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Tuesday, March 31 2015 @ 11:48 AM CDT
Friday, January 04 2008 @ 06:24 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the fifth chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained in late November. Constructive comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome. All product names used below are registered trademarks of their vendors.
Chapter 5: Open Standards
One of the two articles of faith that Eric Kriss and Peter Quinn embraced in drafting their evolving Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM) was this: products built to "open standards" are more desirable than those that aren't. Superficially, the concept made perfect sense – only buy products that you can mix and match. That way, you can take advantage of both price competition as well as a wide selection of alternative products from multiple vendors, each with its own value-adding features. And if things don't work out, well, you're not locked in, and can swap out the loser and shop for a winner.
But did that make as much sense with routers and software as it did with light bulbs and lamps? And in any event, if this was such a great idea, why hadn't their predecessors been demanding open standards-based products for years? Finally, what exactly was that word "open" supposed to mean?
To answer these questions properly requires a brief hop, skip and jump through the history of standards, from their origins up to the present. And that's what this chapter is about.
Friday, December 28 2007 @ 12:07 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the fourth chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained in late November. Constructive comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome. All Microsoft product names used below are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
Chapter 4 – Eric Kriss, Peter Quinn and the ETRM
By the end of December 2005, I had been blogging on ODF developments in Massachusetts for about four months, providing interviews, legal analysis and news as it happened. In those early days, not many bloggers were covering the ODF story, and email began to come my way from people that I had never met before, from as far away as Australia, and as near as the State House in Boston. Some began with, "This seems really important – what can I do to help?" Others contained important information that someone wanted to share, and that I was happy to receive.
One such email arrived just before Christmas in 2005. In its entirety, it read:
Enjoy reading your consortiuminfo blog ... keep it up.
Happy New Year,
This was a pleasant and welcome surprise. Until the end of September, Eric Kriss had been the Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance, and therefore Peter Quinn's boss. Together, they had conceived, architected and launched the ambitious IT upgrade roadmap that in due course incorporated ODF into the state's procurement guidelines.
Monday, December 10 2007 @ 07:05 AM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the third chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained in late November. Constructive comments, corrections and suggestions are welcome. All Microsoft product names used below are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
This chapter was revised at 8:30 AM on 12/11/07, most significantly by adding the "Lessons applied" section.
Chapter 3: What a Difference a Decade Can Make
In 1980, Microsoft was a small software vendor that had built its business primarily on downsizing mainframe programming languages to a point where they could be used to program the desktop computers that were then coming to market. The five year old company had total revenues of $7,520,720, and BASIC, its first product, was still its most successful. By comparison, Apple Computer had already reached sales of $100 million, and the same year launched the largest public offering since the Ford Motor Company had itself gone public some twenty-four years before. Microsoft was therefore far smaller than the company that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had formed a year after Bill Gates and Paul Allen sold their first product.
Moreover, in the years to come, PC-based word processing products like WordStar, and then WordPerfect, would become far more popular than Microsoft's own first word processing (originally called Multitool Word), providing low-cost alternatives to the proprietary minicomputer based software offerings of vendors like Wang Laboratories. IBM, too, provided a word processing program for the PC called DisplayWriter. That software was based on a similar program that IBM had developed for its mainframe systems customers. More importantly, another program was launched at just the right time to dramatically accelerate the sale of IBM PCs and their clones. That product was the legendary "killer app" of the IBM PC clone market: Lotus 1-2-3, the spreadsheet software upon which Mitch Kapor built the fortunes of his Lotus Development Corporation.
Sunday, December 02 2007 @ 02:07 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
This is the second chapter in a real-time eBook writing project I launched and explained last week. The following is one of a number of stage-setting chapters to follow. Comments, corrections and suggestions gratefully accepted. All Microsoft product names used below are registered trademarks of Microsoft.
Chapter 2 – Products, Innovation and Market Share
Microsoft is the envy of many vendors for the hugely dominant position it enjoys in two key product areas: PC desktop operating systems – the software that enables and controls the core functions of personal computers - and "office productivity software" – the software applications most often utilized by PC users, whether at work or at home, to create documents, slides and spreadsheets and meet other common needs. Microsoft's 90% plus market share in such fundamental products is almost unprecedented in the technical marketplace, and this monopoly position enables it to charge top dollar for such software. It also makes it easy for Microsoft to sell other products and services to the same customers.
