No wonder Oracle CEO Larry Ellison did not comment on the Microsoft antitrust settlement. Ellison, who has made a career out of criticizing Microsoft, its management and its products, has discovered a clever way to potentially make a lot of money from Microsoft Outlook by offering its users a solution that will save them money and reduces security risks.
Ellison surprised most in his Comdex keynote audience, many who had come for the expected doze of anti-Microsoftism, when he had little but praise for Microsoft's email program. "I like Outlook. I use Outlook," said Ellison adding with a broad smile, "But if you say I said this I will deny it."
"Microsoft is famous for email, and we don't want anyone to stop using Outlook. Normally you don't think about e-mail as database data. But it holds precious business information. Don't store your emails in a system that is very fragile and breakable. Why have hundreds of Exchange servers when you can have one or two Oracle databases?" Ellison said.
Although Outlook may be an excellent email program, Ellison said, it also has some major weaknesses, most of which have been widely exploited by hackers around the world, causing havoc and disrupting business operations.
Ellison said Oracle has developed a solution by letting Outlook run it on its Oracle 9i email database software under control of a far more stable and secure Unix-based server.
Furthermore, Ellison said his company has issued a challenge to hackers to attempt to break into Oracle's servers. Even with about 1,000 attempts per day, no one has yet succeeded.
Ellison had some harsh words to say about IBM, which has been marketing its DB2 database products against Oracle.
Ellison also drummed up support for Oracle 9i's ability to support the clustering of systems in which large databases are shared across several machines. This feature has been available for a decade from Oracle, Microsoft and IBM's DB2. But
Ellison said this is the first time that clustering actually works.