Open source ushers mobile OS changes

The year is starting out with what may turn out to be significant changes in the mobile operating system market, with open source software playing a significant role just as it has in enterprise software, virtualization and cloud computing.

With fading heavyweights and interesting new challengers, there are changes afoot in the mobile OS market, but we must first acknowledge the market today is still mainly a duopoly of Apple with iOS and Samsung with Android.

However, if we look back five years, we see how dramatically the mobile OS landscape has changed. Given the pace of today’s device and application development and support, as well as users from consumers to the enterprise, we can expect similarly dramatic changes in the coming months and years.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

Open source moving in mobile

We got another reminder of how disruptive open source software is to mobile computing this week, when Linux and Android merged back together. This appears to be good news for a number of parties, but Android and Linux developers and users seem particularly likely to benefit. The inclusion of Android code in the Linux kernel and the ability for Linux developers to more easily work on the Android environment and applications also ties into some of the key topics we’ll be covering in a Webcast March 21 titled ‘Open Source, A Tale of Two Cities in the Mobile Enterprise,’ presented by 451 Research and Black Duck Software.

This webcast, as the title implies, will focus on how open source can present both challenges and opportunities as enterprises adapt to market changes and mobile devices. This includes the fact that open source software frameworks, pieces and development are all enabling new applications to be quickly developed and deployed. However, this presents tremendous pressure on enterprise IT teams already dealing with disruption and change from cloud computing and the trend of ‘devops,’ which blends application development with IT operations and application deployment. The Webcast will cover how open source software is mixing with devops and other trends, such as the consumerization of IT and BYOD, to both disrupt and develop the mobile enterprise. We will also highlight some key open source software technologies in the mobile space and highlight some observed best practices for both vendors and customers.

2012 to be year of Linux domination

Previously, I’ve called out years for non-desktop Linux in 2008, Linux in both the low and high-ends of the market in 2009, ‘hidden’ Linux in 2010 and last year, cloud computing in 2011. For 2012, I see continued growth, prevalence, innovation and impact from Linux, thus leading to a 2012 that is dominated by Linux.

I expect to see nothing but continued strength for Linux and open source in cloud computing in 2012. The cloud continues to be the biggest disruptor and opportunity for Linux providers. 2012 got off to an interesting start with Microsoft’s efforts to support for Linux on Azure, which highlights just how pervasive Linux has become in cloud computing. As detail in our special report on The Changing Linux Landscape, we also expect Linux to continue to be the basis for most offerings in IaaS and particularly PaaS, which is burgeoning across open source languages and frameworks as well as verticals and enterprise customers. Its popularity among enterprise and other developers will also bolster Linux and open source software in 2012.

We can certainly expect to see Linux continue its domination in supercomputing and the Top 500 Supercomputer List, where Linux continues to grow its share above 90% while others, such as Microsoft, Apple and BSD, fall off of the list.

I also expect Linux will grow its presence and impact on the wider, more mainstream server market, where Red Hat and SUSE continue to benefit from Unix migration, particularly from Solaris. Our analysis with survey data from 451 Research division TheInfoPro shows server spending for databases and data warehousing favoring Red Hat with Linux over Oracle with either Linux or Solaris. Out of more than 165 server professionals interviewed by TIP, 67% are planning to spend more with Red Hat on database/data-warehousing, and only 6% plan to spend less. The positive figures for Red Hat mirror negative spending intentions for Oracle, with 55% planning to spend less and only 9% planning to spend more. Spending continues to decline strongly for all of the primary Unix providers in the study, which in addition to Oracle includes IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

We may also see further expansion for Red Hat, which may be eyeing key acquisitions, and other Linux and open source vendors as they continue building their channels and wade more into midmarket and SMB customers.

In smartphones and mobile software, I also expect Linux will do quite well in 2012 with continued Android strength, diminished FUD and possibly an open source boost from a newly-open sourced WebOS. We also see Ubuntu arriving on the mobile and converged device scene, including ‘concept’ appearance at CES.

