Friday, September 25, 2009

UK Needs To Be More Open To Open Source

During a discussion in Whitehall, industry experts concluded that the government needs to embrace open source more.

The UK is laging behind Europe and the US when it comes to the adoption of open source in government.

That's the conclusion reached today by a senior Ovum analyst during a roundtable discussion on the government’s use of open source software.

Laurent Lachal, Ovum's open source research director, said that, from the start, Europe has been interested in the adoption of open source but has since dragged its heels.

“In the US there was some sort of prejudice against open source but in effect they used it from the start, just didn’t talk about it. Now they are out," he said. "The UK started out like the US but didn’t really warm up to it until recently.”

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Study: Open Source Software Is Improving

The code analysis tools vendor, Coverity, has released the 2009 edition of the Coverity Scan Open Source Report[icon:pdf]. The survey, which was originally initiated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2006, examines the integrity and quality of open source software. The results are based on an analysis of 11 billion lines of code from 280 open source projects including Firefox, Linux, PHP, Ruby and Samba over three years. The analysis was carried out using Coverity's Scan service.

One of the study's conclusions is that the integrity, quality and security levels of open source code are improving. Since 2006, Coverity's Scan service has exposed more than 11,200 flaws in 180 submitted programs, allowing programmers to fix the detected flaws. The vendor has found that the number of flaws detected by static analysis has decreased by 16 per cent overall.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Microsoft's Open Source Strategist Is Leaving

IT MAY COME AS A SURPRISE to learn that Microsoft has any kind of open sauce software strategy aside from stomping on any bunch of commie hippies daring to offer free alternatives to its market-monopolising software, but it seems that one respected member of the Redmond braintrust has been working tirelessly for the last three years in an effort to make the software behemoth play nice with the other slightly grubby children in the playground.

Sam Ramji, who is currently the vocal spokesvole for all things open sourcery at Microsoft, is moving on to pastures new at the end of this month and he leaves behind an interesting legacy. More importantly his departure will leave a gap that might prove difficult to fill.

Sam's official brief was to create a strategy that enabled Micrososft to 'co-exist and thrive in a heterogeneous IT world' but his legacy goes way beyond that. The company originally had a single department that dealt with free open source (FOSS) software but, according to one Microsoft insider, it is now an important part of many product groups and strategies across the company.

Ramji's job was never going to be easy. The biggest software company on the planet had a nasty reputation for making life difficult for any upstart that tried to muscle in on its turf. There was never any real evidence that Microsoft would use strong-arm tactics to undermine fledgling companies, but when you have unlimited access to some of the world's most tenacious and ruthless lawyers and a bottomless pit of cash to throw at patent disputes, someone is gonna cry 'bully' sooner or later.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Open Source guru Sam Ramji quits Microsoft

Ramji, who was till date senior director of Platform Strategy of Microsoft, had joined the company about five years ago

BANGALORE, INDIA: Open Source Guru, Sam Ramji, has announced to leave Microsoft to join a cloud computing startup, CodePlex Foundation.

Ramji, who was till date senior director of Platform Strategy of Microsoft, had joined the company about five years ago. In his blog on (, he said, "After 5 great years at Microsoft I am moving on. I'll be joining a cloud computing startup later this month in Silicon Valley. It was a hard decision, as the time I've spent at that company has been both challenging and rewarding."

Explaining the reasons for parting ways, he said that it was all for personal reasons; wife and family. "I have decided to move our family back to California. I decided that I could not do justice to a corporate/worldwide position from afar, and that I could not bear to live away from my family and commute to Seattle five days a week."

Sharing his viewpoint about the open source, he said that, "I was certain that open source was an industry wave that Microsoft would not be able to ignore, and that it was getting closer to an inflection point.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Open source software can save India $2 bn

As Indian consumers and enterprises evaluate the option of upgrading to Microsoft’s much-touted operating system (OS) Windows 7, to be officially launched on October 22, the free and open source software (FOSS) community has fired yet another salvo at proprietary software.

In the year 2010, if FOSS is adopted at 50 per cent levels across the economy, India can save around $2 billion (around Rs 9,800 crore), suggests a study conducted by the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore. Even a very conservative estimate, notes the study, pegs the cost savings for use of FOSS on servers as an operating system or as an application at Rs 138 crore in 2010.

Moreover, anti-virus software sales in 2010 is likely to touch Rs 2,000 crore. This entire amount is a cost that can be avoided if FOSS products are adopted.

For instance, based on the projected sales of personal computers (desktops and notebooks), the study indicates that even if 50 per cent desktops are fitted with a FOSS operating system, the savings will be Rs 985 crore; if 70 per cent have FOSS, the savings will rise to around Rs 1,380 crore. The study, done with help from professors of the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, covered 20 organisations that have adopted FOSS.

