March 23, 2005

Get patents to get respect

With due respect to Rodney Dangerfield.

Steven on Eweek quotes Darl McBride on the analogy between software patent issue and the  nuclear MAD-based (mutually assured destruction) tacit rule.

If I stretch this analogy further then what this tells me is that countries like North Korea,  Pakistan, India, Israel among others must continue their nuclear arsenal build up if they have to get any reasonable respect from those who have pocket ful of these weapons.   Comparing these countries to open source startups is just plain stupid but since the analogy has already been made between the open source patents controversy with the MAD rule I might as well get some fun out of it.

Point is software patents are bad. But you need to have it if you want to get some Rodney Dangerfield type of respect. In the courtroom when two parties are going to clash with their lawyers you better have your hand in your pocket with your own bunch of 2mm Pinfire USPTO cartridges otherwise you are toast.

It makes legal sense to tweak that little cookie  to the left to get that patently obvious patent but go ahead anyways to get that. Its better to get some respect in this world !  Right ?

Wrong. This thing got to stop.  We don't need MAD type arrangement to get respect in this world or to throttle innovation.

Does this mean all big companies are going to treat startups the way Condi is treating North Korea? Probably. We are just waiting for some big proprietary software  company CEO to blame non-Linux OS component for the misssed quarterly numbers, then the next round of legal issues will gain momentum.  Call them post-SCO legal issues.

March 23, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

Open source to dominate enterprise by 2007

Novell has rightly found the much needed momentum thanks to its focus on open source. More Redhat bungles more they stand to gain:

Citing IDC research that projects during the next few years that Linux will grow at the server level by 25pc and at the desktop level by 40pc, Messman said that today’s companies believe that they need to deploy Linux if they want to stay competitive, save money and optimise production.

Messman also quoted a chief information officer (CIO) magazine survey that reveled that 53pc of all CIOs stated that open source would be their dominant technology by 2007.

Thats the world we are preparing ourselves for. World in which  open source becomes the first vendor of choice.  Thats when you will see next major inflexion point in the IT world. It's coming and it's already there in some places (remember that quote - the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed !)

March 22, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

Your x-ray on ipod

User is setting the agenda. This is by far the most impressive example of how deep this open source and ipod phenomena has gone.

UCLA's Dr Osman Ratib, whose background is in medical imaging, wanted to find a way to sidestep the $100,000 workstations needed to view high resolution images that required 3D rendering. With help from programmer and fellow radiologist Dr Antoine Rosset, he created OsiriX, an open source application, to enable radiologists to teleconference with the images on Mac desktop systems.


"The platform has similar functionality [to the high-end workstations], it's accessible to the rest of the medical community and you don't have to spend $100,000, $200,000 to view the images," Ratib said.

Use whatever words you like - longtail or ipodding ! This is just the begining. Goodluck to all the people who still harbor ambition to build centralized architecture.

March 14, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

Open source sound bites

This one for sound bite sake.  Dan Frye from IBM on the economics of open source -

"It's a fundamental part of IBM's business. We're not into Linux and open source because it's cool. It's nice that it's cool, but it's good business. We're making billions."

As more and more companies jump onto this bandwagon, open source space is getting bubbly (or frothy !).  So much for "where's the business model" concern.

March 11, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2005


Add to this your MS-versus-Linux conspiracy list

If Microsoft actually produced an MS-Linux that was the standard Linux attached to the driver layer of Windows, giving users full Plug and Play (PnP) support of all their peripherals, nobody would buy any other Linux on the market. Well, except for the fact that Microsoft would be unable to produce such a product without allowing the other vendors access to the driver code as part of the open-source Linux license arrangement (GPL). You can be sure that Microsoft lawyers are studying this as closely as possible to see if there is any way they could market a dominant Linux distribution without killing themselves. So how could they do this?

John Dvorok is definitely making a right reference to Microsoft legal team's role in shaping the product management strategy.  This further proves the point that companies better start inviting lawyers in their product management and strategy meetings. 