We’re also likely to see Linux in automobiles, health care and other electronics even more in 2012, though you may never hear Linux or open source. Don’t be fooled though, Linux is expanding its already impressive, wide presence and 2012 looks to be another year of significant gains.

Ubuntu on the move more than in decline

Ubuntu has been taking some criticism and heat for its falling Distrowatch rankings. I don’t doubt that after years of popularity, we’re finally seeing a bit of a return to the desktop Linux world of old when a new distribution shot up every week or month, then faded, then re-appeared … and so on. However, when I consider where Canonical and Ubuntu are heading, I question the significance of desktop OS standing and Distrowach rankings.

First off, I must say that Ubuntu’s slip off the ‘king of the hill’ game on Distrowatch came at the expense of Linux Mint, another polished, user-friendly Linux. It wouldn’t surprise me if some Ubuntu users may be migrating to Mint or other distributions largely out of frustration or dislike of the new Unity interface over the previous primary interface, Gnome. However, I think the move will be worth it in the long run to Ubuntu, as I’ll explain further.

If considering desktop OS, the most important aspect to me as an enterprise software analyst is enterprise desktop, and Ubuntu does well there. I’m sure there are plenty of shops running other flavors of Linux, including Mint, Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian and many, many others, but for corporate desktop, the list quickly thins. Nevertheless, this is where Canonical has had some big victories, including the French police. In terms of consumer and user desktop PCs, the category itself is disappearing into converged and touch-capable devices, further distancing us from the ‘distro wars’ of the past.

Still, the server is where the real action and revenue from Linux exist. Here, Ubuntu still faces a role-reversal from most Linux distributions, using desktop and developer popularity to fuel its use as a server OS, which is also helped by free availability and cloud computing. Ubuntu continues to benefit from its early move to cloud computing and its popularity among developers, but also still faces a huge challenge in monetizing use. Significantly, the latest version, Ubuntu 11.10, incorporates support for OpenStack (or Eucalyptus) and VMware Cloud Foundry PaaS. This could be significant given what we’ve seen from this type of integration and bundling in the past. In addition, Ubuntu benefits from being among the select few Linux distribution that exist in both free, community and paid, commercial form. As reported in our special report, ‘The Changing Linux Landscape,’ the existence of an unpaid community cousin can help drive commercial growth for paid, subscription Linux, as we’ve seen happen with free Ubuntu and paid Ubuntu, as well as Fedora and RHEL and OpenSUSE and SLES.

Finally, the explosion of smartphones, tablets and converged devices — many of them running embedded Linux — makes clear there is more opportunity in these newer devices than in the desktop PCs of old. Ubuntu got a good start in netbooks and continues to be among the most advanced netbook operating systems. This should help its move to smartphones, tablets, other mobile devices, TVs and more and this is where the payoff of Unity occurs. Canonical with Ubuntu may have a real advantage as a user-friendly, mobile Linux OS that can be used by OEMs and carriers without the intellectual property stress that has marked Android, which has nonetheless laid the groundwork for mobile Linux in the industry. In the end, the pain of leaving Gnome has been significant, but the promise of where Ubuntu is headed seems worth that pain.

451 CAOS Links 2011.11.11

B&N asks DoJ to investigate Microsoft patent tactics. Fedora 16. And more.

# Barnes & Noble asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Microsoft’s patent-licensing tactics.

# The team behind Strobe is moving to Facebook. Sproutcore will continue as an independent project.

# The UK government’s Cabinet Office dispelled concerns about the security of open source software.

# The Fedora Project announced the availability of Fedora 16.

# Google offered support to Android firms in lawsuits.

# HStreaming updated its scalable continuous data analytics platform built on Hadoop.

# Dell is releasing its Apache Hadoop Crowbar barclamps as open source software.

# ActiveState added new management and monitoring features to ActiveState Stackato.

# Talend provided information on all contributions made by Talend to open source community projects.

# StackIQ announced the availability of Rocks+ 6.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.10.28

Topics for this podcast:

*Opscode Chef extends to Windows for more enterprise devops
*Black Duck continues growth, gains new funding
*Cloudant expands NoSQL database focus, customers
*New open source Web server and vendor Nginx arrives
*The downside of Microsoft’s Android dollars

iTunes or direct download (27:35, 4.7MB)

451 CAOS Links 2011.10.28

Sencha raises $15m. Facebook forms Open Compute foundation. And more.

