Friday, October 30, 2009

`Technology has a banana's shelf life'

MUMBAI: Scott McNealy, the 52-year-old co-founder and chairman of Sun Microsystems, is known to be colourful and controversial. And he didn’t disappoint. On his second visit to India on Thursday, Mr McNealy outlined Sun’s vision to bridge the digital divide through open source technologies and rubbished the usefulness of proprietary technology.

“Technology has the shelf life of a banana. By the time you buy it, implement it and train people on it, it’s obsolete. The right thing to do is to share IP. Rather than litigate and protect our IP, we’ve decide to innovate and share it,” Mr McNealy said in a not-so-veiled reference to Microsoft.

Enterprises, he said, should look not just at acquisition cost and operating costs associated with a software but also the buried exit clause. The cost of getting out a proprietary system and moving to another environment was enormous, and companies needed to factor in this cost as well. “The buried exit cost could be 10 times the cost A (acquisition cost) plus cost B (operating costs),” he said, using heroin addiction as an analogy. Even if heroin was given for free, it had to be paid for later.

And nor was Microsoft the only corporation at the receiving end. IBM’s DB2 database, Novell’s directory, storage system vendors, and other open source vendors got their fair share of ridicule and fun. Sun, Mr McNealy said, could provide everything from servers to storage technology, and operating systems to chips. Sun’s newest foray is into microelectronics or chips. The design of its Ultrasparc T2 chip that will roll out in the summer of this year is available for free download and McNealy said companies in China were downloading it and building variants of it.

Mr McNealy positioned Sun as a provider of entire systems rather than piece-meal components. “I’m building an airplane in my garage. I’ve got the wings from Boeing, the interiors from Airbus, other spare from makers of aircraft parts.. now I’ll let you fly in it. I’ll let you drive it. Suddenly, the food on United Airlies looks good,” he joked, prompting guffaws from the audience.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Cos switch to open source technologies to cut costs

NEW DELHI: Indian enterprises, private and public, are opening up to saving costs by using free for use technologies. Governments, institutionsand companies are increasingly turning to open source technologies to turn frugal as these softwares, hardwares and applications
are often free but also to avoid falling into the trap of a proprietary IT environment.

While commercial software vendors disagree with open source providers, support is often cheaper in the open source environment.Take for instance, the Rs 550-crore Sheela Foam, that makes Sleepwell brand of mattresses. After implementing open source, Pertish Mankotia, IT head at Sheela Foam, seems to be enjoying a nice sleep, despite the economic downturn.

“Our maintenance costs have dropped to one-sixth as we migrated to an open source based system in April, this year,” he said. Sheela Foam has about 3,000 dealers, 1,000 employees and 70 distributors connected via IT systems across the country.

“We invested only about Rs 8 lakh (Rs 4 lakh for a Dell server). We will incur a saving of Rs 50 lakh, because of a migration from a proprietary software to an open ERP solution running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on Dell X86 servers,” says Mankotia.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Paragent, LLC. Announces Hosted Model Open Source IT Management

Muncie, Indiana, United States

Paragent, LLC, a high quality software company specializing in open source IT desktop management software has announced the availability of its hosted model open source IT management software.

Paragent, LLC offers one of the most highly regarded open source web-based desktop management service available today. This software as a service product (SaaS) is perfect for almost any size organization in managing hardware and software inventory, software license auditing, alerting and remote control processes.

Paragent’s hosted model open source IT management software is quite easy to implement due to the use of a small agent running on each monitored computer. This agent keeps track of and reports on a variety of functions, data and commands.

It should be noted that Paragent’s agent-based solution provides its customers with a truly flexible, scalable and secure experience. In fact, by being a hosted model, Paragent can offer and provide a truly robust and flexible suite of IT management tools.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

On the future of Open Source thought leadership

After over a decade of being in the shadow of the Free Software movement and 30 years of its inflexible dogmatic principles, disruptive new Open Source thought leadership is emerging that is truly able to compromise with the realistic needs of business and end-users without carrying the baggage of strict adherence to an ideology that is by definition a culture of exclusion. (artwork by Spidermonkey, Inc.)

My last article on Richard M. Stallman’s verbal attack on Miguel de Icaza and his continuing crusade against anyone who doesn’t fit the mold of the Free Software community seems to have struck a chord with those who sympathize with that movement’s ideals to the point of driving them to utter histrionics, unjustified hero worship and irrational thought.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Palm launch Open Source Developer Program

Palm has announced a programme for open source developers wishing to write for Palm's Linux based WebOS. For closed source applications the Palm developer programme requires an upfront fee of $99 (£62) from developers, with a $50 (£31) fee for each app that is published through Palm's App Catalogue. For open source developers both the up front fee and the per app fee is waived. Palm's WebOS currently only runs on Palm's Pre and Pixi phones; the Pre is due to be available in the UK from the 16th of October from O2.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

IDC: Organisations adopt open source to reduce expenses

Recent studies from IDC show that organisations in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) looking to reduce their operational expenses have begun to see open source software as a viable alternative.

Recent studies from IDC show that organisations in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) looking to reduce their operational expenses have begun to see open source software as a viable alternative.

Many Indonesian companies (34.5 per cent) intend to deploy new open source customer relationship management (CRM) applications over the next 18 months.

IDC provides market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. Their recent studies include 'Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) Open Source Software Adoption in 2009', and 'Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) Open Source Software Adoptions: Customer Case Study'.

Increased deployment in the coming months

The first report indicates that CRM applications, database management and virtualisation software are the most popular solutions. IDC said these three categories boast the highest percentage of respondents from each primary market that intend to use open source over the next 18 months.

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