Wednesday Jul 23, 2008

OpenSSO Huge Customer Demand

Enterprise software customers are increasingly choosing open source software because it gives them greater flexibility, access to cutting-edge technology and faster time to market. Over the past year and a half, we've seen tremendous interest and participation in the OpenSSO community from hundreds of companies around the world.

Based on customer feedback from Medavie Blue Cross, Alcatel-Lucent, and others we have been feverishly working to create OpenSSO Express, basically a completely supported and indemnified product from Sun from the OpenSSO base. Give it a try and let me know how well it meets your needs.

Thursday Dec 13, 2007

Must have upgrades to Microsoft Office...

I was just catching up on Erwin's blog on OpenOffice, and wow.. what a ton of great information there, but it got me wondering what to give those friends of ours that are still using Microsoft Office? I am sure we could all get them OpenOffice, but what if they aren't quite ready for that yet? Well I think the following two extensions are a must!

  1. ODF Plugin: With the Dutch being the latest government to endorse ODF, our friends need this plugin to make sure their proprietary formatted documents can be converted to ODF and used around the world. It seems that if you are going to work in almost any field these days, the ability to read .doc files is something that cannot be taken for granted , and it is being phased out. ODF is the open standard filling this void.
  2. Presentation Minimizer: In one of my prior posts I discussed this new extension that puts OpenOffice presentations on a diet, but it also works with PowerPoint! Yes, give this extension (it is free) to your PowerPoint buddies, and they can make their presentations much smaller. My limited tests show about a 50% reduction in file size, but one comment about the Presentation Minimizer has "I just compressed 60 MB Powerpoint down to 3 MB - that's cool."
-Mark

Friday Dec 07, 2007

My Opensource Beer Dream

What do dreams tell you? 

Either I am stressed at work or this dream really has some deep meaning that I cannot fathom, but honestly here is my dream from last night!

I had two bottles of beer, both looked really similar -- one was labeled and the other had no label. In discussing the beers around the camp fire, the unlabeled beer was "opensource beer" the other was "Mark's Beer" What was the difference? Well both beers had used the same recipe but my beer was better tasting! (Hey this is my dream OK!) In discussing it around this camp fire we all agreed that mine was better, and the reason for it was simple, although both beers used the same recipe it was the craftsman (Me in my dream) that used their expertise to craft a better tasting beer.

When I woke up, I was thinking whether this insight was correct?

 

  • Selling products based on opensource projects only makes sense if you add some value over and above the base project (in the dream example the ingredients didn't change, just probably how I processed the ingredients)
  • Even though there was one recipe there are many derivatives possible based on how we all interpret the recipe

Then I started wondering whether this dream analogy really had legs?

  • Wouldn't we all band together and add our process pieces into the opensource arena so we could all derive benefit? Maybe, but RedHat, Ubuntu, et. al. don't seem to do that...

OK, I for one, have no idea, so I thought I would share this dream with you all and see if any dream readers out there could enlighten me, on what my dream really means!

-Mark

Wednesday Dec 05, 2007

eWeek Impressed by OpenOffice

There is a great review by eWeek on OpenOffice that is absolutely worth the read. With eWeek giving the product glowing recommendations, isn't it time that you tried out OpenOffice? Did I mention it is a free download, works on almost every operating system, and supports more languages than I thought existed!

-Mark

 

Wednesday Oct 24, 2007

Google's Developer Pledge Needs Updating

Having just read ZDNet's piece on the Google's developer pledge of allegiance:

 

I can't help but think that this could be improved:

"I pledge allegence to the web" Why just the web? I love the web just as much as anyone else, but surely this is too limiting? With devices such as mobile phones, Blu-Ray devices, set-top boxes, and the like, I think that pledging allegiance to the Internet makes way more sense.

"One platform" great aspirational goal but is there really only one platform? Each web browser is its own platform, in fact each version of each browser seems to have its own nuances and could almost be considered a platform. As a developer I am also concerned about writing applications that work on way more than one platform.

"DOM" and "AJAX"  Although both these technologies are core to things like HTML/XML rendering and client technologies like Google Maps. These are way to limiting... What about PHP, MySQL, Apache, etc. As a developer I use all of these and, oh yes there is that other little technology out there called Java! How little is Java?

