CyberTech Rambler

July 25, 2007

Several Interesting News from the cyber graphvine

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 12:14 pm

No. I am not starting a daily/weekly/yearly news digests. However, these are several developments over the past few days that deserve some attention, but not sufficient for a full-blown blog posting each:

  • Sun exec accuse Microsoft of patent terrorism : It’s not terrorism, it is old fashion extortion. The word “terrorism” is overused and, in a lot of case, abused. In this case, I can see why the scale of extortion can lead to accusation of terrorism, but let’s not glorify this. Giving it more column inches with headline like this simply help Microsoft to spread its extortion message.
  • HP secure a 5000 seats Ubuntu Deal: The news itself is interesting. As I recall this is the first public announcement of Ubuntu deployment at this scale. A triumph for Ubuntu and it shows that HP is willing to support Linux if nudged properly. The most interesting part is the comment that Canonical would like to keep deals like this under wraps until it is signed, just in case Microsoft comes out at the 11th hour to snatch it away. Microsoft take notes: your “11th hour strategy” works. IT managers take note: Even if you do not have intention to go Linux, having a serious looking migration plan to it can get Microsoft to slash price dramatically at the “11th hour”.Another interesting part which is what was not mentioned, i.e., it is not surprising that Canonical wants to keep this type of deals under wraps, but the customers also agree to keep it under wraps. This means one useful judgment of whether someone is serious about migration is to see whether they tell Microsoft about it. Using this yardstick, and believing the spin that Canonical indeed have several more deals like this, Canonical, and by inference, Linux on desktop, has serious customers on board. We may be witnessing the true dawn of Linux on Desktop.
  • Skype has to include the text of GPL in its VoIP phone package in Germany. This news itself is mundane. It is rather stupid for Skype to believe that throwing in a small piece of papers with links to website is suffice. The interesting part is the court rules that having access to source code on line is insufficient in the case where hardware incorporating the software is delivered. There is no detail on how the court believe the access to source code problem for hardware can be resolved, at least in Germany. Asking Skype to include the source code in the package itself is problematic, as it means at times it may be forced to include another optical disk in the package and this drive up cost, lowering open source competitiveness compared to proprietary software. The good news is, however, that this just means less profit for Skype, but still larger than that can be achieved with proprietary software. I think it will resort to Skype agreeing to send, by post, the source code to any customer who requested one.

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