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August 18, 2004

Middleware round

If the spread of Open Source is a 4 round boxing match then we are into it's third round - call it the Middleware round.

Initial two rounds were obviously OS (Linux/BSD) and Database (MySQL/PostgreSQL). Like boxing, as you go further along the rounds, excitement grows and there is more probability of competitors getting knocked out. Those who gained in the first two rounds are eager to play one-up in the next round. Redhat's move to undermine JBoss on support revenue by bundling ObjectWeb's app server is a step in that direction.

Novell (now fully se***-up) after the Suse acquisition is now aiming to plug all the middleware holes and ready to sing a better complete-stack story against Redhat. Joint announcement with JBoss is meant to undermine Redhat ambitions. IBM is surely in a peculiar position where much of IBM GS charm is riding on the websphere based services. With HP ( and now Novell) pushing their weight behind JBoss it would be interesting to see which way customers put their weight on the middleware choice. Here is a quick equation -

White box + [ OS + Database + Middleware + Applications ] = Services Revenue

So far in first two rounds, it was the OS and Database which was getting heavily subsidized. Now we are into the middleware round and the battle for services revenue is in full swing.

Expect flurry of activities in coming months around this space. Vendors who are short on Linux story (Sun, HP, Oracle, CA and others - where Sun and HP are suddenly looking stupid for not buying Suse when the weather was fine ) may go for some disruptive (read desperate) partnership initiatives.

There is a similar desperation going on in the music world.

August 18, 2004 in Open source | Permalink

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