LINUXWORLD: Oracle pans Microsoft over Linux

Continuing a now-familiar, anti-Microsoft mantra, an Oracle official at the LinuxWorld conference stressed Oracle's commitment to Linux as indicative of the company's server-based Internet strategy, as opposed to what he contends is Microsoft's browser-based emphasis. To underscore Oracle's backing of Linux the company will release a free developer's version of the Oracle8i database for Linux within 30 days

Continuing a now-familiar, anti-Microsoft mantra, an Oracle official at the LinuxWorld conference stressed Oracle's commitment to Linux as indicative of the company's server-based Internet strategy, as opposed to what he contends is Microsoft's browser-based emphasis.

To underscore Oracle's backing of Linux and to foster application development, the company will make available a free developer's version of the Oracle8i database for Linux within 30 days, said Mark Jarvis, Oracle's senior vice president of marketing, in his keynote speech. Oracle also is working with the Linux community to improve the scalability of Linux, focusing on parallel and clustered computing, Jarvis said.

"We have as much investment in Linux right now as we have in other operating systems that are now dominant," Jarvis said.

Oracle believes in a server-based Internet paradigm, where information is concentrated on a small number of servers to offer a single point of information access, Jarvis said. Oracle 8i features a file system that can manage data of all different types and can provide this singular data repository, he noted. Microsoft, Jarvis contended, is approaching the Internet from a browser-based perspective rather than concentrating on servers.

"Servers are king on the Internet, not Internet browsers," Jarvis said.

Absent from his speech was mention of previously ballyhooed network computers, which have failed to displace PCs as modes of access to the Internet. But Jarvis did pan Microsoft's plan to have developers work with multiple Microsoft technologies such as COM and OLE DB. Java is the alternative, he said.

"Java is the future and will become the dominant paradigm in two to three years," Jarvis said.

Linux, Jarvis said, is part of an Internet revolution that has passed by Microsoft.

"WWW means Windows won't win," Jarvis said.

Oracle Corp., in Redwood Shores, Calif., can be reached at www.oracle.com.

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