Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Oracle Gets Even (Flow) With Pearl Jam at OpenWorld

Summer is almost over, and like the days of “back to school” when you were a kid, tech companies are readying their slate of fall events, where they woo customers and developers and generally show off how great they are.

One of the bigger ones is Oracle’s OpenWorld, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 in San Francisco. The software giant just announced on its Web site that it has hired Pearl Jam to play an event on Oct. 3, with Kings of Leon also on the bill. They join Oracle’s expanding roster of big-name acts, which includes Sting, who played at OpenWorld in May of 2011.

That makes the fall start to look like a battle of the bands from the early 1990s. Salesforce.com has its own Dreamforce event running Sept. 18 to 22, and the company has hired the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were preceded by Metallica last year, and Stevie Wonder the year before that.

If last year’s OpenWorld is any indicator, there may be some fireworks. Remember that Oracle booted Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff from its keynote stage during last October’s OpenWorld. The kerfuffle was a high-profile blip in a complicated, slowly simmering feud between Benioff and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Benioff later made it sound like an argument in a high-school cafeteria, saying it had something to do with something he said about Ellison on Facebook. Given how close the events are on the calendar, they’ll probably find ways to tweak each other in public.

Below is Pearl Jam’s 2009 video “Amongst the Waves,” which is the video Oracle has embedded on its conference-promotion site:


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