August 02, 2004

More open source

OSRM is continuing on the subtle FUD sales strategy by digging out the patent dirt on Linux. and coming out with somewhat unsubstantiated assertion that - Linux potentially infringes 283 patents.

Research conducted jointly by non-profit body Public Patent Foundation and OSRM is bound to raise some concerns among the customer community. This is a serious (somewhat subtle) claim and discounting the fact that any large software is bound to have some gray areas (where lawyers usually make their money) this can still get dragged into that interpretation area where FUD usually shines.

In a related open source news , SugarCRM (rel link) landed with $2ml funding from Draper. This coming shortly after the Black Duck announcement, overall it's a great time for open source business models. Wont be surprised if we hear some more exciting announcements tomorrow at the LinuxWorld. I will be there.

Are we seeing a mini bubble around open source business models ?

August 2, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

Open source - beyond software industry

This will be fun to listen to. Thomas Goetze , article editor in Wired Magazine will talk about the impact of open source movement beyond the software industry -

While open source collaboration is a known phenomenon in software, there are some surprising non-commercial projects in other areas that are yielding great results. You've probably heard of Project Gutenberg putting books online for free, and you know that a lot of science is done in an open fashion - and now open collaborative projects are solving crimes, mapping Mars, and responding to challenges in many other industries.

Will have to wait till this shows up on IT Conversations. Great site for listening to the interviews.

July 23, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Open source incivility?

Analyst firm Illuminata has this interesting comment on the geek arrogance and flame culture inherent in the open source community sites.

Some of the most influential members of the Open Source community have always been belligerent. Those questioning the purity and superiority of Open Source are commonly abused by the movement's alpha geeks, causing many who admired their accomplishments to deplore their behavior. Sure, plenty of other developers speak their mind without much sugar-coating; many are eccentric, acerbic, or anti-social; that's the way of the clan. But for the most part, discussions remain in the realm of reason, rather than invective (notwithstanding often abrupt responses to "stupid" newbie questions, or even the occasional Usenet "flame war"). ...

Sure it makes life easy if you know who is your external enemy and also your internal power hierarchy. It conserves energy. First it was Microsoft, then SCO, then Sun (where is open source Java ?) and now Redhat.

Also checkout Jonathan Schwartz's defense of Solaris, aptly titled - Competing Against A Social Movement . He should have this part of the business plan reviewed by Mr Innovator's Cure (aka Christensen). Unfortunately Solaris is caught on the wrong side of the movement. History is full of examples like that and who was that fellow who said - History repeats itself !

July 23, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004

Open source moving up the chain

Plenty of open source news. Most of them are confirming Frank Heckler's suggested business models around open source -

"Support Sellers," in which revenue comes from media distribution, branding, training, consulting, custom development, and post-sales support instead of traditional software licensing fees
"Loss Leader," where a no-charge open-source product is used as a loss leader for traditional commercial software
"Widget Frosting," for companies that are in business primarily to sell hardware but which use the open-source model for enabling software such as driver and interface code
"Accessorizing," for companies which distribute books, computer hardware and other physical items associated with and supportive of open-source software
"Service Enabler," where open-source software is created and distributed primarily to support access to revenue-generating on-line services
"Brand Licensing," in which a company charges other companies for the right to use its brand names and trademarks in creating derivative products
"Sell It, Free It," where a company's software products start out their product life cycle as traditional commercial products and then are continually converted to open-source products when appropriate
"Software Franchising," a combination of several of the preceding models (in particular "Brand Licensing" and "Support Sellers") in which a company authorizes others to use its brand names and trademarks in creating associated organizations doing custom software development in particular geographic areas or vertical markets, and supplies franchises with training and related services in exchange for franchise fees of some sort

Niku open sourcing their Workbench project managemet software (this one they got from acquisition). This is surely a good offensive strategy to counter Primavera on one hand and MS Project on the other hand. With PM software becoming absolute commodity this move wasn't surprising. Having spent 2 years in a company (current version of that company is Digite) which developed first PM software on the Unix platform I am glad there is finally a enterprise strength PM software in the open source domain. This will free-up lot of good talents who are still slogging over resource scheduling and PERT/CPM algorithms trying to eke out some elusive competitive advantage for their PM software vendors.

