Global CIO: IBM Supports Oracle But Microsoft Kisses EU Ring

IBM exec Steve Mills says MySQL doesn't compete with Oracle, but Microsoft obsequiously awaits its chance to kiss the EU's ring by demonizing Larry Ellison's company.
MySQL has been most widely used in the high-volume but relatively simple task of running websites, rather than as a replacement for the more complex corporate databases. Mr Mills suggested that there were plenty of alternatives to the free software.

"MySQL comes in at the bottom of the market. There is a lot of 'freeware' out there today."

And in case you think I'm overblowing the way the EU sees itself and its increasingly bloated role, or that I'm overblowing the threat that such unchecked, unaccountable, and unashamedly arrogant bureaucratic power-grabbing presents, let me share with you some recent comments from the EU grandee most directly responsible for this travesty: Neelie Kroes, until very recently the head of the EU's competition commission (known to some as the "Managed Economy Commissariat").

In a display of close-minded arrogance that stands out even by her own standards and that of the insular EU, here's what Kroes had to say about a letter sent to the EU by 59 members of the United States Senate in support of Oracle's acquisition bid, as reported by the AP:

Kroes slammed the senators for "interfering in someone else's decisions rather than taking the most important decision that you have control over: improving health care."

"Is this really more important than fixing your own health care system?" she asked in a speech, adding that the senators needed to get their priorities straight.

How's that for open-mindedness? How's that for considering all the facts and all the evidence? How's that for fairness and big-picture views and impartiality?

Now, I've got my own issues with the United States Senate—if there's a rival anywhere in this world for the EU's leadership position in vacuous gasbaggery and detachment from reality, it is the United States Senate—but I'm not charged with adjudicating a process that has already cost thousands of Sun Microsystems' employees their jobs,and threatens those of thousands more. Could Kroes not even consider the input from a somewhat-parallel governing authority without utterly dismissing it?

SAP is based in Germany, so perhaps it feels its best self-interest is served by supporting its EU homeys. I think it's a huge mistake, but I can almost, in an un-global way, understand that. But Microsoft's attempt to use the EU as a shield in its own fight against Oracle is disgraceful, and it's one more reason why Microsoft has become, as I wrote earlier today, a slow-moving follower rather than a daring and hard-charging global leader.

You'll live to regret this, Microsoft, because next time you try to acquire somebody, the EU will lustily do to you exactly what it's doing to Oracle.

Steve Mills and IBM: well done!

Larry Ellison and Oracle: give 'em hell, Larry!


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GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

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