In their looming confrontation for enterprise-applications customers, Microsoft and Oracle are also starting out by approaching customers from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Ellison, a vocal critic of complexity in corporate software installations, argues for a simple strategy with the database at the data centre hosting a variety of business applications sitting on top.
In contrast, everything at Microsoft is based around the Windows operating system. If Microsoft holds true to form, however, it is only a matter of time before the company "integrates" everything but the kitchen sink on top of the Office software suite that it sells to corporations.
Two very different approaches from two very different software companies. Customers don't need to choose one over the other just yet. But one day in the not-too-distant future, the issue will be forced upon them.