Wednesday was an interesting day, with two very interesting announcements happening at the same time, one in the consumer space, one in the enterprise space.
I’m talking obviously about the Apple event to announce the iPad and the Oracle-Sun strategy announcement.
It’s well-known that Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison have been friends for many years, and there are very few figures in technology as well-known and polarizing as these two. Oh, and they both know how to put on a show for an audience.
I spent my Wednesday attending an Enterprise OpenSocial meetup at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, so I didn’t have to make the tough choice between the events. Of course, in this day and age of broadband intertubes, I’m sure many people followed both simultaneously (kudos Floyd).
Heading into the Apple announcement, Steve Jobs was rumored to have called the iPad “the most important thing I’ve ever done”. Time will tell, but the iPad definitely has potential to be a game-changer. Whether it forces good or bad change is the question. More on that next week.
On the possibly less exciting, but equally important enterprise side, the Oracle-Sun announcement was months in the making, and ever since it was announced, way back in April 2009, I’ve been excited for the future combination of companies.
Why? Oracle will be building on Sun hardware, which means the software should take full advantage of all the hardware capabilities, and the hardware can be tweaked to run the software better. Sounds like Apple’s model.
Sun brings a bunch of cool open source projects with it, including OpenOffice, MySQL, VirtualBox, etc. I’m a huge fan of open source, and I’m hoping that continued investment and support by a large corporation will help push open source acceptance into the mainstream.
Finally, I’m a huge fan of virtualization, and the combination of virtualization technologies Oracle has now is pretty sweet. I’m constantly amazed how little people know about visualization. Maybe it’s a Mac thing, since we have to keep a Windows machine around for legacy stuff.
Anyway, it’s curious to me that two longtime friends, heads of very large and powerful technology companies, made critically important announcements on the very same day. And not any announcements, but the kind that could change the complexion of their respective competitive landscapes and influence the directions and fortunes of their companies dramatically.
Even though I think it’s a dud right now and doesn’t fill a need for me, the iPad is important.
Oracle buying Sun is also important and will have influence beyond the enterprise.
While I doubt this was planned, I do wonder if the two exchanged congratulatory calls that day.
Am I overstating here?
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