A New Year and a New Optaros Site

EOS Directory sponsor Optaros has launched a completely re-designed site with lots of Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase their Next Generation Internet (NGI) expertise.

The New Optaros Home Page

Check out:

Jeff Potts at ecmarchitect.com also has some comments about the new Optaros site. As always, special thanks to Optaros for their support of the EOS Directory.

Will a Recession Cripple Open Source Growth?

Talk about a provocative headline! But suddenly, recession talk is all the rage amid rising U.S. credit woes and sinking earnings in the financial sector – at least for now. And what about tech? Well, if IBM’s unexpectedly strong 24% increase in Q4 earnings is any indication, things may look especially good for open source.ZDNet’s Open Sources blog asks if IBM’s results are due to open source?

“Should this count as an open source win, a validation of the open source concept?I think it should. But there’s more to it than that.IBM long-ago unified its product lines under Linux and open source. Through projects like Eclipse it has learned how to share basic costs and add value for its customers.

Sounds to me like IBM has learned to leverage both the developer and customer communities for the benefit of all — including Big Blue. It’s worth noting that IBM’s results have a sizable foreign currency component, which means non-US customers made a significant contribution to the bottom line.On the other hand, ZDNet’s Hardware 2.0 blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes post — “Is open source recession-proof?” — offers a different take.

“Well, first off, I think that any business model that relies on volunteers could certainly see interest decline if times get tough. … The flip-side of this though is that being an active part of an open source project is a lot different to spending all day on YouTube or Flickr …”

One reader, Slashdot’s SatanicPuppy, responded this way:

“Far from being bad for OSS, recessions are GOOD for OSS. You lose your job, and freelance while looking for another one…What are you going to use? Companies have a need, and no budget to fill it with commercial software…What are they going to use? Sure, if you specialize in zillion dollar OSS deployments, you’ve got problems (problem #1: You’re mythical), but the true strength of OSS isn’t in giant deployments, but in filling in the gaps…When the gaps get bigger, there we are.”

Last week’s post on open source CEO forecasts for 2008 didn’t spend much time worrying about a recession. But what about you? How will an economic slowdown affect enterprise open source companies? Will they fare better, worse or the same as closed source firms? Post your comments below.

Enterprise Open Source News Roundup – 11 Jan 08

Product news and other items from the past week:

And while it’s not strictly-speaking enterprise open source, here’s a wonderful item from the Wall Street Journal’s BoomTown quip-tress Kara Swisher on the ongoing Microsoft-Yahoo merger rumors:

“Here’s what is going on and has long been going on: Microsoft continues to cast about for a viable Internet strategy, as it always does, and Yahoo is probably the numero-uno solution on its business development fix-it list.Why? Well, the software behemoth just can’t catch Google in the lucrative search-ad market no matter how hard it tries and how much money it spends.If it presumably put together it and No. 2 Yahoo, then presto chango, a real horse race.But that’s kind of like stitching together Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich and getting a potential front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

Uproar Over Open Source Security Story Continues

The headline “Open Source Code Contains Security Holes” on an InformationWeek article has grabbed a lot of attention. Two more blog posts on the topic:

And today there’s a followup blog post by “Security Holes” author Charles Babcock and a response from Paul Beach, a developer and administrator for one of the open source projects mentioned in Babcock’s original article:

Still missing is an answer to the key question: do open source applications have more security flaws than closed source? The Department of Homeland Security, sponsor of the open source testing, states the estimated error rate at one security flaw for every 1000 lines of code among tested open source software. How does this compare to closed source? Coverity’s announcement makes no mention of closed source error rates.Can someone cite some statistics showing a difference between the two types? Post your stats, sources and comments below.

Open Source Uproar Over Security Testing

The tech press and open source blogosphere shifted into overdrive today on the news that software security firm Coverity — at the behest of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — had released the results of security tests on a number of popular open source applications. You can see some of news and comment here:

In the last item, I give Dana Blankenhorn credit for pointing out the obvious — identifying security flaws is a good thing — and open source projects may be more likely to get fixed quickly than their closed source counterparts. For an in-depth look at the whole issue of government-sponsored software security testing (it’s not just about open source), check out these articles from SDTimes:

So here’s a point to ponder and comment upon: do you worry more about security issues with open source software than you do with proprietary/closed source code? Post your thoughts below.

Open Source Forecasts for 2008: CEO Predictions 10-Pack

Everyone says you get more with open source. So here you go — ten CEOs of open source companies offering their views on the enterprise open source outlook for the New Year. Sponsored by the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA), the CEOs of member companies responded to four questions about open source issues for 2008. Some sample prognostications:1. What will trigger increasing adoption of open source in the enterprise in 2008?