Microsoft acquired this enviable position in each case through a combination of luck, single-minded determination, obsessive attention to detail, and a willingness to play the game fast and hard – sometimes hard enough to attract the attention of both Federal and state antitrust regulators. Early on, Bill Gates and his team acquired a reputation for bare-knuckle tactics that they sometimes seemed to wear with brash pride. Eventually, these tactics (as well as tales of Gate's internal management style) progressed from industry rumors to the stuff of best sellers, like Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire.
With the emergence of the Web, of course, the opportunity for widely sharing stories, both real (of which there were many) and apocryphal, exploded. Soon Web sites such as Say No to Monopolies: Boycott Microsoft enthusiastically collected and posted tales of alleged technological terror and dirty deeds. More staid collections were posted at sites such as the Wikipedia. The increasing tide of litigation involving Microsoft, launched not only by state and federal regulators but by private parties as well, generated embarrassing documents. Such original sources were not only difficult to deny, but almost impossible to repress in the age of the Web - and of peer to peer file sharing as well.
Moreover, while Bill Gates and his co-founders rarely displayed the creative and innovative flair of contemporaries like Apple's Steve Jobs, neither were they troubled by the type of "not invented here" bias that sometimes led other vendors to pursue unique roads that sometimes led to dead ends.
Sunday, November 25 2007 @ 02:51 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
For some time I've been considering writing a book about what has become a standards war of truly epic proportions. I refer, of course, to the ongoing, ever expanding, still escalating conflict between ODF and OOXML, a battle that is playing out across five continents and in both the halls of government and the marketplace alike. And, needless to say, at countless blogs and news sites all the Web over as well.
Arrayed on one side or the other, either in the forefront of battle or behind the scenes, are most of the major IT vendors of our time. And at the center of the conflict is Microsoft, the most successful software vendor of all time, faced with the first significant challenge ever to ione of its core businesses and profit centers – its flagship Office productivity suite.
Quote of the Day
“We could see the technology arrive in many form factors, like arm chairs
-WPC Air Charge Chair Ryan Sanderson, commenting on Ikea's implementation of the Qi wireless charging standard in its furniture See all Quotes
Latest NewsAnother Launch: We were pleased to assist Panasonic create and launch the OpenDOF Project; we also helped create and launch the AllSeen Alliance under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.
Panasonic opens royalty-free portfolio to boost IoT development
ZDNet.com March 31, 2015 - Panasonic has pledged to provide companies with royalty-free access to software and patents related to the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.
Announced on Monday at the Embedded Linux Conference in San Jose, Calif., Panasonic said software, patents and "experience" from its product ecosystem, if provided for free, will speed up the development of IoT software and services. As part of the firm's offerings, tested device-to-device cloud software technology will be made available for other companies to expand upon. This technology is currently used in home monitoring systems, solar energy and retail applications. The open source code will be given to OpenDOF Project, a nonprofit unit set up by Panasonic earlier this month to oversee the firm's contributions to the open-source community.
The code will also be given to the Gateway Working Group of the AllSeen Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to driving forward IoT in an open, universal development framework.... ...Full Story
Open Source Strategy in the European Commission
European Commission March 31, 2015 - The European Commission has updated its strategy for internal use of Open Source Software. The Commission, which is already using open source for many of its key ICT services and software solutions, will further increase the role of this type of software internally. The renewed strategy puts a special emphasis on procurement, contribution to open source software projects and providing more of the software developed within the Commission as open source.... ...Full Story
Document Foundation pledges Office 365 and Google Docs challenger
The Register March 30, 2015 - A hosted edition of LibreOffice is planned as a free and open alternative to Office 365 and Google Docs by year's end.
The suite would provide online editing and sharing of documents written using the free, open-source suite.
The Document Foundation said on Wednesday that LibreOffice contributor Collabora is working with collaboration specialist IceWarp to deliver web-based editing in the suite....Where the goal of such suites was once to take on Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office on the desktop now its targets are Office 365 and Google's free suite.... ...Full Story
COIS, the UK arm of Open Forum Europe distributes ODF toolkit for Document Freedom Day week
COIS March 30, 2015 - A new toolkit is being launched to target faster public sector adoption of Open Document Format. Released today by the Community for Open Interoperability Standards (the UK arm of Open Forum Europe), the toolkit contains a folder of principles and infographic for Government Technology leaders to use in educating public sector workers on the options and opportunities for ODF use. This publication joins global Document Freedom Day week celebrations of Open Standards, which numbers 58 events in 30 countries this year. The toolkit arrives as UK Government moves to comply with use of ODF 1.2 across departments, following a change in Cabinet Office policy in July last year.... ...Full Story
The Audio Engineering Society Publishes Groundbreaking New Standard for 3D Audio
AES.org March 27, 2015 - The Audio Engineering Society is pleased to announce the recent publication of the AES69-2015 standard, which provides an important framework for the growing binaural and 3D personal audio industries. The standard, which describes the format and exchange of spatial acoustics files, is the product of the AES Standards Committee,...
