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Wednesday, October 01 2014 @ 03:16 PM 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
“I know a smart business decision when I see one—choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed
-Outgoing European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, endorsing a new campaign to ensure use of the OpenDocument format See all Quotes
Latest NewsNetwork Function Virtualization goes open sourceSteven J. Vaughan-NicholsZDNet.com
October 1, 0214 - In 2014, companies and open source programmers alike are working as hard as they can to virtualize hardware into software. The latest example of this is Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The name of the NFV game is to take such appliances or server-based network operations as Network Address Translation (NAT), firewalls, intrusion detection, and Domain Name Service (DNS) and move them to virtual machines. Of course, there are all kinds of ways to do this on a single server, but NFV takes it far beyond that to a level where an entire carrier's network services can be deployed and managed virtually.... ...Full Story
Telcos Mobilizing to Drive NFV Adoption
OpenStack.org October 1, 0214 - Today the Linux Foundation announced the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) Project, a group comprised primarily of telco operators working across open source projects and vendors to implement Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) within their organizations. This is an exciting development because the market is growing quickly, and many OpenStack community members are also participating in OPNFV, giving us an opportunity to collaborate closely with another like-minded open source Foundation. User input is critical at this stage of a technology shift as significant as NFV will be for telco and even enterprise networks, and any organization that is willing to contribute knowledge and code to those efforts is welcome in the OpenStack community.... ...Full Story
City of Turin to move to open source desktops
EU Joinup October 1, 0214 - The Italian city of Turin will switch to a complete open source desktop system, over the next 18 months. In August, the city administration decided to phase-out the current outdated proprietary system on its 8300 PCs and replace it by the Ubuntu open source alternative. Turin estimates the move will save some six million euro over the next five years....Last week, ZDNet reported a similar move to open source in another Italian city, Udine. A budget report from the IT department shows the town will train 400 civil servants to use Apache Open Office, a free software suite of office productivity tools. According to ZDNet, the city will gradually implement OpenOffice as its default office suite. The software is already installed on all of the city's 900 PCs.
Next year, the city will also being pilots with the use of complete open source desktops.... ...Full Story
Towns in Umbria region switch to LibreOffice
EU Joinup October 1, 0214 - The public administrations of the Italian cities Todi and Terni are switching to LibreOffice, announces LibreUmbria. The regional project is assisting the Umbria region's public administrations to use this free software suite of office productivity tools.
This month, the city of Todi will complete its switch to LibreOffice, and the one in Terni will start...LibreUmbria last year assisted the administration of the province of Perugia, using LibreOffice on all of its 1200 PCs and the Perugia Local Health Authority, which installed the office suite on 600 PCs....The project focusses on public administrations and schools, helping them to switch to and use LibreOffice. The centre also acts as a resource centre for SMEs and citizens....LibreUmbria is financed by the Umbria Region, supervised by the Open Source Competence Centre of the Umbria Region and the Consortium SIR Umbria- a regional government-owned ICT service centre.
LibreUmbria will now also start approaching the schools in the region, says Parisi, bolstered by a successful pilot. The organisation aims to train teachers, students and their parents, explaining them how to use LibreOffice, Ubuntu Linux and other free software solutions.... ...Full Story
Huge Channel Partnership Advances Open Source Software-Based Data Center
The Var Guy September 30, 2014 - The Linux Foundation has announced the Open Platform for NFV Project, an initiative with broad support from industry partners that will implement open source, software-defined solutions for networking, storage, cloud and other infrastructure....OPNFV complements what the Linux Foundation is already doing through the OpenDaylight project, which is building an open source software-defined networking (SDN) platform with broad support from industry partners. The NFV initiative will create solutions that virtualize other parts of network communications, making it possible to implement a network that is fully software-based and open source....OPNFV already has the backing of a remarkably long list of big names in the server, cloud computing, storage and communications world that have signed on as founding members....Readers may notice that not all of those companies traditionally have had a strong relationship with the open source community (though some certainly have). The fact that the Linux Foundation has been able to assemble such a broad and diverse base of support is a sign of how committed the channel is to transitioning from hardware- to software-based infrastructure while also keeping standards open. If there was ever a question about what open source software's role will be in the future, here's a big part of the answer. ...Full Story
Open NFV Group Uncloaks Its Platform Plan
Light Reading September 30, 2014 - The Linux Foundation today made its long-awaited formal announcement of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), promising to deliver a carrier-grade, open source reference architecture as a means of speeding up NFV deployment. The group's initial focus will be on developing the NFV infrastructure and virtualized infrastructure management, two key pieces not already under development, and is promising its initial results in the first half of 2015.
OPNFV, which includes some but not all of the pioneering telecom operators behind the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) group which created NFV as a concept, was first discussed publicly last spring, but has been holding its cards close to the vest on details until today. In briefings in advance of the announcement, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said the new organization will build on existing open source projects, including OpenDaylight , Linux and OpenStack , but will be significantly different from those in its intent.... ...Full Story
An open source networking ecosystem shapes up
TechTarget September 30, 2014 - Open source networking is becoming a reality now that standards bodies, vendors and development communities are working together. Yet these players face a slew of challenges.
Open source software, increasingly influential in the IT industry, is poised to significantly impact enterprise and telecom networking. A number of open source networking groups, including the Open Networking Foundation, OpenDayLight, OpenStack, and most recently Open NFV, have the potential to accelerate innovation in the networking industry.
With open source networking, ISVs will be able to develop a wide range of new networking services and applications, and users can custom design their infrastructure based on individual need.... ...Full Story
France appoints Chief Data Officer
EU Joinup September 30, 2014 - France is the first country to appoint a Chief Data Officer (Administrateur Général des Données, AGD), to ensure open data reaches its full potential in improving government services. On 17 September, France appointed Henri Verdier, director of Etalab, which runs the Inter-ministerial open portal, data.gouv.fr. Verdier is to coordinate government actions aimed at inventorying, governing, producing, circulating and using government data. With the CDO, France aims to enhance evaluation of government policies, increase government openness and boost research and innovation.
"The use of data is at the heart of the digital revolution", Etalab writes in its announcement. "The wealth of data generated by the state needs data science to allow informed public policies." The team behind the data.gouv.fr portal expects the new position to create new opportunities for open data initiatives.... ...Full Story
Open document formats campaign backed by Europe's digital commissioner
PC World September 29, 2014 - European government agencies should adopt open document formats in their dealings with citizens, outgoing European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has urged.
“I know a smart business decision when I see one—choosing open standards is a very smart business decision indeed,” Kroes said in a statement on the website of the FixMyDocuments campaign, of which she was among the first backers earlier this week.
“When open alternatives are available, no citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to use a particular company’s technology to access government information. No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first,” she wrote. ...Full Story
IEEE standards group wants to bring order to Internet of Things
ComputerWorld September 29, 2014 - The IEEE is embarking on an ambitious effort to build a overarching architecture for the Internet of Things, spanning a multitude of industries and technologies. IEEE P2413, which the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers officially started work on in July, would form a framework for interoperability among connected devices and related applications in home automation, industrial systems, telematics and all other sectors that are expected to use IoT in the coming years....IDC analyst Michael Palma, who also spoke at the workshop, counted seven industry groups plus the IEEE that are working in this area....the P2413 Working Group...doesn't want to replace existing IoT groups. Rather it aims to create a standard architecture so IoT systems for all industries can work together.... ...Full Story