Oracle, Sun plan 'low-cost computing' news

The top executives at Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. are due at a press conference in San Francisco Monday morning to make "significant announcements" that will bring "choice and innovation to the economics of low-cost computing," according to an invitation to reporters.

Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman and chief executive officer, and Scott McNealy, his counterpart at Sun, will be joined by unnamed industry partners to make the announcement. The companies are keeping mum about specifics.

Oracle and Sun are longtime partners, with much of Oracle's database software installed on Sun's powerful Unix servers. The two are also strong backers of Java and among the most vociferous critics of Microsoft Corp., which they deride as a monopolist that doesn't innovate.

Their close bond appeared to weaken over the past year as Oracle began to heavily promote servers based on Intel Corp. processors as a way to reduce the cost of using its software. Intel-based servers have been seen as a big threat to Sun's server business.

Sun has responded by cautiously embracing Intel processors, offering one or two Intel-based servers of its own running Linux or its Sun Solaris operating system.

Monday's press conference is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. Pacific Time and will be webcast at

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