# Sencha raised $15m in series B funding led by Jafco Ventures, previewed its MTML5 cloud platform.

# Facebook announced the formation of a foundation to lead the Open Compute Project, while Red Hat became a member.

# Digium and the Asterisk open source community released Asterisk 10.

# SUSE released an early development snapshot of its OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure offering.

# Internap Network Services claimed to have launched the world’s first commercially available public cloud compute service based on the OpenStack.

# The Linux Foundation announced the consumer electronics Long Term Stable Kernel Initiative.

# Zmanda and Nexenta Systems announced availability of jointly developed and certified back-up solutions.

# BonitaSoft announced the availability of Bonita Open Solution 5.6.

# Black Duck Software announced version 2.0 of its Code Sight source code search engine.

# CFEngine unveiled CFEngine 3 Nova, a new version of its commercial configuration management software.

# The Hudson-CI team described the steps taken to prepare for membership of the Eclipse Foundation.

# Actuate announced BIRT Mobile Business Intelligence for Android devices.

# Red Hat, The Linux Foundation and Canonical published a white paper on the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface.

# Stephen O’Grady responded to suggestions that open source doesn’t innovate.

The downside of Microsoft’s Android dollars

There’s been a lot of attention on the amount of money Microsoft is making from Android, including Microsoft’s own proclamations. Maybe it’s just that I’m more of a fan of Linux and open source software, or maybe I’m overly focused on the lawsuits and threats against Android, but I see serious downsides to all of those dollars for Microsoft from Android.

I believe Microsoft’s strategy to pursue patent licensing deals rather than sue, as we’ve seen from Apple, may prove to be a more effective strategy. Rather than limit or destroy Android, Microsoft is actually supporting its growth, meaning more Android devices and users in the market. Since it’s making so much money from Android, Microsoft may be less interested in limiting or attacking it, so that’s a benefit to Android. However, I do see some significant drawbacks to Microsoft’s Android strategy, all of which serve to limit Microsoft’s opportunity in the future.

First, Microsoft’s Android licensing is a validation of Android. Many if not most of the companies using Android that are also Microsoft licensees all seem to be doing well enough and making enough money to go ahead and pay Microsoft’s licensing fees. This highlights Android’s growth and spread, which is tied to significant market gains for companies such as HTC, Samsung and Verizon. One might argue that Microsoft’s Android licensing revenue will similarly rise with the Linux-based mobile operating system’s growth, but I don’t see that happening, and the second drawback I discuss next is the reason.

Second, we’ve already seen Samsung working to sidestep technology and patents in question that have caused courtroom fights or market bans around the world. I expect all of Microsoft’s Android licensees are working to similarly work around technology in question, so there is a shelf life on Microsoft’s IP licensing business. The details of these patent deals are not public to us, but the companies that agree to them have a much better handle on which technology is problematic since they’re the ones signing. I expect we will see these deals peak at some point and over time, they will become less relevant to Android backers and less lucrative to Microsoft. In addition, for all of the criticisms regarding its openness, Android has a global, open source development community behind it. That means it will be able to compete, innovate and work around things quickly. Those workarounds will likely make their way into the greater Android community so that supposed patent infringements will decline and eventually disappear.

The third drawback is a matter of pride. At the same time Samsung officials signaled an effort to sidestep IP-sensitive technologies and issues, a Samsung executive expressed concern that these patent suits and fights may come at the expense of pride in brand and company. I couldn’t agree more. It really does say something if Microsoft is making more money from IP licensing of non-Microsoft technology than from its own work in smartphones — perhaps the hottest technology market on the planet right now. Consumers may not be aware of or care about lawsuits, license deals or pride, but developers do.

Given some new indications there may be a change at Apple and a bridge to Samsung whereby settlement, progress and choice take priority over market bans and destruction of an ecosystem, these drawbacks for Microsoft may be even more significant going forward.

