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Google Android: More than just a cheap date

For years, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM have used Linux to lower the cost of their hardware and software-based solutions, while keeping profit margins fat and healthy. Google, ever the quick learner, is now doing the same with Android.

The mobile market will never be the same.

Just as Google and others are using open-source software to lower barriers to adoption of their proprietary cloud offerings, so, too, is Google using open source to reduce the cost of mobile computing in order to drive uptake of its proprietary search-related advertising business in mobile.

Google CFO Patrick Pichette said as much in Google's most recent earnings call:

If we move forward the adoption of these smartphones by having a lower cost infrastructure because it's open source...all the (mobile) searches...will happen so much faster.

Open source: it's all about peace, love...and capitalism.

However, Android is more than just a way to shave a few dollars off a phone's purchase price. Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation's executive director, declared recently that Linux offers "greater flexibility, freedom from lock-in, and lack of licensing costs." More...

10-20-2009 11:49

Gov 2.0: It’s All About The Platform

Editor’s note: The following guest post is by Tim O’Reilly, the founder and CEO of computer book publisher O’Reilly Media and a conference organizer. O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 five years ago. Now he is arguing it is time for Gov 2.0, and has helped organize a summit next week to talk about what that might mean.

Today, many people equate Web 2.0 with social media; three or four years ago, they equated it with AJAX applications and APIs. Many are now starting to think it’s all about cloud computing. In fact, it’s all of these and more. The way I have always defined Web 2.0, it’s been about what it means for the internet, rather than the personal computer, to be the dominant computing platform. What are the rules of business and competitive advantage when the network is the platform?

So too with Government 2.0. A lot of people equate the term with government use of social media, either to solicit public participation or to get out its message in new ways. Some people think it means making government more transparent. Some people think it means adding AJAX to government websites, or replacing those websites with government APIs, or building new cloud platforms for shared government services. And yes, it means all those things.

But as with Web 2.0, the real secret of success in Government 2.0 is thinking about government as a platform. If there’s one thing we learn from the technology industry, it’s that every big winner has been a platform company: someone whose success has enabled others, who’ve built on their work and multiplied its impact. More...

09-04-2009 11:30

Analysts wake up to open source

For years, the analyst community has largely ignored open source or, worse, has actively advised against it. While there are exceptions--Forrester, The 451 Group, Redmonk--the general mood in the analyst community seems to be one of steadfast denial of open-source's impact on computing.

Ignoring open source is a bit like denying gravity, however, and even open-source agnostics like IDC and Gartner are now stating the obvious: Open source is having a massive impact on enterprise computing, and it's becoming big business.

IDC, for example, significantly revised upward its estimate of the market size for open-source solutions, now projecting a 22.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit $8.1 billion by 2013. The firm suggests that the revision is due to the surprising growth of open source through the economic downturn. It's unclear why this should have been a surprise, especially given that it was already calling out Linux as a big winner in the recession but...we'll take it. More...

07-31-2009 12:58