Saturday, December 29, 2007

Netscape Browser Unplugged from Life Support Feb 1 2008.

It was only a matter of time.

AOL announced yesterday that they are officially pulling the plug on the Netscape browser February 8 2008. (

Microsoft wins again. But this was never a Darwinian battle that ensured the survival of the fittest. This was an economic erasure by the Microsoft "Borg" of the more innovative "Netscapians" who had no "USS Enterprise" to protect them.

Whatever became of the "Federation" of software companies joining forces to fight their monopolistic foe? What of the US Federal Government's anti-trust case? The DOJ's inability to deal with Microsoft has generated plenty of anti-trust amongst average Americans. This was no juvenile crime! Today it seems all that stands in the way of Micosoft's global domination of the software industry is a small band of rebels known only vaguely as the Open Source Community. To battle Internet Explorer's 76% market share these rebels will be rallying the troops around Mozilla Corporation's Firefox browser that today has only a 16% market share.

Good luck boys!

On the commercial front it would seem that upstart Google has the best shot at leveraging the Web paradigm enough to hold the "Borg" off for awhile. Google needs to do a better job of forging alliances with other software and hardware companies if it wants to win and win big in the long haul. If Google tries to go one on one with Microsoft it will learn the hard way like Netscape before it, that Microsoft doesn't fight fair.

Remember one of the lessons from the playground. Having a lot of friends is the only way to keep a bully off your back!

James Gingerich

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

JBoss: The Shape of Things to Come with Open Source?

Marc Fleury.

Former CEO of JBoss. He and his wife collectively owned more than 50% of JBoss when they sold it to Red Hat not that long ago for a cool $329 million.

How much of that code was developed by the JBoss Open Source community? Was the community allowed to share in any of the Fleury's spoils?

It comes as no surprise to this industry observer that Fleury is leaving Red Hat stating only that: "I've done what I can to help Red Hat succeed."

Good for you Marc. Now what about your loyal "open source" community?

With all due repsect to the Open Source community... Where's the outrage? Where's the class action lawsuit to get your fair share of the windfall? Where's your sense of abandonment? After all either Marc Fleury and his wife have retired early in order to enjoy their $150 million of Red Hat bonus bucks or this very moment Marc is hatching yet another scheme where he can get dedicated programmers to work for free on a "community" based project that Fleury can turn around and sell corporately for another nine or ten figure windfall.

Either way, is it any wonder why Fleury left Red Hat in the lurch too? Why work for a regular salary when there's so much more money to be made so much more quickly without even breaking a sweat in the wonderful world of open source.

Maybe it's just because I grew up in a small town of 3,500 people where the only hucksters we knew accompanied the fall fair into town just once a year kindly taking us all for a nickel or two at a time. These "carnies" didn't make millions at it by any stretch. But then again they didn't invoke that what they were doing was for the good of their "community"! In our small town "flurries" meant a lot of snow and reduced visibility. You couldn't drive at times because you couldn't always see what was coming up ahead. It looks like "Fleury's" means reduced visibility for the Open Source community too. I don't think when they dedicated all those hours of their development time for free that they saw what was coming up ahead either!

The content for this commentary was derived from a recent Informationweek article which can be viewed here:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is where I get to cut loose!

Have you ever had one of those days where the software industry really gets to you? You know.... that competitor that misrepresents their product or abuses their position in the marketplace to stifle a more innovative but smaller competitor!

The color scheme for this blog is reflective of the dark underside of the software industry that I hope to shed a little light on going forward. Hopefully it will get a little debate going. I encourage all contrary opinions, ramblings and rants here too! After all what's the point of debating any issue that doesn't have at least two different sides.

Just promise not to pull any punches. I won't be.