re: Oracle's Bad Quarter Is Self-Inflicted
Here's my take as a writer who's covered Oracle, attended their OracleWorld user conferences several times (including the past 3) and has even written for their magazine, Profit: It's a sinking ship. A slowly sinking ship, to be sure--it's too big and mature of a company to just implode--but a sinking ship, nonetheless. I think all of the reasons cited by Doug, and more, are in play: nimble, innovative competitors; shifting market demands; a confusing and unconvincing cloud strategy; questionable decision making; misguided acquisitions; poor execution; lack of focus; etc. But in my opinion, one quality is eroding Oracle's standing in the market more than anything: arrogance. You can see it in Catz' comments, and it's long oozed out of Larry EIlison and trickled down through the organization. And all the pro-Oracle Forbes by-lines in the world by the aforementioned Bob Evans aren't going to change that. (Sorry, Bob, if you're reading this--speaking as a journalist, those pieces, while written with your typical aplomb, just strike me as icky.)
I think a comparison of OracleWorld with rival Salesforce's Dreamforce conference tells me everything I need to know: While Salesforce customers are exuberant cheerleaders for a vendor they've grown to love (Marc Benioff clearly can be arrogant, but he comes off as someone who really cares about his customers' best interests), Oracle customers are zombies in comparison. They come off as resigned to their fates; they're just marking time until they can rid themselves of the burden of Oracle technology and switch to something more nimble and less expensive.