Thanks to Jamie who spotted that Oracle are changing their licensing model from per core to per socket. This brings them into line with the Microsoft model and once again changes the competitive landscape. (Source The Register) (Oracle PDF)
One thing to note is that this only applied to their Standard and Standard One versions but it is retroactive which should cause some interesting financial negotiations with suppliers.
To be honest with the road maps from Intel and AMD clearly showing Quad core and above this had to come or Oracle would have priced themselves out of the market.
My opinion is that even with this change Oracle faces an uphill value argument which is probably why they are so aggressively changing the application market. It has always been my contention that very few companies buy databases, they buy applications that happen to use a database.
Anyway I know that a number of people will need to change their competitive advantage slides that showed how much cheaper SQL Server was.