Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Marriage made in hell

Which is worse? A marriage of convenience or a marriage of necessity? If pundits can have it their way, they would probably bet against both.

Just for the purpose of illustration, let's take a closer look at the tussle between The SCO Group and the Linux camp. To SCO, the open-source movement is probably a marriage of convenience. That's why the company is attacking the GPL and open-source licenses on one hand, while announcing that it has included Samba 3 (a free open-source software) in its latest OpenServer product on the other hand.

Not surprisingly, members of the open-source community were up in arms over SCO's complete disregard of the fact that it is also benefitting from the GPL, calling its behaviour "the epitome of hypocrisy". There were even suggestions that SCO is pulling a PR stunt to keep its name in the headlines.

Another potential marriage - this time out of necessity - involves Oracle and PeopleSoft. In an attempt to leapfrog the competition, Oracle used consolidation as a convenient excuse to ask for the unwilling hands of PeopleSoft. Unwilling because the folks at PeopleSoft knew that Oracle's proposal is not about forging synergy, economy of scale, or any other buzzwords that people have a habit of throwing around these days.

Even Chuck Phillip, an Oracle executive vice president, did not deny the inference at a media roundtable in Singapore that the company is only interested in going after PeopleSoft's customer base, not its technology. The pledge to support PeopleSoft's product line is almost an afterthought.

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