Oracle Corp will release its own distribution of Linux with Oracle8 on a single CD. The company will also provide full Linux support as well as support for the database running on Linux, VP Mark Jarvis explained. This is a first for Oracle, Jarvis says. He calls the port to the open source operating system the most popular announcement we’ve ever made in the history of the company noting that 22,300 developers signed up for the Oracle8- on-Linux developer program in its first ten days. At that point we started to realize that Linux is a credible alternative to NT, says Jarvis. However he believes that stamp of approval works both ways: We’ve given it credibility. Linux’s credibility is dependent on big companies like Oracle stepping up and supporting it. None of this should be taken to mean that Oracle is pulling away from Microsoft, Jarvis says. NT is still our fastest growing platform, he pointed out. He added that most people fail to appreciate that Oracle’s databases run on all Microsoft operating systems, from WinCE on up – a claim Microsoft can’t match with its SQL server, which runs only on NT. Because Oracle wants to concentrate on selling and supporting its database and applications software, the company has said it will spin off its Business Online web application hosting division later this year. By spinning it off, we ensure that its ability to move rapidly and execute is greater, Jarvis claims. He’s unfazed by rival Informix’s announcement that it is moving in the other direction, acquiring data warehousing expert Red Brick. So a dead database company buys a dead data warehousing company, he sniffs, how should that affect Oracle?