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The news that Microsoft settled one of its last remaining antitrust lawsuits in October presents an opportunity to review the whole episode and assess what it means for the next generation of business innovators. The matter is of special interest to me. Working at the Justice Department in the mid-1990s, I helped lead the first investigation of Microsoft.
Before we get to the lessons learned, a brief recap: It goes without saying that Microsoft's rise to power on the strength of its operating systems for desktop PCs is one of the great American business success stories of all time. But as I argued a decade ago, the company abused its extraordinary power to cement its dominance in the operating systems market. Then it attempted to extend its monopoly into new markets, including Web browsers and online media players.
Courts in the U.S. and Europe found that Microsoft broke the law. After Justice won its most celebrated case, which concerned Microsoft's efforts to destroy Netscape's browser business, I argued in amicus curiae briefs that Microsoft should be split into three Windows companies. This would have restarted competition in the operating systems market and, in my view, would have led to better bug-free desktop operating systems than are now available.
Unfortunately, antitrust enforcement can be slow and unreliable. The Bush Justice Department was less interested in reining in Microsoft than Clinton's was. But though the company avoided a breakup, it did have to pay several billion dollars to settle related claims, and it is now subject to various restrictions on the way it does business.
The browser that finally broke Microsoft's monopoly just got its first major update. If you haven't switched from Internet Explorer yet, consider Firefox 1.5 your invitation to do so.
A special treat on tonight's People Behind KDE as we bring you the Debian Qt KDE Packagers.
Linux works. This is a very matter-of-fact statement, but it is one many people (myself included) make every day when they boot up their computers. It is not a perfect product, it would not be sensible to expect something as complex as an operating system to be flawless, but fact remains that Linux does work. On the software side of things the open source community has done a very good job of making this clear, but the other half of computing, hardware, this movement has not been as successful. Every day Linux users encounter driver and compatibility issues which Windows users have not had to deal with for years.
Alan Yates told those in the Massachusetts State House that two standards are better than one. Was he right?
The NoSQL database, though not new, is worth taking a look at to refresh the mind about the power of some of the core fundamentals of Unix-like systems.
Again, this is a beta release and should not be used by those with a heart condition, if you are pregnant, or if you are under the age of 8. Side-effects include awesomeness, dumbfoundedness, dry mouth and lava. Consult your doctor to find out if Gaim 2.0.0beta1 is right for you.
Vendors stepped up their efforts this year to make users feel more comfortable and confident about deploying open-source software. Companies focused on making the technology easier to use and improved interoperability between products. Additionally, they launched services and floated ideas designed to put customers' minds at rest over any potential lingering legal issues around using open-source software.
In terms of ease of use, there was a growing trend among vendors, including SpikeSource Inc. and SourceLabs Inc., to package open-source software into precertified, standardized and supported stacks. The stacks were also designed to lessen the time developers had to spend configuring and testing various software components to ensure that they work well together.
CIO staffers keep an eye on IT news from the industry press.
It is hard to believe that our last official fund raiser was in mid October of 2004. You might think that represents a lot of success for our fund raising efforts as we have done fund raisers as often as every few months. Nothing could be further from truth
I always hate it when a Linux "news" website publishes things that aren't news. It would be like having a hosting website that doesn't do hosting...what's the point really?
(Originally published in the American Reporter.)
The Internet was the great noncommercial success story of our time. Commissioned by the government, built on open-source software, promulgated initially through research and academic facilities--the Internet was the crowning example of a public good, a resource without an owner, a self-regulating convocation of equals.
All that seems threatened now. This month, local phone companies revealed a far-reaching change to Internet access. These companies, who control the line into the Internet users' homes (usually through ADSL connections over traditional telephone wires) want to create varying levels of service for Internet content of their choice.
Nero announced today the release of NeroLINUX, the Linux OS Solution for CD/DVD Burning. This newest member of Nero’s award-winning product family is now available for free to registered Nero 6 full version owners. NeroLINUX is a comprehensive and flexible application available to LINUX users that want the power and quality of Nero’s award-winning burning engine to perform all essential optical burning tasks.
Mission: deliver a Complete Replacement for Microsoft Project
FOSTER CITY, California, September 20, 2005—Industry veterans Howard Katz, Laurent Chretienneau and Marc O’Brien have announced the launch of Projity (www.projity.com), a software startup based in the Bay Area with the mission of offering a complete replacement for Microsoft Project. Its flagship product, Project-ON-Demand (POD), will be delivered online via a subscription model priced to meet the growing needs of small and medium size businesses, the vast early adopters of hosted tools. Web-based with no installation requirement, a familiar interface and 100% data integrity in the opening of existing MS Project files. Project-ON-Demand offers the marketplace a complete replacement for MS Project with a tremendous value proposition in both reduced cost and productivity improvements.
Calgary-based Userful Corporation announced that for a limited time it will be giving away two-user licenses for its Desktop Multiplier software. Desktop Multiplier enables a single computer running the Linux operating system to provide multiple independent workstations to multiple users at the same time, with each user workstation comprising a keyboard, monitor and mouse.
O'Reilly & Associates greatly expanded the fifth edition of Running Linux. It reflects the maturity of the operating system and the wealth of software available for it. The book now covers consumer topics such as audio and video playback applications, groupware functionality, and spam filtering, along with the basics in configuration and management that always made this perhaps the most popular book for Linux.
The Planet(SM) today announced that 39 employees, representing a majority of departments across the company, have received Red Hat certifications. Of the 39 employees achieving RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician) status, 33 received the prestigious RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) certification. Company wide, The Planet now has 47 RHCTs, of which 40 are RHCEs.
The Nokia 770 is a handheld computer running Linux with a built in Wi-Fi radio. It comes with several internet applications including a browser, email client, Real player and Macromedia Flash. Users can download and install additional software.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) plans to issue an update of its 770 Internet Tablet early next year, adding instant messaging and internet telephony Relevant Products/Services from 3COM to the device that started shipping last November.
The company did not disclose which applications it plans to bundle. But Nokia's director of product management, Olavi Toivainen, said he would favor applications using open standards over proprietary platforms.
This would rule out a bundling deal with parties like Skype or MSN Messenger and makes the Jabber client a prime candidate.
Add yourself to a map of Gentoo users.
I've been meaning to write about this for some time, but couldn't. Firstly, because I couldn't touch on the subject while I was still employed by Novell. Secondly, because i didn't want to create problems for Novell while it was going through its road bumps a few weeks back.
But I thought now was a good time to talk about the differences I perceive in the two companies, having worked at the one and talked extensively with the other. In no particular order....
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