jzemlin's blog

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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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Looking forward to 2008

Happy New Year from the Linux Foundation! It’s been an exciting and busy first year for the organization. In the last year we focused on promoting, protecting and standardizing the Linux platform. We’ve seen Linux continue to expand with growth in the server, desktop and mobile areas.

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Open source alone won’t give us the freedom we want.

A recent report titled “Roadmap for Open ICT Ecosystems” developed at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard law school based in part on input from 13 different countries suggests that government policies should “mandate technology choice, not software development models.”

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Massachusetts Gets the Importance of Open Standards

This weeks Forbes covers how Massachusetts decided that they are planning to move away from Micorsoft Office and is planning to order all state employees to create and save documents using only open format software.

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How Linux Could Overthrow Microsoft

In an interesting article from ZDNet, John Carroll catalogues what he thinks Linux needs to compete with the Microsoft ecosystem. He says,

Ecosystems are essentially standards that extend across software markets. They simplify development by lowering costs, shortening development timeframes and leveraging knowledge across markets.

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