Oracle will respond to the growing pressure from low-end opensource databases by releasing a free version of its own database.
The database heavyweight on Tuesday is expected to announce the beta release of Oracle 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), which will be generally available by the end of the year. It is targeted at students, small organizations and software vendors that could embed the Oracle database with an application.
The latest edition is the same as other databases in Oracle's lineup but is limited in usage. It can only run servers with one processor, with 4GB of disk memory and 1GB of memory.