Oracle would have fared even better if it could find a way to sell more computer servers and other hardware, something it has been unsuccessfully trying to do since completing its $7.3 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. in 2010. The company's hardware revenue plunged 16 percent from last year.
In Tuesday's conference call, Ellison said some of the erosion in the hardware division has been by design as Oracle weeds out some of the less-profitable equipment. He assured analysts that hardware revenue will start increasing in the final quarter of Oracle's fiscal year — the period spanning from March through May. Sun's Java programming language already has been paying off for the software side of Oracle's business, according to Ellison.
"Sun has already proven to be the most strategic and profitable acquisition Oracle has ever made," he said.
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