Oracle unquestionably is the 800-pound gorilla of database companies. For more than a quarter of a century it has specialized in relational database management software (RDBMS), building its revenue up into the $10 billion range. According to IDC, Oracle had 39.4% market share in 2002, compared with 33.6% for IBM/Informix and 11% for Microsoft.
But as any silverback (an older, usually dominant male gorilla with gray or whitish hair on the back) knows, there will always be younger rival ready to challenge for leadership. In this case it's Microsoft SQL Server. Once considered a lightweight database for small business, SQL Server has bulked up and is starting to make forays into Oracle's enterprise market territory.
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