February 26, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2005

Pervasive to support Postgres

Now I know why a friend of mine was constantly pushing me to keep an eye on Postgres. We had this Oracle-versus-Informix kind of discussion on this developing rivalry between Postgres and MySQL.   My point was that eventually a best-marketed technology wins in the marketplace not necessarily the one with the best technology.

Pervasive Software has decided to provide marketing and support services to Postgres database:

it will offer corporate customers support and training services for an annual subscription fee, ranging from $1,999 for a basic offering to $4,999 for round-the-clock support

Now Postgres has received corporate backer, it should see its adoption grow. For all who care about stored procedures and triggers, this is a great news. For those who keep open source dollar numbers this should come as a music -

..forecasts revenue associated with open-source databases will balloon from $130 million now to about $1 billion in 2008

Their decision to back Postgres is driven by it's BSD licensing, which allows derivative distributions.  This will keep MySQL's on their toes thats for sure.

Again customer wins !

January 10, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2005

Open Source Consortium

Coalition of over 60 European open-source service providers united to form an organization dubbed the Open Source Consortium (OSC).  Their hard to locate site is here and site does give you the impression of changing face of open source. Some nice pictures there.

Their charter as listed on the site:

OSC provides a full range of insurance and risk solutions for the Open Source industry to help members:

    * negotiate profitable contracts with clients;
    * raise capital;
    * acquire and retain quality staff;
    * invest proceeds intelligently;
    * maximise supply chain efficiency; and
    * understand and protect intellectual property rights.

This is an impressive effort by industry members. By forming this type of collective they can better deal with any FUD (and fud will come no doubt about it !) from those vendors who will loose revenue in this open source advance. Their effort (which is plain and simple to understand ) is refreshingly clear of any legalese.

Stacey Quandt analyst in Robert Frances Group comments on how this is different from OSDL.

"Unlike the Open Source Development Lab that is funded by vendors to promote Linux as an operating system, this organization is focused on promoting open-source software overall," she said.

The group claims to offer indemnity insurance , which is a hot topic in the open-source movement these days. But Quandt said it is difficult to discern from the entity's literature what its technical definition of open-source is. It does appear to be different from what Hewlett Packard and other vendors offer as indemnity insurance, she said.

I wish them all the luck. We should join this effort.

January 9, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2005

JBoss going beyond application server

Bill Burke, JBoss Chief Architect hints on more open source developer acquisitions in their roadmap:

we are turning into a professional open source company, rather than just an application server vendor. So what you might be seeing over the next year or so is you might see more products joining the professional open source umbrella. So that is what we hope to be doing over the next year.

In a way JBoss is going in the direction of loosely-joined group of developers. It is as if suddenly they found the good use of that venture money - run a watch-list on sourceforge, if a project is active with high percentile, if its java, if its not part of Apache Foundation then give that starving hack some money to join JBoss family.

Though this raises a business model question. If all they are doing is support and certification revenue then hawking this loosely coupled team of programmers will limit their scaling. Their idea of buying open source projects is to gain wider-developer community support. In all likelihood when they will grow up  they will look like this. They might add Gentoo or Debian in the mix down the road.

On other point, we cannot rule out the possibility of middleware stacks championed along specific licenses:. ASF stackLPGL stack etc. This will provide clear entry point for lot of business models.

January 8, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2005

Open Source ahead on the numbers

Great news for JBoss and Eclipse. Check the charts Eclipse and JBoss.

I am all for diversity and more choices in general, but looking at this long list of IDE I get a feeling that there are an awful number of developers wasting their time developing redundant code.  Why have three IDE - Eclipse, IBM Studio and NetBeans ?  And still no industrial strength IDE for LAMP stack ? Or for that matter no on-demand IDE ? Time has come for an on-demand IDE which will provide developers hosted environment and juicy compute power.
And do this for the LAMP market.

On the application server front, there are lot of surprises in store. This year we will get to know how Redhat's JoNAS and Apache's Geronimo takes off.  Battle is primarily around the control of middleware stack.   There will be many surprises around this.

Big companies wont sit idle.

January 6, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OS Trends

Our friend Bernard Golden has a funny take on the open source trends. Check it out.

January 6, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack