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Microsoft opening up SQL database software to Linux to take on Oracle

Microsoft Corp planned on Monday to announce its move into a new business.

They have unvieled a database software that work on Linux. The said operating system has long been dominated by Oracle Corporation.

Microsoft’s new database product will work with the Linux operating system. This just shows that the are willing to work with the competing product, wherein which is a drastic change for their company who was once fiercly protective of their products line.

The strategy has been a hallmark of CEO Satya Nadella since he took over 2014.

In this era with vast amounts of data used by everybody, companies try to win more business by capturing the market with competitive products with certain edges among competitors and data management has been a critical need.

“If you look at the companies that are transforming and disrupting industries, it is often with data at the core,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for cloud and enterprise at Microsoft. “All of them are using data in a much richer way now to understand their customers.”

He cited electronic signature company DocuSign as a longstanding customer of SQL Server, the database product that is expanding to Linux. So is Renault Sport, which uses sensors that collect myriad data points to hone performance of Formula One racing teams.

Microsoft’s SQL Server business ranks behind No. 1 Oracle, which has more than 40 percent market share in database software and works with Linux, Adrian said.

Microsoft has 21.5 percent of the market, he said, pushing International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) from second to third place in 2013. The product is one of Microsoft’s biggest business lines. SAP SE (SAPG.DE) also competes in the area.

Until now, Microsoft on-premises database software worked only with its own Windows operating system. Now it will work with Linux, which has gained significant traction in recent years.

“Larry’s not going to lose any sleep,” said Adrian, referring to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, “but yes, they’ll notice it. It’s a significant competitive threat they didn’t have before.”

It was unclear how many customers Microsoft will win for its Linux product, which will be in preview mode until mid 2017.

Under Nadella, Microsoft has made many products compatible with other systems, including Apple’s iOS. Late last year, it opened its cloud service, Azure, to customers of Red Hat(RHT.N), a company that makes a popular version of Linux.

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