It’s a rumor, and in all fairness my track record on the last couple has not been good, but according to a number of open source industry insiders, Oracle is going to announce at LinuxWorld tomorrow their own branded version of Linux based on the Red Hat distro. Previous speculation had them announcing something at their analyst meeting in October, but with the penguin festival this week in SF it makes perfect sense.
This is a smart move on their part for a couple of reason. First and foremost, by forking off Red Hat they compete with Red Hat without having to deal with product issues. It’s all about support and the ability to offer a top-to-bottom stack. I think it also sets up the eventuality that Oracle could acquire Red Hat and realize the all important consolidation objective. Either way, this is a problem for Novell.
It’s a problem for SAP as well, although not as severe as Oracle would like to believe. We’re finally turning the corner on open source at a couple of levels, even though we haven’t been publicly talking about much there is in fact a lot going on.
UPDATE: Oracle’s investor relations group is now saying that the announcement will be pushed out possibly past OpenWorld in October. Will keep you updated as I hear more, but they are now saying not to expect anything at LinuxWorld. What does this mean? Probably not a lot other than there is a lot of “chatter” but the signal to noise ratio is low. It may be that this is something that Larry wants but the rest of the management team is less sure about.