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Oracle's Larry Ellison unplugged, part deux

Too much good stuff for even a lengthy blog post about last night's Larry Ellison's event.

[In my earlier blog](http://blog.internetnews.com/dneedle/2009/09/ellison-sun-losing-100-million.html) I focused on his comments regarding Oracle's purchase of Sun. "We're keeping everything," Ellison said in rousing affirmation of his plan to leverage Sun's technology to transform Oracle into a systems company beyond just software.

He later called Sun "a national treasure" for its many technology advances. Gush Larry, gush.

In response to some witty, if occasionally snide comments and direct questions on stage by former Sun president Ed Zander, Ellison got a few things off his chest. Want to get him agitated? Just mention cloud computing.

"The cloud is water vapor. My objection to cloud computing is that it's not only the future of computing, but the present and the entire past, fumed Ellison. "Salesforce.com has been around for a decade and Netsuite longer and people say that's cloud computing, now Google is too. Everyone looks around and says 'Oh like yeah, I've always been doing cloud computing' even though the term is only about four years old."

The reason Ellison is touchy on the subject is because Oracle's been criticized in some circles for not having a cloud strategy.

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"Yeah, we're dead if there's no software in the cloud. All the cloud is, is a computer attached to a network. What are you talking about?" he exclaimed, shouting the question every time he made a point to show Oracle already is in the cloud.

He recalled how last decade he was one of the prime movers, along with Sun, of a concept called the network computer that treated computing more like a utility any number of devices and systems could plug in to. The NC never got anywhere because we didn't have anything close to the broadband infrastructure we have today.

Oracle doesn't know the cloud? "What are you talking about?"

Ellison said Oracle has offered ERP systems as a service for a monthly fee for the past decade. "You want to call it cloud computing? Fine."

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