The AES69-2015 standard is seen as a boon to the evolving 3D audio field. Binaural listening is growing due to increased usage of smartphones, tablets and other individual entertainment systems that primarily present audio using headphones. An understanding of the way that the listener experiences binaural sound, expressed as head-related transfer functions (HRTF), opens the way to 3D personal audio. The lack of a standard for the exchange of HRTF data makes it difficult for developers to exchange binaural capture and rendering algorithms effectively. While 3D audio continues to gain popularity among end users, binaural listening could be the very first 3D audio vector with sufficient fidelity of HRTF.
The new AES69-2015 standard defines a file format to exchange space-related acoustic data in various forms. These include HRTF, as well as directional room impulse responses (DRIR). The format is designed to be scalable to match the available rendering process and is designed to be sufficiently flexible to include source materials from different databases.... ...Full Story
ANSI Releases Schedule of Events for World Standards Week 2015
ANSI.org March 26, 2015 - The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced the full schedule of events for World Standards Week (WSW) 2015, which will be held September 28–October 2 in Washington, DC. WSW is an annual event where members of the standards and conformity assessment community come together in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration.... ...Full Story
ITU and ETSI agree method to assess energy efficiency of mobile networks
ITU/ETSI March 26, 2015 - ITU and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) have agreed a new standard to measure the energy efficiency of mobile radio access networks (RANs), the wireless networks that connect end-user equipment to the core network.
The standard is the first to define energy-efficiency metrics and measurement methods for live RANs, providing a common reference to evaluate their performance. Its application will build uniformity in the methodologies employed by such evaluations, in parallel establishing a common basis for the interpretation of the results.... ...Full Story
Open networks will be the key to meeting future requirements.
Lightwave March 25, 2015 - The fundamental nature of data-center computing is rapidly changing. Conventional data centers built to support traditional client-server applications are giving way to virtual IT environments that enable dynamic workloads, mobile applications, and on-demand services. Enterprises are leveraging server virtualization and cloud provider services to boost IT agility; support Big Data, high performance computing, and analytics; and improve data-center economics....
With game-changing applications that include cloud computing, mobility, video, and Big Data requiring support of non-stop - and costly - bandwidth demands, cloud and service providers are driving toward a new business model. They seek to reduce skyrocketing operational costs and become more efficient, while continuing to ensure real time response and customer loyalty. To accomplish this new model, cloud providers are migrating to open networks, inside and outside the data center.
Open networks sharply contrast with "vendor lock-in" or proprietary approaches. Predictable, flexible, high performance cloud connectivity is critical to delivering a superior user experience and maintaining a competitive advantage. Open networks enable providers to leverage new open-source technologies and innovations as well as drive new initiatives such as software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) to add programmability, automation, and service agility with new levels of control and orchestration.
Yet defining an open network isn't easy; it can take many forms.... ...Full Story
OpenSSL to undergo massive security audit Latest News
SD times March 25, 2015 - Now that its codebase is finally viewed as stable, OpenSSL is getting a good top-to-bottom once-over in the form of a sweeping audit.
It’s been close to a year since the Heartbleed bug sent the Internet into a frenzy over security. It spurred the software industry to rally behind OpenSSL—sending in more developers, revamping the security protocol, and laying out a revised road map for the ailing encryption protocol underlying much of the Web.
As part of the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), the foundation and the Open Crypto Audit Project (OCAP) are sponsoring and organizing what may arguably be the highest-profile audit of a piece of open-source software in history. The audit itself will be conducted by the information assurance organization NCC Group, and its security research arm, Cryptography Services, will carry out the code review.... ...Full Story
Z-Wave Alliance Launches IoT Competition to Reward Start-Ups for Their Innovation in the Smart Home
Z-Wave Alliance March 24, 2015 - The Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of leading global companies deploying Z-Wave, the world's largest ecosystem of wireless control products and services, is announcing a brand new competition to support and incentivize innovation on the Z-Wave platform. The yearlong Z-Wave Labs Program will accept applications from start-up companies and entrepreneurs looking to bring Z-Wave products to market.
In order to accelerate innovation on the Z-Wave platform and lower the barrier of entry for new companies to develop IoT products, the program will reward one selected individual/company each month starting in May 2015 with a 12-month membership to the Z-Wave Alliance as well as one of the newly available IoT-ready 500 Series Z-Wave Developer Kits from Sigma Designs.... ...Full Story