451 CAOS Links 2011.10.21

Google unwraps Ice Cream Sandwich. Source code to follow. And more.

# Google and Samsung unveiled Galaxy Nexus, the first phone designed for Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

# Meanwhile Google indicated that it plans to publish the Ice Cream Sandwich source code soon after it is available on devices.

# BonitaSoft announced that it has surpassed one million downloads and now has more than 250 customers.

# Gemini Technologies joined the OpenStack community, bringing its Amazon S3 compatibility, provisioning and billing APIs to OpenStack.

# Canonical re-aligned its corporate and professional services.

# The Document Foundation announced the preliminary results of its board election.

# Cloudera released CDH3 update 2, adding Apache Mahout to its Cloudera Distribution Including Apache Hadoop.

# Cloudera also announced the new Cloudera University brand for its training and certification programs.

# Zend Technologies announced and a partnership with 10gen including the integration of the MongoDB PHP driver with Zend Server

# Hadapt reportedly closed an $8m series A financing round – or is that $9.5m

# Bacula Systems announced the availability of its Linux bare metal restore feature.

# Virtustream added support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to its xStream cloud platform

# The Outercurve Foundation announced the acceptance of the .Net Bio project into the Research Accelerators Gallery.

# ForgeRock announced a partnership with Radiant Logic to join RadiantOne’s Virtual Directory Server and OpenAM.

# OStatic published an introduction to Amdatu, an open cloud platform powered by Apache.

# Talend announced an expanded OEM partner program.

New mobile Linux efforts reminiscent of old

Amid continued traction for Android, there have been a number of other developments for mobile operating systems based on Linux. Given my support for and belief in Linux and open source software, you might expect me to be bullish on the prospects for all of this mobile and device Linux. However, based on what I’ve seen in the past in terms of mergers, reshuffles and strategic restarts, I believe the introduction of the Tizen Linux-based OS is reminiscent of a time when mobile Linux wasn’t really moving ahead.

Almost three years ago, I wrote in 451 Group’s report,’Mobility Matters,’ that in spite of previous false starts and maneuvers — similar to the ones we’re seeing right now — mobile Linux and open source software were finally poised to break out of niche use. I saw potential in the LiMO Founation, Palm’s webOS, and particularly Android.

More recently came the introduction of Tizen. Though the Tizen project is backed by the Linux Foundation, the LiMO Foundation, and industry leaders including Intel and Samsung, it is a jolt to mobile Linux and open source developers since it effectively ends the MeeGo OS and project.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

451 CAOS Links 2011.09.30

Microsoft’s Android revenue. Tizen formation. And more.

# As Microsoft announced its latest Android-related patent agreement with Samsun, Goldman Sachs estimated that the company will make $444m in revenue from Android patent deals for fiscal year 2012.

# LiMo Foundation and The Linux Foundation announced the formation of Tizen to develop a Linux-based device software platform.

# Karmasphere raised $6m in a series B round of funding, led by new investor Presidio Ventures.

# Citrix Systems announced the availability of XenServer 6.

# 10gen announced the general availability of MongoDB Monitoring Service, a free monitoring service for the MongoDB database.

# Percona announced the release of Percona Server version 5.5.15.

# Hortonworks became a Gold sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation.

# The developers behind PhoneGap have applied to contribute their open source mobile development framework to the Apache Software Foundation.

# Piston Cloud Computing is set to launch its PentOS enterprise operating system for the cloud and put OpenStack on a memory stick.

# The Free Software Foundation announced the re-launch of its Free Software Directory.

# Rhomobile announced availability of RhoConnect 3.0.

# Nokia is reportedly working on a new Linux-based operating system for mass market phones called Meltemi.

451 CAOS Links 2011.09.23

Red Hat revenue up 28% in Q2. Funding for NoSQL vendors. And more.

# Red Hat reported net income of $40m in the second quarter on revenue up 28% to $281.3m.

# 10gen raised $20m in funding, while DataStax closed an $11m series B round, while also releasing its DataStax Enterprise and Community products. Additionally Neo Technology raised $10.6m series A funding.

