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Google and Oracle’s Uber Boost Reignites a Classic Tech Debate

Photo: Photo by Bloomberg

Another Travis Kalanick legacy is disappearing from Uber. The ride-hailing and food-delivery firm revealed on Monday that it was shifting most of its computing work off its own data centers to the public cloud, reversing an Uber policy that has been in place since the company’s earliest days under co-founder Kalanick.  That’s a big deal, and it’s likely to revive a long-simmering debate in tech: whether the cloud is cheaper for companies than running their own data centers. It’s also significant for Oracle and Google Cloud, which are picking up Uber’s business.

The two firms are the runts of the cloud business, particularly Oracle. Thanks to its late start in cloud, Oracle’s market share is so small that it didn’t make the top five firms in Gartner’s most recent global market analysis (which includes Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba and Huawei). Instead Oracle got lumped in with also-rans like IBM in the “other” category. But Oracle’s had a couple of other cloud wins lately, including participating with AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud in a Defense Department cloud deal, as well as winning TikTok’s business as the social media app tries to distance itself from its Chinese parent, ByteDance. Perhaps it’s time for rivals to take it more seriously.

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