Ellison Offers $1 Million Challenge

Ever the subtle salesman, Oracle Corp. boss Larry Ellison says his company is offering a $1 million bet - more of a challenge, actually - to its customers and potential customers. If by using Oracle's new 9i Internet Application Server and the Oracle 8i database, commercial Web sites now using Microsoft Corp. or IBM Corp. software do not at least triple performance, Oracle will pay the site owner $1 million, Ellison told a packed audience at a customer conference last week. (We suggest you check with the company for fine print before spending any of that money.) Oracle used the same software to boost the performance of its online Oraclestore by 50 times, Ellison bragged.

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