Starting this Tuesday, April 13, Sun's Solaris operating system will receive quarterly security patches, Oracle announced. This comes as good news for Solaris users, who will now know months in advanced when they will be getting security updates.
Solaris isn't the only bit of Sun software to be included in these updates. According to Oracle, the next update will include 16 security fixes for a number of Sun products, including Sun Cluster, Sun Convergence, and the Sun Ray server software.
Prior to Oracle's takeover of Sun, Solaris and other Sun products were typically updated on an as-needed basis rather than any type of set schedule. After Tuesday, the next set of updates will roll out on July 13.
Perhaps Oracle is feeling a little spunky ever since it acquired Sun Microsystems after a lengthy approval process with the European Union. Or maybe somewhere along the line, rival SAP hit a nerve, Whatever the reason, Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison had plenty to say about SAP during a recent conference call, and not much of it was positive.
"They have lost their way," Ellsion said, noting how hard it is to make money selling to SMBs. "If they don't want to be No. 1, we sure do."
There might some truth to his statement, as SAP's revenues in 2009 fell 8 percent while earnings per share tumbled 13 percent. But what likely has Ellison going on the verbal offensive is SAP's recent statements that it plans to acquire more companies, a strategy it's been following for the past five years. Ellison has criticized this strategy before, and he's not the only one doing so now.
"Many investors believe that SAP's strategy left the company with very little in terms of new products to leverage its strong installed base and was not quick to enter the SMB and on-demand markets, said Yun Kim, an analyst with Broadpoint AmTech.
Oracle has been the recipient of recent criticisms as well, most recently for being slow to launch its Fusion software. "I'd much rather be late than deliver a bad product," Ellison said.
Following an expensive acquisition (Sun Microsystems) and battling both IBM and SAP in the markets, Oracle still managed to post an impressive profit of $1.19 billion, or 23 cents per share, for the quarter ended February 28.
"Every quarter we grab huge chunks of market share from SAP," said Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison. "SAP’s most recent quarter was the best quarter of their year, only down 15%, while Oracle’s application sales were up 21%. But SAP is well ahead of us in the number of CEOs for this year, announcing their third and fourth, while we only had one."
Not entirely surprising, Oracle's quarterly profit did slip by 11 percent as a result of its digestion of the $7.4 billion deal to bring Sun into its ranks. But according to Oracle's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Epstein, the acquisition also added $458 million in revenue to the company's bottom line.
"The Sun integration is going even better than we expected," Oracle President Safra Catz said.
Ladies and gentlemen (of Oracle), Tim Bray has left the building, deciding instead to jump aboard with Google as a developer-advocate for the search giant's Android development team.
"I had an offer to stay with Oracle which I decided to decline; I'll maybe tell the story when I can think about it without getting that weird spiking-blood-pressure sensation in my eyeballs," Bray wrote in a blog post. "So I reached out to a couple of appealing potential next employers, both were interested, and Google seemed like the best bet."
Bray, formerly the director of Web technologies for Sun, also is known for co-creating XML (Extensible Markup Language), which is a set of rules for encoding documents electronically.
What Bray's exact role over at Google will be has yet to be determined, though one glance at his blog reveals that he's very much interested in the Android platform.
Oracle on Wednesday said it was going to scoop up Convergin, an Israeli startup specializing in software that helps telcos extend their services across multiple networks.
"As communications service providers transition from legacy telephony networks to next-generation networks, the combination of Oracle and Convergin will accelerate new service innovation while reducing network complexity and cost," said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications.
Oracle said it is still looking over Covergin's product roadmap and plans to update customers at a later date. Convergin's customers include T-Mobile and SaaskTel.
It's finally over, and we couldn't be happier. Not because we have any kind of vested interest in Oracle's takeover of Sun, but now that the acquisition is complete, we can stop following the rollercoaster ride and gain a sense of closure in a story we've been following for too long.
But as happy as we are, Oracle has to be thrilled to put this whole thing behind them, though you'd never know it from the company's ultra-brief press release (see here).
Maybe's Oracle's just worn out, and who can blame them. After gaining quick approval from the U.S. Department of Justice for its proposed $7.4 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems, Oracle, an unstoppable force, ran into the European Union, an immovable object. What happened? Oracle stopped and the EU moved, but not before Oracle gave up a series of concessions dealing with Sun's free MySQL database software.
"My hat is off to one of the greatest capitalists I have ever met, Larry Ellison," Sun Chairman Scott McNealy said in a memo. "To be honest, this is not a note this founder wants to write. Sun, in my mind, should have been the great and surviving consolidator. But I love the market economy and capitalism more than I love my company."
So will Oracle make good on its promise not to treat its MySQL database like a red-headed stepchild? That's the only question that remains to be answered.
It's finally over, at least as far as the European Union is concerned. The big news in the IT industry today is that Oracle has officially been given the green light by EU regulators to proceed with its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
"I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned," said EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, in a statement. "Oracle's acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products."
It wasn't that long ago that EU regulators were singing a different tune. The major stumbling block had been Oracle's impending control of the free MySQL, which drew concern over what Oracle would do with the database software in light of selling its own database product. But those concerns were put to rest when Oracle agreed to a series of concessions, some of which included promising to pay $72 million over the next three years in R&D to improve MySQL, and extending MySQL's existing commercial licenses for up to five years.
"The Commission's in-depth investigation showed that although MySQL and Oracle compete in certain parts of the database market, they are not close competitors in others, such as the high-end segment," the EU said in a statement.
There's still work to be done, and before Oracle can pop the cork on the champagne bottles, it will need to convince regulators in Russia and China to jump on board. Protesters from the MySQL community recently turned their attention to these very markets in hopes of blocking the deal, but Oracle still says it expects "unconditional approval" to come soon.
After next week, Oracle's $7.4 billion roller-coaster ride will finally come to an end, as there remains little doubt that the European Commission will approve the company's acquisition of Sun Microsystems. With that being the case, protesters from the MySQL community have all but given up the battle in Europe and are now turning their attention to regulators in Russia and China, ITNews.com reports.
"The European Commission showed courage and competence during most of the investigation but looked very weak in the end," said MySQL founder Michael 'Monty' Widenius in a statement on Monday, adding that China and Russia "are powerful, self-confident, and open-source friendly countries and they have every right to do a better job on this than the EU."
Both nations are still investigating the deal and have yet to give Oracle the green light. So far, Widenius' helpmysql.org campaign has managed to attract 600 supporters in China and over 800 in Russia. On a global scale, the campaign stands at 30,000 signatures strong since its launch on December 28.
Oracle over the weekend made a pre-release announcement of an upcoming 'Critical Patch Update' slated for release this Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
The upcoming patch will contain no less than 24 new security vulnerability fixes intended for hundreds of Oracle products, including the Oracle Database and Oracle E-Business Suite, the company said. Some of the bug fixes affect more than one product.
Two new security fixes for the Oracle Primavera Products Suite are also included, although Oracle said "these vulnerabilities are not remotely exploitable without authentication, i.e., may not be exploited over a network without the need for a username and password."
Oracle probably hoped its first acquisition of year would be with Sun Microsystems, but while that transaction is still playing out, the database outfit went and snatched up data-quality vendor Silver Creek Systems.
Silver Creek Systems specializes in helping companies simplify and standardize product descriptions across various information stores through the use of its DataLens software. And up until now, the company competed with Oracle in data quality and data integration, which included some heavyweight customers, such as IBM.
Details of the deal are pretty sparse, including financial terms of the transaction. It's also unknown what Oracle plans to do with the future development of Silver Creek's products.