Thursday, November 15, 2007

Oracle Announces 1,500 Customers for Its Unbreakable Linux

One of the concerns about the open source business model has been the risk that third parties provide support for a company's product and deprive the company of a significant revenue stream. This concern was crystallized by the Oracle announcement last year that they would support the Red Hat version of Linux at half of Red Hat's price. However, after six months, Oracle had announced only 26 customers. Many companies sighed with relief. However, Oracle recently announced that they had 1500 customers. For more information, see the story: Oracle has acquired some significant clients such as Yahoo, Activision and IHOP. Yet some of these clients are clearly "testing" the service and working with both companies. It will be very interesting to see the numbers after two years (particularly renewals). Yet the Oracle/Red Hat competition may be less relevant for products other than Linux because Linux has a large community of developers which can be hired by Oracle or others who want to provide support services. No such community exists for many open source products. Consequently, this announcement is interesting for the Linux community but may have little relevance outside of the Linux market.