- Last week, Oracle laid off 2,500 employees across the U.S. and in India, in effect shutting down development for Sun products, according to a report from TheLayoff.com. The company declined to comment.
- The layoffs impacted units working on SPARC, Solaris and storage Sun products, according to the report. Cuts to the Solaris product line essentially eliminated 90% of the engineering organization, leaving the fate of the Unix operating system uncertain, ZDNet reports, based on a blog post from Bryan Cantrill, a former Sun Microsystems executive.
- As Oracle changes how it approaches some product lines, it is also ramping up hiring in the cloud. Last week, the company said it planned to hire 5,000 cloud professionals in the U.S., including new engineers, consultants, sales and support staff.
Reports have churned out since last week about layoffs at Oracle effectively marking the end of Sun product development. But the news doesn't come as a real surprise. Oracle previously signaled changes to the Sun product line when in January, after laying off 450 hardware systems employees, the company said it was refocusing its hardware business.
Since Oracle acquired Sun Micrsosystems in 2010, critics have highlighted the inherent tension between proprietary and open source development. One of Sun's signature products, Java, has been at the center of a long-standing fair use debate between Oracle and Google.
The case, which dates back to 2010, has gone back and forth in court. Last May, a judge decided Google's use of Java in its Android operating systems falls under the Copyright Act's fair use policies. Oracle has since filed an appeal.
Focus on Sun product lines aside, Oracle has made a concerted effort to boost cloud development, reshaping its core product portfolio to better reflect how companies are adopting technology in the modern computing era.
Last year, when announcing increased Infrastructure as a Service efforts, Oracle CTO Larry Ellison said the company's cloud would challenge Amazon Web Services' (AWS) lead. Oracle is still a long way from catching up to AWS, but its cloud revenue is showing strong growth and the company's leadership shifts reflect the push into the cloud market.