You can think of open source as a utopian "town" called Opensville, somewhere near the community of Proprietary. People like to visit Opensville, yet no one wants to live there. Why? Because no one pays to keep the city running.
Stories by William Hurley
The buzz from analysts and reporters is that Larry Ellison is rethinking Oracle's cloud computing strategy. Just last year, when asked about cloud computing, Larry said, "Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?" If he's flip-flopping, it's interesting. Since Oracle's one of the titans of Silicon Valley, it's news.
You know what's bugging me? Is Larry really "creeping into the space just nine months after he mocked the business model" as recently reported in The Wall Street Journal? Really? The guy who embodies going against the grain, and stands by his own opinion even if it's wrong, is backtracking? Say it ain't so!
According to The Wall Street Journal, that's exactly what happened during a call following Oracle's fourth-quarter results. On the call Ellison said that some portion of revenue from Oracle's Fusion products could come from subscriptions in the future. This is in stark contrast to the business model that most Oracle customers know – one-time fees for one-off sales. I respect the Journal, but I'm not so sure Larry's headed back to the future. I think he just didn't have an answer ready when asked about cloud computing last year.