Tagged: OpenSource

IBM and the Office Client

Standards Blog provides some useful information on the Workplace Office client.  The context is a series of articles looking at various ODF clients of which Workplace Managed Client is one. I’m pleased to see that IBM are now picking up speed in their attempts to engage with their community through...

Peer review in the Microsoft Open Source labs

Microsoft needs to work extra hard to win over members of the Open Source community and their Open Source Software Lab is at the forefront of that work.  One of their recent proposals is to effectively open up their entire research plan to peer review to make sure that they...

VMware Player – innovation in action

It’s a simple idea,  but I suspect that the VMware player is going to create disruptive ripples throughout the desktop computing industry,  we thought we liked Linux Live Distro’s well imagine being able to download a myriad different pre-build VMware environments and run them on your normal PC, (memory allowing...

Open Source and The Mythical Man Month!

This is a re-post of my original article, modified to reflect clarifications that I received from the author,  which were very much appreciated.  In fact the author spent some time developing a response which he kindly sent to me rather than posting as a comment.  However having read the comments,  I still thought that a slightly modified article had something useful to say so I made these updates and reposted.


CollaborationNic just blogged on an interesting article published by IBM titled “Opening minds: Cultural change with the introduction of open-source collaboration methods”. 

It’s message centred around the concept that there are two cultural models, the Traditional Approach and the Open-Source Approach.  I mistakenly thought that the traditional approach was described by the classic book “The Mythical man Month”, the Open Source approach by Linus.  However the author has pointed out to me that only certain elements of the approach described in the Mythical Man Month are actualy being referred to in the article.  The following table from the article describes the key differences:

Traditional Approach

Open-Source Approach

Brooks’ Law

Linus’ Law













Uses and misuses of collaborative technology

EcommunicationsI am working on refreshing a great guide that my companies research team produced on this topic a few years ago.  I have some interesting material, and recently came across this book which seems to address a small part of the subject area pretty well.  I ordered it from Amazon.com today, so it should arrive in the UK early next week.

Get the most out of conference calls—whether you’re a presenter or participant
Turn web conferences and videoconferences into results-getting virtual meetings
A checklist of things to remember before you send your next e-mail
Deal with all the e-mail you receive
Use instant messaging to connect with virtual teams
Do’s and don’ts when using voice mail
Conduct virtual job interviews
Prepare for and conduct the conference call, and tips for following up
Minimize your legal liability when using electronic communication

Could Microsoft Kill Linux?

I have speculated before on the subject of Microsoft’s options concerning competing with Linux, but it seems to receive little serious debate, so I thought I must be off track, either technically or commercially.  In my view Microsoft would extend its Services For Unix product to comply with the Linux Standard Base requirements and would therefore support Linux applications.  For many corporates this would be a dream come true, access to all of the Open Source applications that support either Windows, Linux or both, and of course it would also benefit both users and developers.  However Microsoft have told me they have no interest in doing this (but they would wouldn’t they).  So in that context it’s interesting to see this article by John Dvorak, How to Kill Linux, where he says:

The immediate usefulness of Linux running under Windows is obvious. You can use all the Windows drivers for all the peripherals that don’t run under Linux. Drivers have always been an issue with Linux as PC users have gotten spoiled with Windows driver support. Today’s user wants to grab just about anything and not worry about installing it and making it work.

That said, there is no …

Beagle – innovation in action

Its great tgo see that even in a application space dominated by the big boys MS, Google, yahoo etc there is room for innovation, check out Beagle on Linux http://nat.org/demos/, great UI, Command Line, API etc.  Of course being a die hard X1 user it won’t tempt me, especially now...

Jonathan does it again

Yet again Jonathan Scwartz continues his policy of openly and very clearly describing Sun’s strategy for all to see.  I have never seen the like of it before, although I can only commend him for it.   As always I strongly recommend that you read his blog regularly, but here are a few snipits from his latest post which I liked:

On his positioning of the role of Linux today:

But let’s be clear. Do I expect an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs to pick up the Java Desktop System? No. No way. He’s not our target demographic, not a route to make 120 million into 1.2 billion. A call center in Bangalore, a factory in Tennessee, a generation of kids that care more about ringtones than Win32 legacy? Dedicated internet terminals in shopping malls, touch screens in phone booths, the world’s academic environments? There’s a market calling.

Which I found interesting because many of these applications are best served by embedded or thin client approaches rather than a full Linux distro.

Why is music download on phones measured in the billions of dollars (vs. the paltry music download business on PCs, even with iTunes)? Because phones are authenticated (with a …

Help me understand how Microsoft might respond to Linux!

I have been asking myself the following question:


If Linux begins to capture significant desktop market share what options are open to Microsoft? 


In this article I have listed my initial ideas, and it would be great to get some feedback on the technical feasibility (some of them maybe plain crazy) and political acceptability of the options within Microsoft.  It might also be interesting to get feedback on how the Open Source and business communities might respond.


Here is my headline list, with each option described in more detail later:


  • “bet the company” on strategies to retain the consumer market
  • Make Windows a better host for Linux applications
  • Make Windows a better server for Linux Desktops
  • Make Linux a better host for Windows Applications
  • Make .NET the most attractive Linux Development Platform
  • Make Windows a better client to Linux Servers
  • Make Windows appeal to Open Source developers
  • Win the TCO and Security debate
  • Reduce the cost of Windows and Office


Retain the consumer market


  1. I have already blogged on this here

Make Windows a better host for Linux applications


  1. Purchase an existing X Server product to integrate into Windows Services For Unix…

The future of OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.Org have published their marketting plan.  ZDNet UK has a good article on the topic.  The full plan can be found online here.  I particularly liked the following quote:

“Microsoft, our major competitor, has a marketing budget of five to 10 billion US dollars, while we have 25 cents in a PayPal account,” said McCreesh.

OpenOffice.org have identified the following target markets:

According to the OpenOffice marketing plan, the main markets for the office suite are government offices; education establishments; public libraries; small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); not-for-profit organisations (NFPs); own equipment manufacturers (OEMs) building PCs with pre-installed software; and Linux distributions looking for an office suite to bundle.

Although StarOffice has more ambitious target markets.  Overall the plan targets OOo having a market share of apprximately 50% by 2010.