LONDON (Reuters) -U.S. software maker Oracle Corp. is considering launching a version of the Linux operating system and has looked at buying one of the two firms dominating the technology, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Monday.
The report, citing an interview with Oracle’s chief executive officer Larry Ellison, said the move would redraw the software landscape and open a new front in Oracle’s long rivalry with U.S. rival Microsoft Corp.
It said Ellison told the newspaper that Oracle wanted to sell a full range of software that, like Microsoft, included both operating system and applications.
“I’d like to have a complete stack,” Ellison was quoted as saying.
“We’re missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux.”
The report said that like IBM, Oracle has counted on Linux — an open source system whose code is open to anyone to view and adapt — to act as a counterweight to Microsoft’s Windows, which has expanded rapidly from desktop PCs into corporate IT systems.
As part of a recent study of the open-source software market, Ellison told the newspaper that Oracle had considered buying Novell Inc., which after Red Hat Inc. is the biggest distributor of Linux.