Oracle sees software growth

■ Oracle’s hardware sales are expected to drop further after tumbling 24 per cent from a year ago, the software maker said last night, as it strives to turn around its Sun computer division amid tight technology budgets. The company run by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison reported yesterday that hardware product sales fell to $779m (£480m) in its fiscal first quarter ended 31 August. It had forecast a decline of seven to 17 per cent.