CWmike writes: "Oracle CEO Larry Ellison declared the company is ready to offer 'the most comprehensive cloud on the planet Earth,' during a webcast event on Wednesday. 'It's been a long time coming,' Ellison said of the Oracle Public Cloud, which encompasses Oracle's suite of Fusion Applications delivered as both SaaS (software as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) features, including the Java Cloud Service and Database Cloud Service. It's also the home of Oracle Social Network, the company's foray into Facebook-like collaboration tools for enterprises. Wednesday's event — and Twitter (where his first tweet is a gem) — also provided Ellison with an opportunity to tout what he called Oracle Public Cloud's many advantages over rivals such as SAP and Salesforce.com, as well as to engage in some of his traditional competitive trash talk."
CWmike writes: Oracle's database is now available for deployment on Amazon Web Services, the companies announced Tuesday, but with some key limitations. Customers can choose from 'license included' and BYOL (bring your own license) pricing. The first model is priced starting at 16 cents per hour, while the latter starts at 11 cents per hour. Only Oracle Standard Edition One, a feature-limited version of the database, is available under the license-included model. Standard Edition or the flagship Enterprise Edition customers must bring their own licenses. Database replication, which is key for fault tolerance, isn't available yet for Oracle on Amazon, but will be added at some point, Amazon said. 'Mainly, this isn't for production usage," analyst Curt Monash said in a blog post Tuesday. But there might be exceptions, such as with applications that are intended to have a short lifespan in support of a specific project, as well as when 'an application is small enough, or the situation is sufficiently desperate, that any inefficiencies are outweighed by convenience.'
CWmike writes: Oracle on Wednesday announced the availability of Cloud Office 1.0, aiming to give online applications from Microsoft and Google a fresh dose of competition. Cloud Office is integrated with the on-premises Oracle Open Office, of which version 3.3 was also announced Wednesday. Like Open Office, Cloud Office is based on ODF (Open Document Format). It provides a set of spreadsheet, text and presentation applications and is compatible with Microsoft Office, according to Oracle. While Oracle has a long way to go in catching up to competing office suites, it is hoping to close the gap by positioning its products as more flexible and open alternatives. Open Office 3.3 Standard Edition costs $49.95 per user and is meant for companies with one to 99 employees. The Enterprise Edition costs $90 per user with a minimum of 100 users (volume pricing is available.) But interoperability with Office comes at an additional price. Earlier this year, Oracle imposed a $90 per user fee on an ODF plug-in that enables the sharing of files between Open Office and Microsoft Office. The plug-in had been available at no charge under Sun's ownership.
CWmike writes: Apache is stuck between a rock and a hard place, writes Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols. It can't certify that its open-source Java, Harmony is Java compatible. Oracle, like Sun before it, won't release the needed certification tests. Without that Apache can't certify that Harmony is really Java for legal purposes. Adding insult to injury, IBM, which had been Harmony's biggest backer, moved away from the project to support, with Oracle, OpenJDK. What's an open-source foundation to do? It can try to force Oracle to co-operate by using its seat in the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee, the group that, in theory, runs Java to vote against approving Java 7 when it eventually comes up for approval. By itself, Apache can't stop it, but it's calling on other JCP members to also vote against it to protest Oracle's refusal to work with Apache on certifying Harmony. This will end up in court, but Apache frames the issue at hand correctly: 'How open really is any open-source program or language when one company gets to decide whether or not it can be approved?' I would agree with Apache that such a program really isn't open at all no matter how available its source code may be.
CWmike writes: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison faced tough questioning on the witness stand Monday morning about the effects of TomorrowNow's intellectual-property theft on his company. He told the court that TomorrowNow's services could have enabled SAP to steal as many as 30% of Oracle's PeopleSoft customers and 10% of its Siebel customers. Based on the price Oracle paid for those companies, SAP would have had to pay Oracle $4 billion for a license, Ellison said. But under cross-examination, SAP lawyers disputed Ellison's assertion that Oracle felt threatened by the TomorrowNow acquisition or that it was worried about losing customers to SAP. 'There's not a single public or private, internal or external PowerPoint, speech, slide, e-mail or scribble on a napkin that says any of that, is there?" SAP's lawyer asked Ellison. 'I had those discussions with people but I don't tend to write those things down,' Ellison replied. In more grilling, SAP's lawyer asked, 'You don't know why any specific Oracle customer left Oracle for TomorrowNow, do you Mr. Ellison?' Ellison replied, 'No, I don't know the specifics for any given customer.' And 358 is 'nowhere near 30% of PeopleSoft's customers, is it?' SAP counsel asked. 'No,' Ellison replied.
CWmike writes: Oracle has filed a lawsuit against Google, charging that its Android phone software infringes on Oracle patents and copyrights related to Java, Oracle said on Thursday. 'In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement,' Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman said in a statement. Breaking: More to come tomorrow.