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Why Larry Ellison’s continued criticism of AWS is tech’s biggest case of fake news

James Henderson | March 17, 2017
In this case, cloud is centrepiece and Oracle is the culprit.

Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison

As the deliberate spread of misinformation continues to dominate news feeds, social media and mainstream outlets, the intention to delude has now entered the technology industry in full force.

Spearheaded by a software supremo with an ego, one-time throw away brash comments are fast turning into concrete slabs of truth, creating a misguided view of the market as a consequence.

In this case, cloud is centrepiece and Oracle is the culprit.

For Larry Ellison lives off the belief that ‘a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on’.

But after all, this is man famed for outlandish comments, as illustrated by his bold predictions in 1993.

"IBM is the past. Microsoft is the present. Oracle is the future."

Or perhaps his more recent ramblings about cloud, as summarised expertly by CBR Online - “First he hated it, then he invented it and now he leads the market.”

Because during the vendor’s recent quarterly earnings call, the founder and CTO’s continued his criticism of Amazon Web Services (AWS) attempted to paint a very different picture to the cloud market today.

In Ellison’s world, Oracle now has “a huge technology lead” over AWS, alongside Microsoft Azure, through a “faster and lower cost” approach to the market.

Yet rather inconveniently for the software vendor, AWS and Microsoft are racing away in the cloud, with both businesses reporting bumper sales as industry competitors struggle to keep pace.

As reported by Business Insider Australia, AWS finished 2016 with $15.67 billion in revenue, alongside $4.05 billion in operating income profit.

Likewise, Microsoft - which doesn’t report Azure breakdowns specifically - reported that “commercial cloud annualised revenue run rate exceeds $18.29 billion.”

And of those frantically hanging onto the coattails, Oracle isn’t one of them.

Because despite the overwhelming dominance of AWS - in holding a market majority of over 40 per cent - Microsoft, Google and IBM are gaining ground in the burgeoning public cloud services market, at the expense of smaller players across the industry.

As reported by ARN, in aggregate the three closest competitors to AWS have increased worldwide market share by almost five percentage points over the last year and together now account for 23 per cent of the total public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market, helped by particularly strong growth at Microsoft and Google.

In examining the race for public cloud leadership, it must be galling for Ellison to see Oracle labelled in the “next 10” category, rather than as a standalone player, such is the vendor’s minuscule market share.


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