And to assure that Oracle has a place in that future, the company will give Linux developers free versions of its new flagship "Internet database" Oracle 8i software, said Mark Jarvis, head of worldwide marketing for Oracle, during a keynote address today at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here.
Oracle 8i will be available for the Linux operating system in 60 days, and Oracle will make the software free for developers in 30 days, the company said.
Oracle has 1,465 Linux servers in use in the company--one out of every 10--Jarvis said. Oracle is working to help Linux scale so it can be used on bigger and bigger systems, leading to a world where Linux is on big servers instead of lots of little servers, Jarvis said.
Jarvis, liberally plugging Oracle 8i and slamming Microsoft during his talk, said Oracle is the database that powers Amazon.com, the CIA, and the KGB.
Oracle 8i comes with a Java virtual machine that can handle as many as 10,000 users, Jarvis said, and within three years, Java will be the dominant technology in the computer world. "We're betting on Java," he said.
To support Java, Oracle is giving away two versions of Java development software, one for professional programmers and one for "Sunday programmers," he said.
Java, Oracle, and Linux will be key in moving to a world where people do their computing with simple Internet browsers connected to powerful servers over the Internet, he said. The approach saves money, makes it easier to backup data or upgrade software, and typifies what is being done today on the Internet's most powerful sites, he said.
You don't need a CD-ROM of software to use Amazon.com, he said.
Linux is a Unix-like operating system developed by Linus Torvalds and countless other programmers across the Internet. It's growing both in popularity and reputation, and most of the computing industry has moved to embrace it in one way or another in recent months.