# Oracle announced the addition of new extended capabilities in MySQL Enterprise Edition. The move confirmed the adoption of the open core licensing strategy, and was both welcomed and derided.

# BonitaSoft announced an $11m series B funding round.\

# Platfora raised $5.7m in series A funding to accelerate development of its BI and analytics platform for data stored in Hadoop.

# EMC launched its EMC Greenplum Modular Data Computing Appliance, which includes both the Greenplum Database and Greenplum HD (Hadoop), and introduced the Greenplum Analytics Workbench, a test bed cluster for integration testing Apache Hadoop.

# Oracle acquired GoAhead Software, which offers a commercial distribution of OpenSAF.

# Ingres changed its name to Actian and launched its Action Apps and Cloud Action Platform.

# Richard Stallman asked ‘Is Android really free software?’. Predictably enough the answer is ‘no’. Carlo Daffara called FUD.

# LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ HPCC Systems released the source code for its HPCC Systems platform, and introduced a covenant to keep contributed code open source for three years.

# OpenStack released Diablo, the fourth version of its open source cloud software.

# The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announced the release of PostgreSQL 9.1.

# VoltDB announced the general availability of VoltDB version 2.0.

# Samsung is reportedly planning to release its Bada mobile operating system under an open source license.

# Karmasphere updated its Karmasphere Analyst Big Data analytics product with new workflow capabilities for Apache Hadoop.

# The Open Virtualization Alliance now has more than 200 members.

# The Outercurve Foundation announced the acceptance of the GADS open source project into its Data, Language and System Interoperability Gallery.

# Openbravo announced that customer deployments of its ERP product on Amazon have increased over 187% in the last 12 months.

# The Apache Software Foundation confirmed Apache Whirr as a top-level project.

# Qt gained more independence from Nokia.

# SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has been selected for Use with SAP HANA.

# Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 was certified by SAP to run SAP business applications, as well as support for SAP running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon EC2.

# 10gen’s MongoDB was chosen by SAP as a core component of SAP’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.

# Puppet Labs announced Puppet Enterprise 2.0.

# Microsoft added Casio to its list of Linux-related patent agreement signees.

# Dries Buytaert explained why Acquia acquired Cyrve and GVS and addressed concern that Acquia is sucking up all the Drupal talent.

# Medsphere Systems announced the generally availability of the enhanced OpenVista electronic health record (EHR) platform.

# Stormy Peters asked whether open source is excluding high context cultures.

# OpenIndiana’s fork of OpenSolaris added support for the Illumos kernel.

# Cenatic released the results of its research into public administration involvement in open source communities.

# Spring Roo is shifting to be 100% Apache licensed.

# VLC developers are looking for anyone who has contributed to libVLC so that they can approve the change in licence from GPLv2 to LGPLv2.

# Virtual Bridges joined OpenStack.

# Github now has over one million users.

# Splunk open sourced the code for

Microsoft of old on Linux desktop, mobile and users

I wrote recently about how Microsoft is now among the broadest supporters of enterprise Linux server, but when it comes to desktop PCs and laptops, mobile and converged devices and end users, Microsoft’s Linux support is a time warp back to 1998 when computers and their software were fused by proprietary sodder.

Though probably not intended as one of the new Windows 8 features to be highlighted, recent reports indicate a boot requirement in Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 OS prevents booting of Linux.

As a Linux user who has installed several different distributions on several different failed Windows machines, I’m concerned for a few reasons. One, it can be difficult to impossible to avoid the so-called ‘Microsoft tax,’ whereby Windows machines are purchased with the intention of installing Linux. Two, this is a serious limitation to the growing segment of users that like a dual-boot option with Linux. Three, what will happen to all of those PCs, laptops, netbooks and other devices after the Microsoft software becomes buggy, broken or outdated?

In the past, I’ve written about how Linux, in its admitted geekiness and difficulty, can actually be easier and empowering. I learned this largely from installing Linux on a Windows machine for the first time more than five years ago. I’ve since slapped Linux on as many as a dozen other machines, including netbooks. For the record, I now run Linux software released a few months ago on my netbook, which is almost three years old.

