Oracle Ups the Ante by $1 Million

Oracle Corp. says it can make your Microsoft- or IBM-powered Web site run three times faster than it currently does, and it's willing to put its money where its mouth is- lots of its money.

A guarantee on Oracle’s website promises to pay you $1 million -- and you don’t even have to answer any questions from Regis Philbin -- if you don’t see a threefold increase in your Web site speed by replacing your doty old IBM DB2 or Microsoft SQL Server or IBM DB2 technology with Oracle9i Application Server and Oracle8i Database.

Of course, any offer like this must has lots of terms, conditions and limitations. In this case, there are 12. The one Oracle apparently thinks is most important is condition six, which essentially shouts that you must do whatever Oracle tells you to, installing whatever they tell you to install, and tuning your site to their satisfaction. Otherwise, you don’t get one clam, much less a million clams.

Oracle’s brash challenge to Microsoft and IBM is founded on confidence in two products: Oracle8i Database and the brand-new Oracle9i Application Server. Oracle also announced the soon-to-be release of Oracle9i Database, with availability in March 2001. But for the million smackers offer, Oracle8i Database will do.

"When we talk about 8i we talk about the database. When we talk about 9i it's more than just a database, it's made up of both our products. Now we only have two -- the application server and the database server. 9i covers both servers for complete Internet deployment," said Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO today in his keynote at Oracle Open World in San Franciso.

As for the threefold performance promise Oracle has made, Ellison contends it is conservative. "Our own experience was that it increased by 50fold. So threefold we can guarantee."

He’d better hope so. His company has millions of dollars riding on it. - Keith Ward

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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