The future lies in one standard software configuration with every computer system exactly the same and it should be installed by a hardware vendor not the user, Oracle Corporation's chairman and CEO Larry Ellison told OpenWorld delegates yesterday.
"It should be pre-configured, pre-installed and pre-tested so we can sell you more predictable, secure systems; every child should be unique, every computer system should not," Ellison said.
Describing endless configurations as "insane" he said the computer industry needs to reassess its outlook and ask why a toaster, which is much cheaper to buy than a computer, is more reliable.
"We're taking away the switches, nobs and tuning ability from you because with too many combinations it can never work; we'd like every user to use the same configured software and we don't want you to install it," Ellison said.
"Microsoft proudly says Windows NT is the most complicated engineering project in the history of mankind when they should be saying oh my God what have we done; complexity is not good."
This view, he said, is reflected in the 9i launch this week where Oracle's 75 products have been reduced to just two, the 9i database server and application server.
"The market keeps telling us we want integrated software from one vendor; integrating software is time consuming and expensive which is the opposite view of IBM, "he said.
"They are basically a reseller with lots of consultants that glue products together from 10 vendors; our software is designed and engineered to work together."
Admitting his views sometimes take a few years to catch on, he said it took five years for others to realise the PC was a "ridiculous device" and applications belong on big servers.
The next step is managing these services outside the company and the inevitable growth of the ASP phenomena.
Selling 9i with his usual swagger and showmanship Ellison said he proposed calling the new series Oracle Magic because it has just demolished the TPC-C benchmark standard by delivering software that supports one million users simultaneously and one million page views per second.
He said the high performance and linear scalability server has been designed to support application service providers, B2B exchanges and has continuous availability, that is no single point of failure.
The more enthused Ellison became the more extravagant his challenges to the audience.
Initially he offered a $US1 million guarantee that 9i could make any Web site run at least three times faster than similar software provided by IBM or Microsoft (the challenge is posted on the Oracle Web site)This figure soon escalated to $US10 million when he began talking about Oracle's cache fusion cluster technology pointing out that every time a computer is added it improves reliability and performance.
Drawing parallels between the fashion and software industries Ellison said demand and interest is based on what's "in" pointing out that B2C is out but B2B is currently acceptable.