jzemlin's blog

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Why Linux Market Growth Statistics Matter to Hackers

Today IDC announced their market sizing numbers showing revenues for servers running Linux or Windows outpaced the sales of the rest of the market in the final quarter of 2007. Linux grew at the fastest pace clocking double digit growth 11.6 percent in the quarter. Windows came in second at 6.9 percent growth. Everything else grew at rates of 1.5% or less. This is even more impressive for Linux since IDC and the other firms only count paid Linux server shipments.

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The Year of the Linux Desktop Turns Out to be the Year of the Linux Mainframe

Every year people in Linux predict the “year of the desktop.” I think this is a big year for desktop Linux, but last week there was an amazing announcement from IBM that people may have missed. IBM rolled out their new z10 mainframe running Linux and it does not disappoint. As the son of a software developer who worked on mainframes at Control Data Corporation and the grandson of one of the founders of Cray Research, I feel like I am reliving my childhood when I hear all the great things about centralized computing and mainframe technology.

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Ubuntu Brainstorm: What happens to the guy who takes the specifications from the customers and gives them to the engineers?

MARK SHUTTLEWORTH: So what you do is you take the specifications from the customers and you bring them down to the software engineers?

TOM: That, that’s right.

MARK SHUTTLEWORTH: Well, then I gotta ask, then why can’t the customers just take the specifications directly to the software people, huh?

TOM: Well, uh, uh, uh, because, uh, engineers are not good at dealing with customers.

MARK SHUTTLEWORTH: You physically take the specs from the customer?

TOM: Well, no, my, my secretary does that, or, or the fax.

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What does Intel’s Atom Announcement Mean to Linux

Last year (2007) saw over 20 million Linux-based phones ship to end-users in Asia, Europe and also North America. In 2008, Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung and other handset OEMs will handily outpace that number by 50% or more (Informa); Linux phones will account for at least a quarter of “smart phone” sales by 2010 (Informa, Diffusion) and will participate strongly in even higher volume feature phone and entry-level segments.

Driving this adoption has been a mix of factors unique to Linux as an embedded/mobile operating system:

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Disruptive Technology: Keep an eye on Linux plus Air, et. Al.

I attended the Adobe Engage conference this week in San Francisco and got a good look at the latest from Adobe. In his opening remarks the CEO of Adobe Shantanu Narayen described broad tends in the software industry that I agree with completely. First, in the Internet connected world web applications that leverage user created content are ruling the day. Call it Web 2.0 or whatever you like, but the value of applications these days are in their connectivity to other users and not their isolation on a desktop.

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It’s Been a Tough Week for Microsoft

It has been a tough week for Microsoft. This morning the E.U. announced it is imposing a 1.3 billion dollar fine on the company because Microsoft had “charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers” and that it had abused its dominant position under Article 82 of the EC Treaty. That is not something any company wants to hear the week after announcing, “new interoperability principles and actions will increase openness of key products” and on the day of Windows Server 2008’s “Heroes Happen Here” launch event.

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Ballmer Clarifies Microsoft Announcement

From Microsoft press conference announcing “new interoperability principles” this week:

BRAD SMITH: With respect to other (commercial) distributors, and users, the clear message is that patent licenses will be freely available.

STEVE BALLMER: Patents will be, not freely, will be available.

BRAD SMITH: Readily available.

STEVE BALLMER: Readily available for the right fee.

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Much ado about SCO

Much has already been made of a recent investment proposal filed by private equity firm Stephen Norris Capital Partners with the court overseeing the dwindling assets of the now bankrupt SCO Group. The story possesses all the ingredients of a sensational story: a high profile court case, an unnamed Middle Eastern investor, and a headline-grabbing $100 million dollar numbers.

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Barracuda Patent Case

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Another Billion Dollar Open Source Deal - Congratulations MySQL

Congratulations to all my friends at MySQL. This weeks acquisition by Sun Microsystems has once again validated the high value of open source as competitive strategy. In the financial markets we ended 2007 with SCO quietly being delisted from NASDAQ on December 27th and started the year just two weeks later with a Billion dollar acquisition of an open source software company. There is a lesson to be learned there.

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