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Gates on Oracle and Siebel: 'You get deals.'

On this week's merger announcement, Bill Gates explains why it's a "brilliant forecast."

In an interview last week with CNET News.com, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates reflected on Oracle's planned acquisition of Siebel Systems.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison "forecast big consolidation, and he wanted to see that come true, so he's making it come true. It's a brilliant forecast. If the next three people under you don't write code but they do deals, what do you get? You get deals. They will probably do more deals than anybody, and we'll write more code than anybody. We've been very serious about our CRM (customer relationship management software) plans, including scaling that up to very demanding cases," he said.

"SAP is very strong in CRM and a good partner. Siebel was the original leader in CRM, and we have a good relationship with them. We'll maintain that, even though they are part of Oracle. A lot of what CRM is about is work flow, and we're building work flow deep into the cloud. You would have to say that CRM as a whole has not fulfilled some of the promise that was out there. So the fact that it is being repartitioned as an assumed part of Office and the platform--lots of it--I don't think that is too surprising. It never emerged as a clear-cut thing by itself quite the way that some people expected.," he added.