Related open source news where JBoss is trying to disrupt lot of proprietary software vendor business models by using the path of acquire-and-then-open-source-it.

JBoss is looking specifically to open-source, standards-based integration software, called an enterprise service bus, and business process management (BPM) software, which is server-based software for automating complex business processes, Bickel said. Currently, enterprise service bus and BPM software are offered by both large commercial software companies and smaller, specialized ones.

Also check out SugarCRM - open source CRM solution. Which from the user interface looks very much like the

July 19, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

It has always been about context

Phil Wainewright on the crucial pieces of Internet computing -

much of the data will be floating about for free, and the really important question is not going to be the data itself but how you view it. In short: Who will own the context? Jon is right to end up by highlighting vantage points, because owning data won't get you very far unless you can put it in a context that adds value. Doing exactly that of course is what has already made Google so much money

In my previous post I echoed Tim O'Reilly's point about the importance of data in future computing platforms. Data provides critical stickiness to the context, Traditionally users had access to context in one form or the other - either in a closed computing platforms (enterprise architectures) or publicly accessible computing architectures such as Yahoo and Google. What is dramatically changing this context is the data and analysis of that data (read semantic) provided by the network-centric computing platform. This emphasis on data and context managed around data will make next generation application architecture very compelling.

May 10, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 08, 2004

Rethink open source

Reading Tim's presentation on changing landscape of open source.

We need to reinvent open source in the age of the Internet

We are sort of on the same path in Apptility project, combining open source with web services. Data is absolutely key to any sustaining revenue-generating strategy . Rethink open source now, think data source !

Code is free, logic will be free with webservices, it's the data which will eventually rule and command premium. Challenge for open source based businesses is to generate strategies which promotes user participation and provides value-enhancing platform for them to share their data.

May 8, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2004


Very useful project - TEK , which stands for Time Equals Knowledge, is an email-based system designed to
deliver Web content to users in low-bandwidth and low-connectivity environments. The system has
three components. First, the TEK Server evaluates pages for relevant content, and performs clientspecific
selection, filtering, and compression of pages to improve the information density of the results.
Second, and most importantly, an asynchronous communication protocol allows users to interface with
the TEK Server using email instead of a full-fledged TCP connection. Third, the TEK Client provides
a user-interface that is integrated with a Web browser, thereby emulating the look-and-feel of the Web
even though e-mail is being used as the transport mechanism.

Download from here

May 2, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

Websphere open source ?

James Gosling's rational response to the IBM's challenge to Sun to make Java open-source -

Some have asked when, given IBM's apparent zeal for open source, DB2 and WebSphere will be open sourced: ask them, not me - it does seem unlikely

What if they really decide to open source WebSphere. Now that would be a very disruptive move, one that can derail Weblogic's growth and at the same time give JBoss a real run for their money. At the same time it can force HP and Sun on defensive in the emerging market for webservices.

Considering IBM Global Service's clout inside IBM and IBM's long-term commitment to the open source philosophy why would this be a hard-to-imagine move?

May 1, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2004

IT business 1/5th of the entire health care

Putting in perspective -

According to the research firm International Data Corp, U.S. corporations spent about $260 billion on Web hardware and software last year.

To put this into perspective, spending on health care totaled $1.3 trillion last year. So business software and hardware alone is about one-fifth the size of the entire health care industry. That's a huge amount of money to spend each year solving business needs. All this money can be directed to custom-built, non-proprietary solutions created by OSS software specialists

April 26, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Linux Desktop on the roll

Technology is usually ripe when financial community starts taking interest -

Prudential analyst Brent Thill recently bought a Lindows PC from Wal-Mart's Website. In a note to clients, Mr. Thill said that the system was easy to set up and to use. It cost $231 with shipping, which is about the list price for Microsoft PowerPoint. Mr. Thill predicts that within 3 to 5 years, the consumer applications, like games, will appear and Linux will start making a dent in Microsoft's pricing.

April 26, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack