| August 2003|
WHAT TIPS THE SCALES FOR AN OPEN DBMS?
How do those in PostgreSQL inner circles view the partnering of MySQL AB and SAP AG? Josh Berkus, a member of the PostgreSQL Core steering team, and Richard Huxton write that what may tip the balance against this partnership is that most misunderstood of Open Source elements: Community.
| June 2003|
HOW BRAVE IS YOUR CTO? HOW ENDEMIC IS YOUR CYA?
A senior executive and Open Source architect confesses to why fallacious TCO reports about “costly Linux” and tortured logic about the nature of “free” drive him crazy and don’t add up to his experience in working with servers, applications, and support. Oh yes, the confession: He’s still using a Windows desktop.
| May 2003|
TUX TO HBR
The Harvard Business Review has declared the strategic importance of IT over. We say nonsense! Their analysis rests on this tenet of proprietary software: To be strategic a resource must be scarce. As a result, IP must be owned, controlled and kept far from competitors. By their logic, knowledge can never be strategic and IT is nothing more than glorified data processing.
| May 2003|
While Microsoft executives celebrate the miracle of infinite productivity revealed in their SEC filing, they can raise another Merlot to a report from the Meta Group that projects Linux going nowhere on corporate desktops in the next 5 years. Why? Licenses don’t matter. Linux costs more to run. They say to beware ‘The Fallacy of Free.’ We don’t think so!
| April 2003|
"WE HAVE FULL LINUX SUPPORT"
Return of the installfest. Thanks a lot, guys. What openBench Labs sees is not pretty. While the buzz continues over Linux enterprise empowerment via hyper-threading, journaled file system advancements, streamlined TCP/IP networking stacks, and the like, the fact is that getting Linux up and running on new systems continues to place practitioners quite on their own. Jack Fegreus asks: This is solid Linux support?
| February 2003|
THE PENGUIN PATENTS
SCO Group shocker: It is "the majority owner of Unix intellectual property" and "has full rights to license this technology, and enforce the associated patents and copyrights." Now they've hired David Boies to protect that IP. How did we get here?
| January 2003|
IN THE BAZAAR
From what Eric Raymond calls proprietary tinsel to revenue streams that are coming in from MySQL’s dual licensing model, Open Source business models are coming of age. Researcher Mikko Välimäki reveals what he’s learned about Open Source licensing schemes and the almighty copyright.
| January 2003|
AT THE BAZAAR
Microsoft to put its Core Server products on Linux by next year? That’s the prediction that Meta Group voiced, setting off a ruckus of commentary from Redmond to Reykjavik. Open’s Jack Fegreus gives pause: Set aside the technical issues, assess the programming costs in a proprietary environment, and compare the price structure of Openexchange. It's the margins, stupid.
The now famous letter from a Peruvian congressman that tackles Open Source prophecies of doom is the focus of an illuminating presentation of point-counterpoint, pitting Microsoft's arguments against a reasoned analysis of Open Source.
MICROSOFT AND THE 'D' WORD
Forget about the US Justice Dept., forget about the EU Commission on Competition, but don't forget Fed Chairman Greenspan who warned businesses now have "no pricing power." The deflationary "Wal*Mart economy" is what really threatens Microsoft. It doesn't matter if MS is a monopoly. What matters is no company in the MS distribution chain is a monopoly. This is the Achilles' heel of the MS desktop domination strategy.
TRADE SECRET UPROAR
SCO Group drops the next shocker: After engaging a lawyer to protect its almighty intellectual property aka UNIX, it now is going after IBM in a lawsuit accusing IBM of dumping proprietary information acquired from UNIX into the Open Source community. What’s to be made of all this? Jack Fegreus comments on the legal concept of trade secrets and what the courts typically examine.
Gazing into its glassy depths, it feels more like looking backwards, not forwards? With the OMB, the Fed, and others admitting that the United States is in recession, new Middle Eastern conflicts, and a Bush in the White House, it feels like 1991 all over again. And that’s great news for those who are in the business of embedded and pervasive computing.
E-EUROPE PEGS FUTURE ON OPEN SOURCE
The European Commission plans to make the European Union nothing less than the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. How do they plan to surpass the US? The plan is already in motion. The latest phase is called eEurope 2005 and it calls for an all-out adoption of Open Source software.....Ciao Redmond!
THE PROPRIETARY MIND
The dynamic of Yin and Yang for the ancient Chinese told how the universe worked. Today, the Yin and Yang that polarize software arise out the confrontation of the proprietary with the free models. But as magical as the ancient Chinese theory of Yin and Yang is mystical, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics too is making its impact. Read how the DoD makes this connection while Congress and the DoJ languish.
Jack Fegreus argues that if cash is king, Microsoft is gearing up to rule the universe. So how much cash does Microsoft have? Microsoft's cash assets nest egg is now 4 times bigger than all the bullion in Fort Knox. Follow this discussion for insights into traffic patterns between Microsoft’s spending and the new Law of Diminishing Returns as it now applies to your choices in applications software.
The King is dead. Content no longer rules the Internet. The new seat of power rests firmly on who controls the digital Personal Identity Information, So when the White House Info Czar spoke at a Microsoft conference and admitted to considering Passport as a contender for authentication on all government G2B and G2C web sites, passions were fanned. With billions of dollars at stake, what alternatives are open?
AND MAYBE GREEN
When Open recently examined the pitfalls and promise of embedded Linux. we received a batch of letters either trumping up or trampling upon the embedded Linux market picture. Now two embedded-software insiders make their arguments for and against embedded Linux providing a telling primer.