Examples of cost savings with FOSS abound in the Indian context, asserts Prof Rahul De of the IIM-Bangalore who conducted the study. For instance, the Life Corporation of India, which — with an IT infrastructure of 3,500 servers and 30,000 desktops — saved about Rs 42 crore by adopting FOSS.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free Open Source Software: Bliss for Windows Users

Windows and Open Source seem to be mutually exclusive to each other. To most of the people, these are two different spectrums that can not overlap and intermingle.

If we talk of them simultaneously, we may invite conntroversies but this is not the scenario anymore. The landscape for free open source software that Windows users can really vouch on is increasing day by day.

The article will walk you through the various open source software that are available for free and really useful on Windows interface:

Filezilla: Filezilla is a full featured free Windows FTP solution that Windows users can use to upload their files. It is a full featured service that Windows users can use free of charges for a productive process. Filezila offers you the ability to handle the batch transfers and most operations are drag and drop affair. With this FTP Solution, you can sync files from a distant location.

The FTP Solution is the most powerful FTP clients available but its not so friendly interface is the bottleneck for the product.

Open Office: Get going with word processing tools anywhere and anytime with the open source office productivity suite. Open offers full office suite including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database tools. It gives tough competition to proprietary documenting tools from Microsoft and other SaaS offerings from Zoho and Google. The service is accessible from everywhere but unreliable import/export capabilities serve as the block. It is a powerful business productivity tool to save costs.

Firefox: It is the most sought web browser after Internet Explorer. This is one service that synonyms free open source. To people who are not so tech savvy, Internet Explorer is the best choice but to the generation who needs speed and faster access, Firefox is the best choice. The service is available for free downloads and is a good tool for use on Windows, if someone is looking for alternatives. Its customization abilities make it the most looked up browser.

TrueCrypt: The free encryption tool is at par with Microsoft BitLocker and in fact offers the same set of encryption utilities that users look for. It provides full disk encryption with key based recovery. On a broader note, it surpasses the security offerings of BitLocker with its support for many encryption protocols and more flexibility.

With its flexibility and compatibility with many protocols, the tool is a good free contender against Microsoft BitLocker.

7-Zip: The free open source compression software is at par with other paid compression tools like RAR and ACE. The package decompresses quickly and reliably. It offers everything that a user hunts in basic compression solution and is faster.

If you still confuse, Firefox and Linux for free open source, then you must try your hands on these free open source software for Windows; they are worthy enough for continual usage.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Red Hat Launches Distribution Effort With Open-Source ISVs

Red Hat is combining its portfolio of open-source software with applications from third-party ISVs and selling the bundles to customers through the channel under a program unveiled this week.

The move is designed to broaden the market for Red Hat software by developing more complete solutions for midsize companies, said Roger Egan, vice president of channel sales in North America, in an interview.

Red Hat launched the Catalyst Program at the Red Hat Summit & JBoss World conference in Chicago this week. The effort will include development of a social networking and collaboration Web portal to help build a community around the vendor's entire ecosystem, Egan said.

"The way we increase the sale of Red Hat products is to sell solutions," Egan said. "For us to really penetrate the midmarket, we really have to talk about solutions."

The Catalyst Program is in addition to Red Hat's main channel partner program. Two weeks ago, the company revamped that program, adding a new "premier business partner" designation to the existing Advanced and Ready partner tiers. The company wants to increase the amount of sales it makes through the channel from about 55 percent today to more than 70 percent.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Open Source Is Our Next Level: Microsoft

As open source is adopted on a range of platforms, understanding, engaging and supporting open source development will continue to be fundamental to enabling more customer choice, says Sam Ramji

BANGALORE, INDIA: Recently, Microsoft released 20,000 lines of device driver code to the Linux community. The code, which includes three Linux device drivers, has been submitted to the Linux kernel community for inclusion in the Linux tree.

The drivers will be available to the Linux community and customers alike, and will enhance the performance of the Linux operating system when virtualized on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V or Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V.

Sam Ramji, sr. director, Platform Strategy, MicrosoftSam Ramji, sr. director, Platform Strategy is responsible for developing sustainable partnerships with open source communities as part of his role as senior director of Platform Strategy in Microsoft's Server and Tools organization. This includes overseeing the operation of Microsoft's Open Source Technology Center (OSTC), which serves as a landing point for open source communities and companies interested in working with Microsoft, as well as a resource for Microsoft product groups interested in open source technology.

Tom Hanrahan, who also plays a critical role in Microsoft's day-to-day open source interoperability efforts, is the director of the OSTC. His team played a key role in the development of the drivers, and will manage their ongoing enhancement.

Sam Ramji and Tom Hanrahan talk about releasing Linux device driver code to the Linux community in an interview with CIOL. Excerpts:

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