Over time, I have encountered some significant stumbling blocks and hurdles in putting Linux on Windows machines, some of them suspiciously unnecessary. Given that, I’m not too surprised to see this secure boot business (link to SJVN)

We also see Microsoft taking an approach toward Android that is reminiscent of the Microsoft of old given its contribution to concern and doubt in the market over the competing mobile OS. We’ve also covered some of the Microsoft machinations that occurred over netbooks.

What’s even more surprising is that this boot limitation from Microsoft comes amid some amazing potential in dual-boot and auxiliary boot systems, such as instant on or media player boot options. Ironically, there are among the best ways for PCs to stay alive and running in the market. Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to be more interested in making sure the only OS you use is the one from them.

451 CAOS Links 2011.08.16

Google says Hello Moto. A GPL violation that hasn’t actually occurred. And more.

# Google announced plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn, adding an Android handset business and more than 17,000 patents.

# Fabrizio Capobianco speculated that the acquisition represents the end of Android as we know it.

# Meanwhile IP lawyer Edward Naughton continued his Android-bothering by raising the question of GPL compliance and Android device manufacturers unlicensed.

# In response Bradley M. Kuhn noted that Naughton has not identified a GPL violation that actually occurred, while Carlo Daffara pointed out that the GPL portions of Android Honeycomb have been in the AOSP git tree from late January.

# Joyent announced that it had ported KVM to its SmartOS operating system.

# SGI acquired open source computational fluid dynamics software player OpenCFD Ltd.

# Mozilla launched the release candidate draft of Mozilla Public License, version 2.0.

# Rhomobile announced Rhodes 3.1, the latest updates of its native smartphone app framework.

# Karsten Wade called for the formation of a working group on community metrics.

451 CAOS Links 2011.08.05

Google and Microsoft trade patent claims. Actuate announces Q2 results. And more.

# Google accused Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies of organising a hostile patent campaign against Android. That prompted Microsoft executives to claim that Microsoft invited Google to be involved in the CPTN purchase of Novell’s patents. However, Google explained that joining CPTN might have decreased its ability to defend itself against potential patent claims.

# Actuate announced its Q2 financial results, including BIRT-related license business of $5.3m, up 130% year-over-year.

# Dell and Cloudera announced a combined hardware, software, support and services offering for Apache Hadoop.

# France and Tunisia have signed a joint declaration on governmental cooperation on open source software.

# Mitchell Baker explained the Mozilla Foundation’s Gecko project.

# VisionMobile published a report assessing the relative openness of Android, MeeGo, Linux, Qt, WebKit, Mozilla, Eclipse and Symbian.

# Sandro Groganz published an article on the benefits of the community for partners of open source vendors.

# Twitter announced plans to release its Storm distributed stream processing software as an open source project.

# Georg Greve discussed his perspective on freedom in the cloud.

# MySQL performance specialist Percona celebrated its fifth birthday, now with 50 employees and 1,200 customers.

The open card in the mobile game

I wrote last year about the way Google’s Android mobile operating system was serving as a more open alternative to Apple’s iOS, but not so open that it didn’t leave opportunity for an even more open alternative.

Given that we continue to see software patent-based attacks on Android, as well as swirling FUD around coverage of the attacks and never ending suits and settlements and courtroom developments, it is clear it will be a long time before any of this legal business is ever close to settled, unless ended by settlements first, which is likely.

However, I’m more interested in the technology in the meantime. I also think it’s interesting to see, if not a ‘more open’ alternative emerging, at least another, ‘somewhat open’ option in the tablet market, this being HP’s WebOS. It’s interesting that WebOS evolved from Palm, which HP acquired in March 2010 for $1.4 billion. Though Apple’s iPad is still the clear leader in tablets, it is interesting to see continuing signs that what happened in smartphones (where iPhone led and Android quickly caught up and then passed iOS) may be happening in tablets. There is also still the possibility that tablets may play out like netbooks, with wild popularity followed by a fade in favor of more traditional PCs for traditional PC needs. It is interesting to note that Google’s Eric Schmidt recently commented on the continued utility of PCs, which will remain key to professionals, consumers, and also developers, largely because of the tactical keyboard. What is most likely is continued convergence, and it will be interesting to see what ties emerge between WebOS and PCs as computer hardware giant HP rolls out the OS in tablets and smartphones.

