Oracle ponders buying a Linux OS firm

18 Apr 2006 View Comments
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Oracle is considering buying its way into the Linux operating system sector and has already contemplated a purchase of Novell, according to a report.

In an interview (subscription required) published yesterday, the Financial Times, reported that Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said he wanted to offer a full stack of software with an operating system as well as applications and middleware.

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“We’re missing an operating system,” Ellison said. “You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux.”

Ellison said Oracle had considered purchasing Novell, which itself bought its way into Linux by purchasing Suse in 2004.

It is not the first time that the outspoken Oracle chief has revealed his thoughts on potential acquisitions. Ellison previously disclosed that enterprise applications firm Lawson Software and middleware giant BEA Systems had been in his thoughts, and claimed that customer relationship management firm Siebel Systems had offered to sell out to Oracle - before it was indeed acquired by Oracle last year.

While some will consider his comments mischievous, Ellison also noted in the interview that Linux distribution leader Red Hat’s agreement to buy open-source application server firm JBoss could mean a changing of the guard in the sector. Red Hat is now a competitor to firms such as Oracle, IBM and Sun in middleware, despite being a partner on the operating system.

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