Open Source creating a new software industry

Open source is undermining shrink wrap software and fundimentally changing the software industry claims Ray Lane, a managing partner in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The software market is in transition from high profit margins of 70% or more to margins more in line with the hardware market at 20%.

While Microsoft have been successfull at selling software at high margins the entire industry is now experiencing a contraction due to the availability of quality open source solutions which can be used with minimal technical experience.

But what about the parents?

Lots of coverage of of a large US software company and their $3 software offer. One angle from the BBC Microsoft aims to double PC base and a slightly more cynical view from The Register Microsoft debuts Windows for the Poor. I'll leave you to pick your preference but I will elaborate on a post I made to one of those sites.

I do a bit of work amongst low decile education institutes here in NZ in the technology adaptation area, mainly kindergartens and childcare centres. During the training sessions they would rant a bit about how the NZ govt. deal with Microsoft didn't cover Early Childhood Education and how unfair it was as they had to fork out around $300 to get an academic use copy.

Firefox also vulnerable to Windows cursor exploit

I put this type of headline on a par with the Firefox shell commands one of a few years ago. It might sell more copy and one could argue that it is even accurate however the root cause is *still* a Windows specific problem, and no amount of polish is going to make that one shine. Computerworld article is here.

Having said all that, we need to be reminded that Firefox on Linux has had challenges as well but at least the comments in the last paragraph still hold true.

Novell delivers Open XML translator for OpenOffice

Not that there are many documents to read with it yet as I understand given that a number of organisations are taking Gartner Groups advice to delay deployment of Office 2007. Article is here.

Alternatively you could check out this item, also from Computerworld. I'll leave you to decide the humour level for yourselves but it does at least have native ODF support (and yes, Computerworld articles *are* delivered via Lotus Notes...).

President to Stand Down

The President of the NZOSS will be stepping down at this years Annual General Meeting. Peter Harrison, the President since the foundation of the society in 2002 said that "I thought as we are now into the new year it is about time I announce that I'm stepping down as President this year. I made the decision last year, and feel quite happy that there are people in the organisation that will be more than competent in taking the NZOSS forward."

Harrison thanked his fellow members of the society for the trust placed in him during his time in the role, and expressed his desire for fre

DRM Death Sentence

Peter Gutmann, security and encryption researcher at Auckland University has written an analysis of Vista which addresses the cost of the Digital Rights Management technology Microsoft have incorporated into the new Vista operating system. In Gutmann's estimation "The Vista Content Protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history." He continues to describe the deliberate degradation of capabilities users will experience when DRM protected content arrives on your computer.