We also see other signs that new, open entrants may be mixing things up in the mobile and converged device market, such as word of a possible Android and iOS competitor from Mozilla. There is yet another project that is already a factor in netbooks, other mobile devices and the burgeoning IT market of automobile information and entertainment systems, MeeGo, which is also open source. Even Research in Motion’s Playbook is based on the QNX operating system, for which source code was made available by its previous owner to make it more like the open source Linux OS, which was attracting developers and interesting customers.

We believed there was a fairly prominent place for open source software, open source operating systems and general openness in mobile software when we wrote our report, Mobility Matters three years ago, but we would have never guessed that the openness of this software would be so significant in two respects: defense from patent and other intellectual property attacks; the market power of open source, which draws in not only developers, but manufacturers and other third-parties. We’ve seen the speed and strength at which a project and community such as Android can grow. Will we now begin to see other alternatives that are even more open emerge as top choices among developers, hardware companies, wireless players and consumers? Never before have those alternatives really existed in the mobile software world, so it’s good at least to see the possibility is there.

451 CAOS Links 2011.07.12

Citrix acquires Funding for Piston and Zettaset. And more.

# Citrix acquired, reportedly for $200m-$250m.

# Piston Cloud Computing raised $4.5m to fund its efforts to commercialize OpenStack.

# GOTO Metrics re-launched as Zettaset with a Hadoop-based data management platform and $3m in funding.

# Red Hat launched JBoss Application Server 7

# The Document Foundation provided an update on its efforts to establish as legal entity.

# Google’s rivals have been accused of colluding against Android.

# Carlo Daffara explained how it could have been so different.

# Opengear hired Rick Stevenson as CEO.

# rPath announced the launch of its OpenStack Compute Appliance.

# DataStax launched version 1.2 of DataStax OpsCenter for Apache Cassandra and Hadoop.

# Facebook banned Open-Xchange’s OX.IO export tool.

# Nuxeo announced that Nuxeo Document Management is available in the Ubuntu software partner catalog.

# Richard Fontana continued his explanation of the problem with the Harmony project.

# Debian and SFLC published patent advice for community distributions.

# Mandriva appointed a new president of its executive board.

451 CAOS Links 2011.07.08

Harmony disharmony. Microsoft’s Android revenue. And more.

# The Harmony Project released version 1.0 of its templates for standard contributor license agreements prompting comment and criticism from Dave Neary, Stephen Walli, Richard Fontana and Bradley M Kuhn.

# Microsoft reportedly demanded $15 for each Android smartphone handset made by Samsung, while the company announced a new patent agreement with Wistron that specifically mentioned both Android and Chrome. In case you missed it, it has previously been argued that Microsoft makes more money from Android than it does Windows Phone.

# CloudBees joined the Eclipse Foundation as a Solutions Member and the launched the CloudBees Toolkit for Eclipse plug-in.

# Carlo Daffara discussed open source as a differentiator (or not).

# “SourceForge is based around the idea of hosting open-source projects. GitHub is based around the idea of hosting open-source code.” Why SourceForge Lost

# CERN launched an Open Hardware initiative.

# The Australian government published its Guide to Open Source Software.

# Savio Rodrigues discussed the apparent decline in open source contributions.

# Heroku added support for Clojure.

# Michael Stonebraker argued that Facebook’s MySQL deployment is a fate worse than death.

The rise, fall and reality of commercial open source

We’ve been writing ourselves about the move toward more permissive licensing in commercial open source, as well as a lessening of the use of ‘open source’ as an identifier or differentiator. We’ve also seen others comment on a perceived loss of significance and importance of free and open source software and open standards. Combine this all with some typical observation on the lack of contribution back to open source software projects, and it might appear that open source software is a once-mighty empire in the midst of decline. However, from my perspective it seems despite all of this, open source software has never before been as pervasive, disruptive and innovative as it is right now. While we have yet to reach open nirvana, open source software is playing a pivotal role in the two most significant software markets currently: cloud computing and mobile computing.

