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Oracle did not want to let IBM get its hands on Java and Solaris, and
felt it had to react to what looks more and more like a thorough
restructuring of the computer industry. Since the early 1990s the
industry has resembled a cake made of horizontal layers of technology,
with each layer dominated by a few companies. Cisco, for instance,
provided most of the networking gear. Sun and HP sold servers. Oracle
was the leader in databases. IBM’s mainstay was services. SAP, a German
giant, ruled in business software.


Then Charles Philips, Sun's co-president, took over and
said Oracle would be "engineering a true system," and might even deploy
appliances that are geared for specific industries, complete with
application software, for customers, all pre-integrated, all ready to
Any of this sound familiar to you, AS/400 Faithful?"

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