I was surprised that my pondering if Oracle was cool again got so much attention, the piece from turning around my comment to ask if Oracle is as cutting edge and risk taking as google I think was intentionally provocative, but I'll bite.
So what do Google and Oracle do, where do they make money? Oracle sells software and associated services to enterprises, a company thinks Oracle software can improve the way they run their business so they pony up for the license fee. I see Google as more like a broadcaster, like TV and radio stations they provide content that attracts viewers who they advertise to. When internet habits change and traffic moves to other sites, google need to own those sites to keep their ratings up.
I find it laughable, that somehow google is seen as cutting edge because it has some consumer level widgets and office tools that it gives away free, Now full disclosure here, I work in financial applications development, that takes enterprise apps (yawn) mixes it with accounting (bigger yawn) to make possibly the world's least interesting job, I can clear a room talking about the finer points of Intercompany transactions and transfer pricing and the software we write to support it. However I'm not trying to be cool and from what I see google tries a bit too hard.
Google does try to be cool and cutting edge and people give them a lot of kudos for some things like google widgets, Google docs and other stuff on google labs. For me, half the stuff on labs.google.com looks like the results of a college project with a big hardware budget. Google docs, big deal, I put numbers in a spreadsheet and add them up, presentation software - type things in small and display them bigger - hardly cutting edge stuff.
And what has Google been doing with web 2.0? It bought blogger.com, feedburner and more. Google video was a bit late to the party so they bought youtube. Social networking? the check book has been out there too. Hey I hear you saying, what about Google Earth and maps? The technology used in that came from an acquired company. There is a long list of acquisitions Google has done when they needed technology, expertise or customers (ie. web traffic). They are also splashing 3 billion on doubleclick advertising.
Hey Google! You and Oracle aren't so different after all - are we both cool, or both large established players protecting their turf using the cash flow from their market leading products?
Do you agree or think I have no idea what I'm talking about? Sound off in the comments.