Friday, September 26, 2008

Oracle to sell computer hardware for first time

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oracle to sell computer hardware for first time

By Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Oracle Corp. is selling computer hardware for the first time in its 31-year history, signaling an ambition to become more than a one-stop shop for business software.

The expansion announced Wednesday by Chief Executive Larry Ellison calls for Oracle's sales team to peddle a "database machine" and a smaller storage product, both made by Hewlett-Packard Co. Both pieces of hardware are designed to help companies fetch information stored on Oracle's database software more quickly while taking up less space in corporate data centers.

Ellison unveiled the products -- in development for three years -- at an Oracle customer conference attended by nearly 43,000 people.

The database machine will sell for $650,000 and store up to 168 terabytes -- "1,400 times larger than Apple's largest iPod," Ellison boasted in reference to the 120-gigabyte media device made by the company run by his best friend, Steve Jobs.

As it wades into a new field, Oracle is aiming to undercut other hardware makers like Netezza Corp. that sell so-called "data warehouse appliances." The Oracle-HP partnership conceivably could also siphon sales from storage providers like EMC Corp. and IBM Corp.

Oracle has been pouring most of its money into broadening its selection of software applications, hoping to appeal to corporate customers who want to buy as many programs as possible from a single vendor. The Redwood Shores-based company has spent more than $35 billion to acquire about 50 other software makers in the last four years.

The shopping spree has paid off so far, helping to boost Oracle's profit by 29 percent to $5.5 billion in its last fiscal year. Just last week, the company reported its earnings rose by another 28 percent to $1.08 billion in the first quarter of its new fiscal year.

Oracle shares gained 26 cents Wednesday to finish at $19.95.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

No comments: