Larry's always preferred to shake-down customers first and if that didn't work, sue them - the same for competitors. As a sometime customer of theirs, I've stood in wonder as my management forked over millions of $USD for little, if any, value simply out of fear of the Oracle legal machine. I fully expect Larry to prolong the HPE suit until HPE settles out of disgust and he'll keep sniping at Google until long past time to give up. Junkyard dogs have nothing on Larry.
Oracle's chalked up yet another stunning courtroom loss. In May, the database giant failed in its bid to have Google stump up $9bn on Android and stake a sweeping claim over APIs and how they're broadly used. And now, this week, Oracle was ordered to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) $3bn for reneging on a commitment to …
Monday 4th July 2016 16:31 GMT Anonymous Coward
Is Oracle primarily a database vendor or is it an entirely legal extortion scheme?
It's notable that discussion of Oracle always seems to revolve around its sales and customer retention practices rather than its products. Doesn't this say something about the company?
The title "a business that's not a business" reminded me of a question I've asked more than once. Namely, whether Oracle should be considered primarily a database vendor, or whether its well known modus operandi- i.e. locking customers in to a given product, and once they're dependent on it, holding them to ransom (albeit quite legally) and squeezing all the money they can out of them- actually *is* the business, with the software products merely a convenient means to that end.
I'm sure they started out as a "genuine"- if dickish- business but I'm guessing at some stage the infamously aggressive and amoral Ellison realised it was more profitable to let the tail wag the dog?
Friday 1st July 2016 20:54 GMT asdf
Saturday 2nd July 2016 08:21 GMT Flocke Kroes
For some reason articles boasting huge Itanium sales do not plaster the internet, but the odd figure can be dug up here and there. Itanium servers do not sell in anything like the quantities of X86_64, but the do sell for vast prices. The figures I found show HP's total Itanium server revenue was well over $3B. Their average profit margin is quite low, but servers were one of their high margin products. If we assume Itanium servers had a similar high margin, then about $3B profit is quite possible.
The damages depend on what extra profit HP would have made if Oracle had met their contractual obligations. If Oracle had maintained a carefully pessimised version of their database for Itanium, and licensed it at triple the cost of builds for other architectures they could have done almost the same amount of damage with much less risk of paying out for breach of contract.
Friday 1st July 2016 23:09 GMT TVU
Friday 1st July 2016 23:43 GMT a_yank_lurker
@TVU - Winning long term customer loyalty is hard and takes real work. It does have the advantage of gaining consistent income and profits. Suing is a short term game that leaves current and potential customers a vile taste and destroys loyalty.
Companies fail for many reasons but losing customer loyalty is a kiss of death. A company in trouble, if they have enough loyal customers might survive financial troubles; loyal customers might still give them a chance. But a company where they burned the customers will not get the break.
Saturday 2nd July 2016 08:59 GMT Anonymous Coward
It isn't IT that attracts huge legal disputes, it's IP.
IP is a revenue stream for work already done and so people argue over it like the big pot of money that, in practical terms, it is.
Businesses which sell goods and services that require current effort to deliver have less cash flow and so don't spend nearly so much on lawyers.
The software business is much closer to the music industry than it is to other IT companies in this respect. While both are grubby businesses it's not a coincidence that the largest firms are the ones that aggressively defend their IP.
Saturday 2nd July 2016 11:41 GMT Voyna i Mor
"Clearly Oracle doesn't have enough more lawyers... they should get more... and clearly the ones they have aren't good enough... they should get more expensive ones!"
Lawyers in the US are the modern equivalent of armed conflict. In Russia businesses often settle disputes with hitmen, so lawyers are actually an improvement.
If the Second Amendment was itself amended to "in order that shakedowns shall be well regulated, the right of CEOs to arm themselves with lawyers shall not be infringed", it might be an improvement.
Sunday 3rd July 2016 11:41 GMT Peter Clarke 1
Truth In Error
"Litigation is part of doing business, but aside from God Larry Ellison is possibly the only person at Oracle who knows the true size of Oracle's total legal bill over these last years."
It's probably how Larry thinks of himself but there should be a comma separating him from being a deity
Monday 4th July 2016 01:18 GMT Anonymous Coward
Oracle always used to win these lawsuits.... Now they cannot even convince a jury that Itanic was dead regardless of what Oracle did or did not do. They were steamrolled in that Google lawsuit as well, but they had to know that was a long shot... probably just hoping Google threw some cash at them to go away.
Monday 4th July 2016 06:36 GMT oneeye
The FBI is investigating Oracle !
Oracles being sued by the State of Oregon over the failed Health care exchange they screwed up.
And this from the Wiki page :
In March 2014, the FBI announced it was launching an investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing related to the failed development of the site. Subpoenas were issued in May 2014 by a grand jury. 
The dispute has led to six lawsuits, including the main case playing out in Marion County Circuit Court, in which the state has accused Oracle of fraud and racketeering and is seeking $6.5 billion in damages.
And I'm sure there is more crap coming from these lowlifes at Oracle. They have launched several counter suits. I for one, would love to see these Jackles locked up.
Tuesday 5th July 2016 06:37 GMT Medixstiff
Oracle is a bad word in our workplace.
We've had so many meetings with them over the years on licensing, it's probably 10 times more convoluted than M$ licensing, which says a lot.
I've never had to pull a CPU from a Server until we were told about certain gotcha's in Oracle licensing.
Now that EBS is phased out, we are so, so happy and our budget looks healthy for once.
Although I wouldn't be surprised if they try sue us for our backups that we tend to keep for 7 years for tax reasons (and because our Finance department are super an*l on keeping stuff for years)
Tuesday 5th July 2016 08:50 GMT Anonymous Coward
After 10 years at Sun, I had the misfortune of being there when Oracle took it over. Oracle was the worst employer I had since graduating college. After 2 years, I fled screaming. I could talk for two hours on what a mess that company is, but I'll sum it up with: Anyone who finds themselves in any way dependent on Oracle, and is not executing plans to sever that dependency, is a fool.