Before the morning latte loses its foam and you assume ALSA is a Helsinki rock group, see what tour guide Franco Vitaliano has to say about a 36 Channel digital audio multitrack system, vis à vis drivers that support a Linux Open Sound system and Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. Learn why he says that choosing Linux for a consumer electronics-oriented home server is making increasingly good market sense, with all the right add-on baubles starting to appear. Take a detailed tour of all that’s available for A/V connoisseurs, including advanced video on demand, streaming video applications, and new TV functions emanating from SuSE v7.3.
Franco Vitaliano believes he has the Perfect Plan for destroying Microsoft. All you do is buy an Xbox, not one but several hundred million of them, please. Vitaliano, truly enjoying the comedy of the Xbox marketing strategies, figures they’re just too funny not to share in this week’s look at vendor pricing weapons in the latest Game Wars.
THE UNITED COLORS OF LINUX
Will UnitedLinux generate a useless ACE or a Linux winning hand? Open columnist Bill Weinberg looks at the fames and fortunes of Linux distributors SuSE, Turbolinux, Caldera, and Conectiva, who last week announced their move to back a common distribution called UnitedLinux, to decide.
LINDOWS GETS OUT OF JAIL FREE
Franco Vitaliano explores the rules of Microsoft and the rules of Monopoly and why neither is a good tool for teaching Capitalism 101. Just ask the Lindows people, as they emerge from a ruling where Microsoft has not got its way in a trademark lawsuit.
THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS
Microsoft and Unisys launched a web site allegedly to spur migration out of Unix to Windows 2000. But was it just a ruse? The great PT Barnum once had a cash flow problem with too successful side show. He needed to make people leave the tent to make room for paying customers. So Barnum told the throng, “This Way to the Egress.” See how the new server blade revolution brings licensing-cost pressures that will be showing Microsoft the final way out.
Open Source in China:
Opportunity or Crisis?
Returning from a whirlwind tour of five cities in 12 days, MontaVista strategist Bill Weinberg discovers a yin and yang between intense Linux interest and intense use of Windows in China. Pooling observations there from packed-house seminars, customer visits, and conferences, Weinberg wrestles with the big question: Are embedded developers flocking to Linux?
GPL: THE TEST CASE THAT NEVER WAS
Don’t tell FreeBSD advocate Ted Mittelstaedt that the GNU General Public License emerged victorious in the courts of law from the MySQL AB vs. NuSphere court dispute. Mittelstaedt argues that, as far as the GPL is concerned, this is the test case that never was.
SHOULD GATES PLAY CANUTE?
Yet another report of Microsoft seeking to obstruct Open Source justice broke in The Washington Post last week, saying Microsoft was lobbying against the government use of Open Source software. Find out why we see something close to picking wings off a lame butterfly and even less between the lines.
RUNNING WITH SALMON
Not long ago, we thought we had a real corner on wisdom but then the Information Superhighway revealed itself to be no more than a super river with dire straits. Read this analysis to understand the question being asked by some in the government who fear a clear and present danger to the digital economy.
EULA, EULA, WHERE'S THE MOOLA?
A new danger zone to your control over your own business future is the topic of a provocative piece on Open Source software by consultant and author, Russell Pavlicek. Find out why IT managers in public and private organizations aren’t exactly EULA-lating over Microsoft’s licensing agreements and the draconian directives issued to hapless users.
THE POISON PAWN
Vacating Judge Jackson's remedy was no victory for Microsoft. If you play chess, think poison pawn.
As the EU Competition Commission threatens to level a fine against Microsoft that could be as high as $2.5B, the political significance of this event is dwarfed by the economic importance. The economics of the pure-proprietary model are coming into question just as Sun readies the release of the Open-Sourced Star Office 6.0.
EMBEDDED'S ECONOMICS OF GLOBALIZATION
Rules of the embedded market game: Expect no rules, only a unique story of a complex quilt of embedded players doing business in cross-border deals amidst blurring lines between devices that are completely homegrown and imports. What’s redefining the playing field: Open Source.
BRAZIL SAMBAS WITH LINUX Muito legal
Our pervasive computing columnist recently returned from Brazil with eye-opening observations on why serious private and public software users are banking on Linux and not Windows.
OF ARMS AND LINUX
Linux and Open Source are making their way into the arsenal of the 21st-century soldier. Columnist Bill Weinberg presents an overview of what has made defense contractors more willing than ever to place confidence in Linux and where embedded Linux is used.
JUST ADD LINUX
IBM’s Scott Handy is tracing the impact of Linux on existing IT vendor channels everywhere in the industry. Mixing and matching commercially licensed software on top of Linux, Apache, and other key Open Source technologies will shape the next wave of market growth.
THE KUMBAYA VIRUS
If Open Source is to have any meaning, then the current moves to rationalize Microsoft's “shared source” charade with Open Source in the spirit of 'getting along' make sense only if you lack eXPerience.
WHY LINUX NEEDS A HAL
The greatest contributions of the Industrial Revolution were standardization and interchangeable parts. Linux, for all its flexibility and portability, still feels like a flintlock factory when it comes to retargeting it across new systems, boards, and CPUs.
THE NEW MODEL ORDER
An overview of three Open Source licenses in snapshot view is presented and followed by a statement about the MPL license as a landmark for Open Source, and why it remains to be a particularly robust legal framework.
THE CONNECTION ECONOMY
In the eyes of Geoff Cohen, Senior Consultant, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, the post New Economy is the Connection Economy where empowering the edge of the network means employees, customers, and partners must be able to make decisions and changes on their own.