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OpenWorld 08 Oracle has launched an ambitious "next-generation" support service amid lingering and painful outages in the database giant's existing online services.

Employing its typical pomp and bombast, Oracle used its annual OpenWorld conference to announce My Oracle Support, which integrates its existing MetaLink support service with the Oracle Configuration Manager.

Oracle claimed the change would combine proactive systems support with management to deliver a more personalized management service.

The update comes, though, as customers have been left angry and frustrated by delays and outages in Oracle's existing online software support services. It is unclear whether the upgrade to My Oracle Support is the cause of the problem.

Customers on http://downloads.oracle.com have been unable to download Oracle software for at least two and up to three days.

Instead of downloads of things like Oracle's database, users are instead getting lengthy delays, random errors, and page-unavailable messages.

According to one Oracle forum member: "I need a 10g database for testing purpose, but it cost me hours to get one (still not found). I had 10g on a Virtual w2k server, but it crashed (Oracle, not the server). Now need 10g on Linux, but are unable to download.

"My advice to any reader: Don't use this ****, download a decent database (like MS SQL). Amateurs! If anybody knows sources other than the Oracle servers (which seems to go down on and on), post it!"

The outage appears to be ongoing, with our own efforts to access links going unanswered by the Oracle site for nearly two hours before we gave up on Tuesday.

Unavailability of http://downloads.oracle.com is the latest outage in a month to hit Oracle's site, and follows Monday's news that MetaLink itself had been unavailable.

Oracle was unavailable for comment.®

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