“There will be an increasing confluence between the open source and software as a service models. These are the two most powerful trends in software today, and while they’ve traditionally been seen as separate, parallel developments, they are rapidly combining to create the new business model for enterprise software. The combination is not just at the development level – BaaS companies adopting open source technologies to lower the cost of operations and R&D – but more importantly, on the distribution side.” — William A. Soward, CEO, Adaptive Planning

2. What is the biggest challenge for the open source software industry in 2008?

“More lawsuits will be brought against large corporations and technology companies in 2008 as open source advocates step up enforcement of the APL v2, v and other open source licenses.” — Doug Levin, CEO, Black Duck

“Figuring out business models that will produce viable, long term software companies rather than ‘flash in the pan’ ubiquity plays. Merely racing to see who can give the most away to a buyer who will take as much as the can get before paying money will not produce viable software companies.” — Javier Soltero, CEO, Hyperic

3. How big an effect will licensing have on open-source software in 2008?

“Open source licensing will continue to bother enterprise users but the dissemination of best implementation practices including license management will reduce this issue somewhat.” — Michael Grove, CEO, OpenIT Works

“We don’t see much impact here. Customers continue to get educated about the code they use and about open source licensing in general, so FUD will have less of a factor than in the past.” — Kim Polese, CEO, SpikeSource

4. What will be the biggest surprise in open source in 2008?

“During ’08, the pressures CIOs will face to drive greater business innovation with a fixed (or low growth) IT budget will conspire to challenge every possible traditional software license. The 80% of the IT budget used to maintain existing or legacy systems must become more productive in order to satisfy the business goal of improved innovation.” — Brian Gentile, CEO, JasperSoft

“The biggest surprise in 2008 will be to see Open Source players register three-digit growth rates!” — Bertrand Diard, CEO, Talend

Get the complete list of questions and responses from the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA) site. (PDF)

Open Source News Roundup – 07 Jan 08

Quick roundup of open source items making news over the last week or so:

What will the Open Source year 2008 bring?

Looking into the crystal ball to forecast the future is difficult on many domains, but specifically also in the fast moving Open Source domain. We tried it anyway.

  • Continuous consolidation is going to happen in the commercial software vendor scene. This will create room for successful open source vendors.
  • Open Source adoption in the enterprise will continue, in the application infrastructure space the use of Open Source is already common sense, but more and more Open Source solutions will be viable candidates also for typical business solution domains. It has started with Business Intelligence and Enterprise Content Management, it will continue with Customer Relationship Management.
  • Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 will continue to be Open Source plays mainly and accelerate adoption of Open Source in the Enterprise even more.
  • Open Source vendors will also consolidate, we will see the rise of new Open Source “Ueber” providers, similar to RedHat.
  • More commercially available products will be based on Open Source software, this will boost the usage of Open Source components but also the related “assembly methodology”, as applied by Optaros, Alfresco and others.
  • Commercial vendors will continue to increase the viability of their offerings by open-sourcing critical components and platforms.
  • Open Source companies will continue to look for the holy grail of “how to make money with Open Source” and invent new creative license and subscription models.
  • New open standards such as Open Social or Google Android will be the base of many new Open Source project and initiative.

So, to summarize, we don’t expect 2008 to be a year of revolutions but rather of numerous important evolutions.

… And a Happy (and Open) New Year

Welcome to 2008! But before we look ahead, let’s consider this item from last year:Top 10 Websites in the U.S. — Monthly Averages

Rank Brand Unique Audience (000)
1. Google 110,002
2. Yahoo! 108,111
3. MSN/Windows Live 95,501
4. Microsoft 94,856
5. AOL Media Network 91,653
6. Fox Interactive Netowrk (aka MySpace) 64,648
7. eBay 59,586
8. YouTube 49,815
9. Wikipedia 45,496
10. Apple (includes iTunes) 43,495

Source: Nielsen Online, NetViewWhat struck me about this list was how crucial open source software was to the success of many of these sites — maybe even those two in third and fourth place that begin with “M”. Certainly there will be more open source in use during 2008 at firms and sites large and small. It should be a banner year.Here are a few more end-of-the-year items of interest:

Open Source Census: Will enterprise usage get counted?

Open source solutions provider OpenLogic just announced the Open Source Census, “a newcollaborative initiative to quantify the global use of open source inenterprises.”

“Enterprises will be able to scan any of their computers and contribute the scan results back into The Open Source Census database [and] the basic anonymous aggregate data collected through The Open Source Census will be provided for free on a web site. This aggregate data will list the number of times each project has been installed on computers across all participating enterprises.”

The plan starts with the release of the Open Source Discovery application under the new Affero GPLv3 license plus an effort to enlist developers, software firms and ISVs in support of the project.About time, too. Everyone seems to think an initiative of this type is long overdue. Shane Schick’s Computerworld (Canada) blog notes the unreliability of both Canadian and US software piracy figures — which are statistical estimates — because the groups simply ignore open source applications. Remarking on the census, he adds:

“This would be a lot more accurate than the market forecasting that the Gartners, IDCs and Forresters of the world do. … For an industry that is focused on the management of information, it’s surprising how willingly IT professionals are to be left in the dark about the true state of the market.”

More posts on this topic include:

Are you in the dark about open source? Post a comment and tell us what you know — or don’t know — about the open source usage in your organization.

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