

Proprietary software locking in users

Translation: it does not run Windows (requiring Microsoft's own proprietary software and associated user lock-in).

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El
Linux

He's only half right

It makes sense for Oracle to sell a database preinstalled and preconfigured on hardware optimized for that database -- installing and configuring a database yourself is a pain, and it's hard to support something running on an OS and hardware you have no control over. Sun hardware does provide better reliability than off-the-shelf PCs, but it's not necessarily the best solution from a price/performance perspective.

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Grenade

what do you mean "will..."?

As someone who has the misfortune of being stuck in a company that's consume the oracle kool-aid, let me tell you that I would get down on my hands and knees and pray to every deity I could think of, to have access to a mini or a mainframe, instead of Oracle. I work in network engineering, but there's not a single day where I don't have a minimum of 5 calls, from users bitching about how slow things are. Here's the rub: The developers are convinced it's a network problem!

The networks move countless terabytes of data an hour, from all corners of the globe, 4 people having problems with otl and the threatcon level immediately goes to defcon 1. And 99 times out of 100, it turns out to be a poorly written query or some god aweful security patch winds up destroying things.

Uncle Larry should be tied up and vigoriously sued, because as I see it, Microsoft are pretty close to being dead on target.

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Disagree

Hmmm. Let's count how many people we have running our Citrix farms, the number of people required just to solve our various printing problems, etc. and Muglia thinks mini's are a step backward? For enterprise business apps, what exactly is the advantage of using a PC server? If your answer is cost I would counter that it is more than made up for in headcount to support the environment.

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Agree

Oh I completely agree with you sir. It is as plain as the nose on one's face if just looked without MS rose-tinted specs on.

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Grenade

Freedom of choice according to MS

Is: Choose whatever MS software you want running on any operating system of your choosing as long as it is MS's.

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FAIL

Yeah

"I don't understand what's going to happen" of course you don't Mr Muglia... There, there.

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WTF?

"When things worked".

I think that's the operative phrase, something that tends to rather foreign to Microsoft at times. It seems to work quite well for the folks in Cupertino too.

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Linux

Microsofts Message

Don't look over there. Our vendor lockin is much shinier than theirs.

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Stop

*Choke* *cough*

"Pot, call on line one from Kettle!"!

Interoperable? Choice? Since when have you lot ever given a toss about those things?! Office and it business locking formats are obvious proof, let's not even start on IEs ability to ignore practiy every web standard!

OK MS we'll take your advice on the X86 thing, we'll go out and get reliable Linux install. It might be far from perfect, but at least FOSS tries to be interoperable and give consumer choice!

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Joke

Funny he did not mention Google as well

You call it "Mainframe" I call it "Cloud"

WTF Difference?

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Anonymous Coward

oh hi pot

I'll tell the kettle you said that.

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They were my initial thoughts, too

I thought it very strange, as well. BUT having an MS chief rant about how mind boggling this was made me realise one thing - MS seems scared shitless, so there must actually be something to it!

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Anonymous Coward

Integrated Appliances

Technology is evolving and more standardised in specialised markets so that servers are being replaced by appliances where the operating system is hidden from the user. The firewall market used to be server based, but is now evolving into an appliance market. Checkpoint used to have the bulk of the market but the firewall appliances from Fortinet and Palo Alto are significantly quicker and provide features of application inspection.

Oracle has seen the writing on the wall, and will probably release Database appliances at the low end initially. This will allow custom ASICs to improve performance, eventually they will replace servers in the middle area as well.

The problem for MS is that no manufacturer that is interested in security, reliability or performance uses Windows. The firewall appliance market uses OpenBSD or Linux. Banks however put account holder details in the bin behind the office, allow users to store details on laptops and use Windows in ATMs.

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Grenade

Huh.

Would that be the 1970s hell where you'd hit the enter key and you'd actually get an answer within one second?

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I would have to agree...

...when you're dealing with Microsoft, don't expect to save any money.

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Yeah right

If MS think it was the wrong thing to do it must be the right thing.

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Bronze badge

Total Cost of Ownership

Bob Muglia of Microsoft» "When all is said and done what I always tell people is don't assume you're going to save any money".

Enough said.

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Microsoft wants to take us back to 1970s hell

Microsoft is just scared and spreading FUD. Oracle is just improving your choice with better integration. This is old news, but Sparc is not a proprietary architecture, it has also been released open source, nobody just used it other then Fujitsu. As for Solaris, very stable but somewhat ancient. Opensolaris will modernize to compete completely with Windows.

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FAIL

So basically ....

So basically, company is releasing powerful hardware that doesn't run Windows and Microsoft are scared! For once they will not be able to put their finger in the pie!

And yes, people are moving away from Unix - to Linux. Microsoft do not like this either, which is why they are desperately trying to spread as much FUD as possible about it.

Microsoft are pathetic!

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Linux

Hardly a move

"And yes, people are moving away from Unix - to Linux"

It's not really much of a move. GNU/Linux *is* Unix, in all but the name -- and, as the full name implies, with a full set of GNU userland utilities already installed, so no need to replace a vendor's lame implementations of sed, awk and the like.

