Feeds

Gates forced Digital to kill NC, says Ellison

Project and device nixed after threats, he claims

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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 essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.