Feeds

Gates forced Digital to kill NC, says Ellison

Project and device nixed after threats, he claims

Boost IT visibility and business value

Oracle's Larry Ellison has thrown the cat among the pigeons with a claim that threats from Bill Gates forced the cancellation of a joint Digital-Oracle project that could have resulted in the sale of 500,000 NC-type devices to China.

According to a story in today's New York Times, Digital's Internet Applications Group had produced 1,800 prototypes of an NC-class device codenamed Shark in conjunction with Oracle. It was intended to be used in schools and for network computer type applications, and if it had gone into production it would clearly have constituted a major threat to Microsoft.

But Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and Microsoft have a long-standing partnership, and according to the NYT, former Digital employees say Bill Gates told then Digital CEO Robert Palmer he had a choice of being friends with Microsoft or being friends with Oracle.

Palmer cancelled Shark and disbanded the product group. Ellison is quoted as saying that Palmer refused to tell him the reason, but said that he would if subpoenaed.

If the latest claims are true, Ellison has some justification to be sore. Getting Digital into mass production with NC standard machines would have given the standard a serious kick, and the abrupt termination of the programme (at the end of last summer) must have caused Oracle severe disruption.

But things move on, and we note that a somewhat tougher customer now owns Digital, and presumably therefore owns Shark as well. Compaq goofed last year over NetPC, and although it's now pushing thin client/server hard, it's doing so at the server end, offering customers Wyse terminals alongside them.

The possibility of a Shark revival may therefore have struck Eckhard… ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.