BS3643 means that when you order 4mm. nuts from one manufacturer, they will screw properly onto any *other* manufacturer's 4mm. bolts. And who would ever put up with anything different? Well, unless they'd been making a living out of selling nuts that don't fit anyone else's bolts and bolts that don't fit anyone else's nuts .....

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Linux

No future for Itanic/Arm then?

Here we have Microsoft peddling the "The only systems to use now and forever is X86" mantra.

There is a lot going on outside the X86 space. IMHO, they are correct in saying that Sparc is on its last legs but X86 is not the only CPU in town. Itanic is probably doomed despite the billions spent by HP & Intel.

But what about ARM? That is the hot CPU in town now. What are Microsoft doing about it? From this evidence, not a lot. IMHO, that is fantastic. That leaves the way open for others to get their foot in the door.

TUX Naturally.

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Coat

ReNo future for Itanic/Arm then?

I think you mean ARM is the current COOL processor in town now... If it's running hot it's probably broken.

:)

Mine's the one with the acorn archimedes in the pocket.

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I see, so Microsoft don't see this as any sort of threat

and to prove it they are going on a FUD offensive against it.

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1970's computing

Ah I remember it fondly. The mainframes ran 24 hours a day. The only time they were switched off and re-booted was to move them to another building.

No one said "Have you tried turning it off and on again". Things worked, or they didn't. If they didn't work, they were fixed.

There was none of this try turning it off and on, loosing all your work. Try re-installing everything, loosing all your settings and a few days re-installing all the applications. If that doesn't work, tough. We will still sell this to millions of people and coulnd't care less that it doesn't work.

I also remember file-sharing over nfs as being flawless, none of these drop-outs I seem to experience with SMB.

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Gates Halo

Different strokes for different folks

Well, duh. It's obvious that commodity x86 boxes are the solution to everything, and there is only one homogenised market for any general computing device.

Clearly, there is no market for mainframes either. It's not as if IBM still sell any of those outdated '60s-era relics.

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Data Centers

"Muglia said he doesn't see how Oracle can fight the economics or historical trends that are moving towards commodity x86 systems and away from Unix. The kinds of data centers being built out by Microsoft, Facebook, and others are running x86 servers from companies like Dell."

That makes for a good laugh !

Only if Linux is not considered Unix, then datacenters are moving away from Unix. The (probably) largest datacenter operator of all, Google, operates 100% on Linux on x86. Most webservers of the globe run Linux. Facebook running Windows is just an abberation of the trend towards Linux in the datacenter.

There is some truth in this statement, in that Oracle would be ill-advised to pursue a Solaris/SPARC strategy. x86 is so much cheaper and better, for structural reasons (AMD and Intel can distribute the huge R&D costs on probably 100 times more users).

Oracle should meet AMD and Intel CEOs and get them into an R&D alliance that will make sure x86 processors will have the features required for large computers (8 to 2000 CPUs). Oracle and the x86 developers could create special versions of the latest x86 designs towards that end, with the x86 core basically the same as the PC version.

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Anonymous Coward

FB : Windows?

According to a 2008 presentation ( http:/www.infoq.com/presentations/Facebook-Software-Stack ) by Aditya Agarwal Facebook use LAMP (or were doing... maybe they've "defected" since then)

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Linux

Facebook on Windows? Unlikely.

Just last month (in an Apache sponsorship announcemement), David Recordon pointedly noted that "the [Facebook] site has [always] been built on common open source software such as Linux, Apache, memcached, MySQL, and PHP." I hardly think they've switched to a Windows server farm.

So, as you were saying about data centres...

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Gates Halo

M$ Might have a point

Oracle have choked down so many aquisitions that their product architechtures and road maps are an unholy mess.

We are trying to run EPM and OBIEE on Weblogic and its a joke. The architechture is sprawling and over complex and most of it re-configuring for Weblogic.

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IT Angle

Why will Oracle win?

The primary customers that Oracle has (multinationals and governments) are implementing strategies to prevent vendor lock-in. With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle can provide a vertically integrated stack that is essentially vendor lock-in free. It has a Sparc architecture hardware (which is open source), it has Solaris (and thus also OpenSolaris) and has the open source database MySQL.

So in essence, customers can buy the open source stack from Oracle. They would be paying Oracle to put everything together in a nice package and making sure the stack works. Yes, from installing the servers in your rack, all the way up to and including the application level.

However the customer would still be able to sleep at night, since if Oracle fails or the customer has a need that Oracle cannot give them, they can just call any other (local) software developer and pay them to build the functionality. This is possible (and cheap) since the source code of the stack is completely available.

The customers can then also decide to give this functionality (they paid for) back to the community. This might look like capital destruction, but remember that software needs support and updates which are more expensive in the long term.

Releasing the source code will ensure the code get's improved over time and thus making the stack better. You prevent buying a support / update license from the company you paid to give you the functionality. You will pay less for updates, since other people that will run the same stack will have the same problems as you and thus dividing the total cost of repairing the software.

