I was reminded this week of one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day. It's the story of an egocentric man who finds himself repeating the same day over and over again.
What triggered this reminder was Larry Ellison's closing keynote at this year's Oracle OpenWorld.
But before we get to that, let's look back a year ago...at last year's OpenWorld where Larry's quotes are best summarized as:
"Red Hat...Red Hat....giggle giggle...Red Hat...Red Hat"
Bottom-line on last year's speech: Larry grabbed Red Hat Enterprise Linux...rebranded it Oracle Unbreakable Linux...and declared Red Hat, Inc. public enemy #1.
Fast forward to this year and the headlines read... "Larry Ellison levels guns at Red Hat". Sounds familiar...but with a year to prepare, I've gotta believe Larry's speech writers and product marketing folks have something special to share.
"Oracle has been in the Linux business for a year now. With the Red Hat code all we did for the first year was fix bugs". Hmmm...funny, this is not an issue that I've heard from customers...but Larry's a smart guy, so let's move to the next point.
"Now Oracle is growing a lot faster than Red Hat. Red Hat has been growing too because it is a growing market." I always think of Pierre Fricke's blog whenever a comparison like this comes up.
"Oracle VM takes on VMware". OK, OK, this sounds important since it's "one of the biggest software launches in the company's history". I'm almost giddy with anticipation....until I look at the product website. Is it just me or do the key features of Oracle VM sound an awful lot like...Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform which was released last March as I recall?
Anyhow, since I'm the middleware guy at Red Hat, I'll leave the details of how accurate my assessment of Larry's Groundhog Day moment is to the Linux and Virtualization experts out there.
Moving on to a topic of keen interest to me, you gotta love Oracle's interest in BEA. I can see it now, Oracle finally acquires BEA and Larry promises he will "fix" the BEA products. Soon after, Larry introduces the revolutionary OraLogic Server 11g and explains that he will raise the price on the product because BEA customers feel that the products have been priced too low for too long.
Now that's real innovation and customer value!