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Oracle's Larry Ellison Downplays Cloud Computing: But Is It Any Surprise?

At a financial analyst meeting held by Oracle yesterday, the company was asked about its plans with regards to cloud computing. Oracle's chief executive and founder, Larry Ellison had the following to say in response:

"We've redefined 'cloud computing' to include everything we currently do. So it has already achieved dominance in the industry. I can't think of anything that isn't cloud computing.

The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. Cloud Computing. I remember I was reading W and I read that orange is the new pink. And cloud is the new SaaS. (Software as a Service) Or cloud is the new virtualization. It is the most nonsensical. I mean I read these articles… I have no idea what anybody is talking about. I mean it is really just complete gibberish.

What is it? What is it? ... Is it - 'Oh, I am going to access data on a server on the Internet.' That is cloud computing?

Then there is a definition: What is cloud computing? It is using a computer that is out there. That is one of the definitions: 'That is out there.' These people who are writing this crap are out there. They are insane. I mean it is the stupidest.

We'll make cloud computing announcements because if orange is the new pink, we'll make orange… Okay fine, we'll do some cloud. Maybe we'll do an ad. I don't know what we'll do differently in light of cloud computing other than change the wording on some of our ads. It's crazy. So that's my view."

Sam Johnston, Strategic Consultant Specializing in Cloud Computing, however wonders if it is any surprise that Oracle would be out badmouthing cloud computing when it has the potential to disrupt their entire business? "Who needs a database server when you can buy cloud storage like electricity and let someone else worry about the details? Not me, that's for sure - unless I happen to be one of a dozen or so big providers who are probably using open source tech anyway," says Johnston. "They still have a huge legacy installed base, and will add a sprinkle of 'I can't believe it's not cloud' to their lineup to approximate some of the attributes of cloud computing, but in the long run the outlook is less clear. I for one would be worried about not having a serious cloud computing strategy when the likes of Google, Microsoft and (strange bedfellow) Amazon have deployments already."

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