Larry Eyeing HP Now

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Larry Ellison unveils the XImage by plαdys via Flickr
Wall Street Journal: Ellison Says Oracle Will 'Go After' H-P: Mr. Ellison said the new hardware—a "supercluster" of Sparc-based servers—set a record for online transaction processing, a measure of performance for running database software, "for any database running on any computer at any time." ..... "We think the H-P machines are vulnerable. We think they're slow," Mr. Ellison said. "We're going to go after them in the marketplace with better software, better hardware and better people, and we're going to win market share." ..... "I like IBM, and I don't want to tease them very much." ....... Oracle and H-P were once close partners. In 2008, Oracle announced an exclusive partnership with H-P to offer a system bundled with Oracle database software—dubbed Exadata—only to drop that arrangement and substitute Sun hardware as a result of the acquisition.
Larry Ellison thinks in terms of enemies. And in Apothepo he has found one. Getting rid of Apothepo is not going to get Larry to take his eyes off of HP, but that might help a little, just a little. But HP is going to exhibit self destructive behavior by sticking to Apothepo for as long as possible.

"I believe in being nice, but that does not apply to my enemies."
- Larry Ellison
Image representing Oracle Corporation as depic...Image via CrunchBase
This is one of my favorite business quotes, and Larry said this a long, long time ago. Being able to put a human face to a corporation Larry wishes to destroy really sharpens up Larry's instincts. And so I think Larry wants Apothepo to stick around for as long as humanly possible.

It is like they say in The Art Of War. Winning is not enough. The enemy has to be destroyed.

The lawsuit that Larry just won is Larry getting warmed up. Don't unfasten your seat belts yet. The ride is very much on. What is about to happen is more dramatic than the Apothepo lawsuit - has that guy been found yet, or is he still in hiding? - and more dramatic than Larry gobbling up PeopleSoft a few years ago, and people thought that was dramatic.

At the end of the day this is not about ego, it never was. This is about money. This is about business. This is about strategy. This is about tactics. This is about Larry having decided Oracle was now going to also do hardware. This is like when a new star is being born somewhere out there in the universe. There is spectacular violence involved. If there is drama, it is the drama of the universe unfolding. Larry going after HP is simply the universe unfolding. If you could feel detached enough, there is no news there. But that detachment is not humanly possible.

You got a dog in the fight. That dog is Larry. He is the reason the drama is happening in the first place.

I don't think firing Apothepo is an option for HP, I don't think surrendering is an option for HP. There is very little for them to do. The cheetah will get the kill. The samurai will unleash the sword. That's just the way things are.

What I am most interested in is Larry getting interested in nanotech. I want datacenters that are the size of servers today. Larry just might deliver if he put his mind to it. But first he has HP to take care of. Understandable.

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