Quiz Of The Week: Oracle

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Oracle is a software and hardware giant. How well do you know it?

After a busy week, in which Oracle made deals with Salesforce, Netsuite and Microsoft to spread its software across the cloud, let’s test your knowledge of the software and hardware empire that Larry Ellison built.

Oracle’s origins in 1977 are the stuff of tech legend, but its growth has been a tale of dominance in one market – database software – astutely turned into power in pretty much every other part of the industry.

oracle founders

Larry’s legions

Oracle’s come a long way since this first-anniversary photo, which shows a fresh-based Larry Ellison on the right, next to Bob Miner, the database genius who built the early Oracle software. Also shown are co-founder Ed Oates, and Bruce Scott.

The company grew quickly, by exploiting the data handling abilities of mainframes from IBM and its then-rival Digital Equipment, and the potential for relational databases opened up by new standards. It was one of an early wave of stock-market tech flotations and grew from there.

Oracle has swallowed competitors, while hiring and firing tens of thousands of staff. It’s been the source and target of many a lawsuit, and has executed dozens of clever market-changing moves. Its shifts of allegiances and rivalry  make Game of Thrones look like Pride and Prejudice.

This week’s alliance with Salesforce.com is only the latest surprise from the company. It will be followed by many more as Larry’s legions continue to storm every citadel in the industry.

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