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Client server is dead, says Oracle chief

The Web is the future, for now at least

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It's official -- client-server is dead and the future is in the Net. Says who? Why Larry Ellison, that's who. "Client Servers were a tremendous mistake. And we are sorry that we sold it to you," the Oracle CEO said to a captive London audience last week. Instead of applications running on the desktop and data sitting on the server, everything will be Internet based. The only things running on the desktop will be a browser and a word processor. What people want, he said, is simple, inexpensive hardware that functions as a window on to the Net. The PC was ludicrously complex with stacks of manuals, helplines and IT support needed to make it function. Client server was supposed to alleviate this problem, but it was a step in the wrong direction. "We are paying through the nose to be ignorant," commented Ellison. He said that it is stupidly inefficient to have data so scattered that it takes days to answer a question as simple as 'How many people do I have working for me?' Using the Internet to run everything on provides the best of both world from the PC and the mainframe. Unlike old mainframes, it is easy to program for the Internet, access is fast and the user interface is excellent, Ellison said. Not surprisingly then, Ellison foresees a dark time ahead for Microsoft. The Internet will make the choice operating system unimportant, he said. The so-called browser war is also bogus: "Anyone can write a browser, and people will. That's not going to matter." ®

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