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Oracle Pushes Against Red Hat Support

By: David Utter

Larry Ellison announced his company would offer Linux support at a cheaper price than Red Hat does. It could be a ploy to make Red Hat an easier takeover target.

Oracle Pushes Against Red Hat SupportOracle (ORCL) has been enjoying the attention paid to it during its OpenWorld Conference that is wrapping up in San Francisco. They drew some long stares from the Linux world when Oracle CEO Ellison announced Unbreakable Linux.

The company plans to support Unbreakable Linux, which is essentially Red Hat (RHAT) Enterprise Linux with Oracle's name on the box. It will do so for a lower price tag, an issue that Ingres CTO Dave Dargo considered a mild change compared to the potentially darker designs Oracle has on Red Hat or fellow Linux competitor Novell and its SuSE Linux:

Larrys quote is the most interesting: We believe that better support and lower support prices will speed the adoption of Linux, and we are working closely with our partners to make that happen.

Well, I guess theyre working with some of their partners, but, I doubt that Red Hat is one of them. Essentially, Oracle is taking the work that Red Hat is doing and charging less for it in an attempt to bypass Red Hat as a vendor.

Matt Asay at InfoWorld reminded people of another reason why Red Hat could be appealing to Oracle. Red Hat acquired JBoss earlier in 2006, and Oracle really wanted that company for itself.

"It would be sad if personal pique could be the motivation for such a big announcement," Asay wrote, "but I wouldn't count it out."

If Oracle's move were to undermine Red Hat, it could pick up both the company and the JBoss technology with a flash of Ellison's AmEx Black card. That scenario could be the end of Novell's hopes of regaining some of its former glory through its purchase of SuSE.

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