From Java.com: Java powers more than 4.5 billion devices:

  • over 800 million PCs
  • over 1.5 billion mobile phones and other handheld devices (source: Ovum)
  • 2.2 billion smart cards
  • plus set-top boxes, printers, web cams, games, car navigation systems, lottery terminals, medical devices, parking payment stations, etc.

Please don't limit me by having me pledge allegiance to only DOM and AJAX!

IMHO, perhaps they should have used this as their pledge of allegiance?

I pledge allegiance to the Internet,
and to the innovation and ubiquity for which it stands,
one common vision
of creating liberty and opportunity
for all.

-Mark 

Tuesday Oct 23, 2007

Apple joining Sun, Google, IBM, ....

I am eagerly awaiting Apple's next version of their OS, codenamed Leopard. I am not sure I will use all the new features, like spaces and time machine, but I will give it a try! The one feature that I wasn't expecting (and didn't even know about until I read Erwin's blog) was that Apple is joining nearly the whole industry in supporting Open Document Format ODF.

This is quite amazing. Your documents now can be stored in one format that can be edited and modified by a variety of vendor products, across a variety of platforms. Goodbye to those old proprietary formats that forced you to pay a tax (they call it a licensing fee) to open and modify YOUR document. It is now possible to create a document in Google Docs, edit if off-line with StarOffice (part of Google Pack) and send it to one set of colleagues to work on on the Mac. Then take it to work and use Lotus Symphony to make some edits before distributing it to your Linux friends using OpenOffice.org. Now for those of you still in Microsoft Office, we have a great ODF plug-in that allows you to work on this same document in Microsoft Office, or how about downloading OpenOffice.org and taking it for a spin?

Welcome Apple to the fold..

-Mark

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

Saving $10K for college

I am amazed with all the savings plans for college that more parents aren't getting OpenOffice for their kids, it way beats any other savings program I have found!

If you do some pretty simple math, using the spreadsheet functionality inside of OpenOffice the results are amazing. For the purpose of the analysis, lets assume that instead of buying Microsoft Office (about $400 on Amazon.com not including shipping and handling) you took that money and invested it at a rate of 10% per annum. In addition instead of upgrading every 3 years to the next release you took that money and put it into the same savings account. After 20 years what would that money have grown to? You are not going to believe this... Yes just shy of $10K!! Check out the math...

Year
Upgrade Cost
Savings Account
0 400
1
$440.00
2
$484.00
3 400 $932.40
4
$1,025.64
5
$1,128.20
6 400 $1,641.02
7
$1,805.13
8
$1,985.64
9 400 $2,584.20
10
$2,842.62
11
$3,126.89
12 400 $3,839.57
13
$4,223.53
14
$4,645.89
15 400 $5,510.47
16
$6,061.52
17
$6,667.67
18 400 $7,734.44
19
$8,507.89
20
$9,358.67

 

Now this doesn't take into account inflation where the cost for upgrades will continue to go up! So do the math... FREE beats proprietary and closed any day! If you are already a student download OpenOffice and save your parents some serious money!

-Mark 

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Why would you market anything but OpenOffice?

I have been sitting on the sidelines too long now and wondering how and when to start blogging. OK, so I procrastinated for ever! So here we go...

I am a marketing guy so perhaps my views differ from the deep technologists out there, but there are basically two options when it comes to office productivity --  Pay for it, and have little or no control, or get it free and have the ability to influence the community on where the product goes. The choice seems simple to me -- OpenOffice it is!

I personally think that this product is the gold standard for a consumer friendly product that has grown up under the FOSS mantra. Now don't get me wrong, there are things I don't like about the product, but overall this product is just wonderful. It makes perfect sense to me why IBM joined OpenOffice.org, they can now be associated with the movement away from proprietary technology to open standards (ODF) based offerings. Similarly when Google started bundling StarOffice (Basically OpenOffice) into the Google Pack it just seemed -- DUH naturally they would do it! What else would come close? I am sure it didn't take the marketing groups at Google or IBM long to decide:
   "Hmmm should we go with OpenOffice, or..um  errr um... urrr.."

So please tell me why Novell is going about trying to discredit OpenOffice.. I just don't get it. Simon has an excellent blog on this, and Jim too goes to great lengths to tell the world what Sun is doing. But, to me the fundamental question is really a marketing one. Does a company want to go it alone (bad idea!) or be part of a bigger movement? You marketing guys at Novell.. can you at least explain to Mr Meeks that this doesn't help Novell?

-Mark

 


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