Oracle understands that companies don't want to be locked-in, but also do not want to spend a lot of money on finding out what to buy or get and integrate everything. Customers want to be vendor lock-in *proof*, for the rare occasion that they need to switch. But customers will mostly want to focus on their own value proposition. Customers do not want to focus on things that don't add value or are not a strategic advantage for them (i.e. the software stack). Using open source ensures a reduction in cost in this part of the customers value chain.

Oracle thus obtained a sustainable competitive advantage. With Oracle customers can "buy" a complete open source stack. An offer that Microsoft will never be able to provide. And Oracle is protected from "me-too" products, since they have a huge network of sales people and support vendors. All of which have a warm long lasting relationship with their customers.

So Oracle's advantage is in the *capability* (not the stack!) to deliver functionality for customers by combining open source hardware and software components with a world-wide enterprise level support. It's nowhere written they need to provide the entire integrated stack in a nice DVD image. As long as they release changes to the *separate* open source projects they are in compliance with the open source licences.

This capability is hard to compete with in this area (government and multinational) of the software market.

(My apologies for offending people by using all those business buzzwords and lingo, but it's for a good cause ;) )

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Logic

"He noted that Oracle's commitment to Unix would simply provide greater opportunity for Microsoft's software."

Well, then MS should call themselves lucky. If Oracle would sell Windows there would simply be a greater opportunity for Unix/Linux.

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just 'cos it won't run windows?

Of course MS think the 1970's were "hell" they hadn't taken over the world then!

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FAIL

Sour Grapes

Sounds like a typical "sour grapes" rant from Microsoft... I thought it had been a while since we'd had one of these. Quite why these vitriolic rants then get re-published by news sites (such as El Reg or INQ) is beyond me.

For my databases, when it really counts I prefer Oracle over Microsoft.

Similarly, for my virtualisation, when it really counts I prefer VMware over Microsoft.

For my desktop OS, however, I have to use Windows... it's not that I prefer it, but re-training our users where the little blue 'e' or the green 'x' have gone would be a horrible waste of my time. I wish Microsoft would stick to talking about dekstop OSes and leave the other stuff to people who do know what they're talking about, i.e. the market leaders.

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like my mummy always said...

... they're just jealous

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Silver badge

Sorry?

This is Microsoft - the company that's made its fortune selling software that emulates a 19th century concept of an office?

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Pint

Stagnation is not that bad, but it won't come anyway..

After all, during the 70s, many revolutionary things have been conceived (think Unix, VMS, Relational DBs).

However the economics today is something else. In the 70s we weren't so dependent from innovation in our everyday life (e.g. Web, Mobile, Geo-services, Augmented reality). Nowadays IT is becoming a mix of business and consumer offerings, the line between the twos is even becoming fuzzier.

Oracle goes proprietary? It always did. I just hope that with SUN they get some decent system integrator because every solution they integrate in their DB has nowhere the quality and stability of the DB itself...

It's friday. My recipe is to have a pint with my best friend and try to avoid speaking of IT for the whole week-end.

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Market Forces

I don't understand why they'd complain, if the market doesn't want it then Oracle don't get the sales. If people do want it then they do and Microsoft are proven wrong.

Not that complicated surely

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Pint

"Going down a vertical route"

I just like the phrase. Sounds like something you'd do at the Olympics, or something MS operating systems often do.

Beer, because it's Friday

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Going down a vertical route"

Or something that you'd do if you have a sat nav instead of a brain, like that genius in Yorkshire almost did.

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Jobs Halo

Wait....

So... Microsoft says it's wrong to tie users into a mini-computer/mainframe sort of model, and int he same article are touting the ability for users to run a central Orifice installation via VMs..... sort of like a mini-computer/mainframe model, then.

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Bronze badge

questionable premise

For some time now, haven't the Oracle distros come out first on Linux? I don't think Ellison got this far without being able to figure out how the Sparc/x86 competition is shaking out. As for Solaris, well, we'll see.

@b ws: I have only once seen SQL Server brought to a crawl by ill-formed query, Oracle many times. Most likely that is because I have only once ever been asked to look at a performance problem on SQL Server. The diagnosis method was effectively the same: run a trace, find where the logical reads are going, address that query. It isn't SQL Server or DB/2 your shop needs, it's DBAs or more rational devs.

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thin clients

Sooo... they're going to take us back to the dreaded days of mainframes and thin clients?

Like that's a bad thing... just substitute "mainframe" for "cloud" and "thin client" for "netbook" or "smart phone" and it's pretty obvious there's a demand for this stuff - let the servers do the grunt work and the clients do the GUI.

Of course, it all falls over if you don't have a decent net-connection... maybe that's the "hell" being referred to.

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Anonymous Coward

Leisure Suit Larry?

Return to the '70s? Imagine Larry Ellison in plaid polyester.

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123

All I have to say is:

Pot kettle and black; please arrange in the right order.

Mike

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Ahhh, the 60s

When computers were real computers...

Seriously, Microsoft might be right about part of this. Probably, Oracle are hoping to get something like the vice-like grip Apple has on its customer base.

And say what you want about Microsoft, but PCs do offer more choice than Apple. (Mac user, don't flame)

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