Much of the gloom and doom in open source software the last couple of years has centered on the evil that is ‘open core,’ yet I have been among those contending that open core and the mixing of open source and proprietary models is often something that customers want. In addition, rather than just a matter of converting much or all that open source community goodness to cold hard cash, I believe all of these trends and perspectives support the idea that open source software is actually gaining in significance. Whether it is viewed as an effective marketing mechanism may be another thing, but the fact that open source is prevalent in the two hottest categories of IT today: cloud computing and mobile devices.

We’ve written extensively about open source software’s prevelance in cloud computing. We’ve also covered how the many, critical open source pieces of cloud computing stacks, whether SaaS, IaaS or PaaS, are also having an impact on openness and discussions of it, something we also see when considering recent partnerships and a changing landscape for Linux and open source software.

We’ve also covered the significance and prevalence of open source software in mobile computing. At the same time, we recognized that while open source software was a key ingredient to most if not all mobile software platforms and application ecosystems, there was a lack of open source software reaching end products and users.

In both cases, there are reasons and incentives for ‘going closed,’ so to speak, but it is the true open source efforts that elicit true community benefits: collaboration, transparency, speed, flexibility, security and more. So while open source as a term or identifier may not be what matters most to vendors or customers, there is no question open source is key to the business and future of many, if not most vendors in cloud and mobile computing. Ask Puppet Labs or Chef sponsor Opscode whether open source matters to their customers and their business. Ask Google whether openness is something they consider as they move forward on Android and Chrome. Ask Rackspace whether open source is critical in its open source cloud computing stack, OpenStack. Ask HP whether it is meaningful that WebOS is open source. I have. It is. So the next time we hear about the surrender, retreat, fade or decline of open source software or its importance in today’s computing landscape, just remember that today’s key markets tell a different story.

451 CAOS Links 2011.07.01

A herd of Hadoop announcements. Rockmelt raises $30m. And more.

A herd of Hadoop announcements
# Yahoo! and Benchmark Capital confirmed the formation of Hortonworks, an independent company focused on the development and support of Apache Hadoop.

# Cloudera announced the availability of Cloudera Enterprise 3.5 and the launch of Cloudera SCM Express, based on the new Service and Configuration Manager in Cloudera Enterprise 3.5.

# MapR announced the availability of the M3 and M5 editions of its Distribution for Apache Hadoop.

# Platform Computing announced it has signed the Apache Corporate Contributor License Agreement allowing the company to contribute to the Apache Hadoop project, and launched its Platform MapReduce runtime engine.

# Platfora is another new company hoping to make its mark with Hadoop.

# Karmasphere launched the Karmasphere Studio Community Hadoop Virtual Appliance for developers.

# StackIQ announced the beta release of Rocks+ Big Data, a cluster automation offering for Apache Hadoop.

The best of the rest
# Rockmelt raised $30m in a series B funding round led by Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz.

# BeyondTrust acquired Likewise Software’s Likewise Enterprise and Likewise Open products, re-branding them as PowerBroker Identity Services, Enterprise and Open Edition, leaving Likewise focusing on its open source-based Likewise Storage Services product.

# Basho Technologies named Donald J. Rippert, former chief technology officer of Accenture, as president and chief executive officer and closed the remainder of its previously announced funding round.

# Matt Asay compared VMware and Red Hat’s approaches to open source PaaS.

# Miguel de Icaza provided an update on the formation of Xamarin.

# Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile suggested that it is a sin to use open source software without contributing money or time, prompting a predictable response from Pentaho inviting guilt-free use of its offerings.

# EnterpriseDB announced the general availability of Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.0.

# CASH Music highlighted the problems faced by open source groups filing for federal 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

# Microsoft signed Android-related patent deals with Onkyo and Velocity Micro.

# Talend announced that its announced that MDM Enterprise Edition, open source Master Data Management software can now handle more than 100 million records on a single $1200 server.

# Shadow-Soft signed a deal with SkySQL enabling it to resell SkySQL products, training and services in the U.S.