But Wait, There's More
Black Duck, ActiveGrid Join OSDL
The momentum behind Open Source Development Labs just keeps building, with two more companies joining the flock in the past week.
Black Duck Software, a provider of software and services that allows companies to manage their intellectual property and the way they mix and match it with open source technologies and their many license provisions, has joined OSDL. Black Duck was founded in late 2003 after The SCO Group sued IBM over its allegedly putting Unix intellectual property into the Linux operating system. BlackDuck offers a tool called protexIP, which can detect proprietary and open source code in a solution stack and tell programmers and managers the potential intellectual property risks they face as they mix such code. If you use an open source program as part of your application, Black Duck will, for example, tell you if your licensing terms to your customers violate the GNU General Public License. This sounds exactly like the kind of technology that OSDL itself needs to use, in fact.
ActiveGrid has also joined up. The San Francisco company has commercialized the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) software stack and created what it's calling "transaction grids" for hosting commercial applications, rather than using big SMP servers running Windows or Unix. ActiveGrid has joined the Data Center Linux working group.
Linspire Spearheads IRMA Project to Port Linux Code to 78 Languages
Desktop Linux vendor Linspire (formerly known as Lindows) has announced a Web-based translation program that, it says, will be useful in helping creators of open source programs to translate their code into the dominant languages on the planet.
The International Resource Management Application, or IRMA, is back-ended by some 200 translation volunteers, and the cyborg IRMA system (well, that is what it really is) is able to translate code into 24 languages. Linspire's goal is to attract enough volunteers and to translate enough code that the 168,000 unique words in the Linux and open source stack can be translated into an additional 54 languages. Linspire hopes to add places for these new languages in the next few weeks, but expects it will take until 2006 to do all of the translation work. The IRMA system has a cross-checking mechanism that asks multiple translators to translate the code, and then it is checked and harmonized by the IRMA system. This is a very big job, but Linspire does not want language to be a barrier to the adoption of Linux--particularly on the desktop, where Linspire makes its money. If you are proficient in English and another language, you can pitch in at the IRMA Team's Web site.
Rogue Wave C++ Suite Ported to Power-Linux
Application tool provider Rogue Wave has announced that it has ported its SourcePro C++ Edition 7 suite to the Linux environment on IBM's Power5-based eServer i5, p5, and OpenPower servers.
SourcePro C++ Edition 7 was announced for RISC/Unix, Wintel, and Lintel platforms last August, and with this initial release on Power5, Rogue Wave is supporting Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9. The C++ environment also has hooks in it to reach into IBM's various DB2 database platforms, which will come in handy for shops that want to move off Unix but keep DB2.
Arkeia Backs Up SQL Server Data to Linux with New Plug-In
Windows shops have a new way to back-up their SQL Server data stores--to a Linux box. Southern California software developer Arkeia has announced a new plug-in that enables its Network Backup product to support data residing on a Microsoft SQL Server database. Windows data can be backed up to Linux or Unix backup servers using Arkeia Virtual Device Interface technology, which allows users to create their own backup policies and to implement them for automatic, manual, or point-in-time recoveries, down to the machine, database instance, file group, or individual file level. Arkeia's SQL Server plug-in costs $990 and supports SQL Server Version 7 and SQL Server 2000 on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 platforms.
IDC Closes the Book on 2004 IT Spending, Projects to 2008
The analysts at IDC have churned through their models of the world's economies and IT spending patterns and have come to the conclusion that the worldwide IT market accounted for $965 billion in 2004, and will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent to hit $1.2 billion by 2008. While this is not dot-com-boom growth, it is pretty healthy growth, and hits right smack in the middle of most of the other estimates made so far.
IDC did not say how 2005 would look on a worldwide basis (you have to pay to get that information), but, as a teaser, it said that IT spending in the United States will be up 5.8 percent over 2004 levels, hitting $416 billion. The company expects spending growth in the United States between 2004 and 2008 to compound to an average of 5.9 percent. This year, worldwide software spending is expected to hit $213 billion, up 7 percent, and services are expected to grow 5.7 percent, to $423.8 billion.
HP Board to Clip Fiorina's Wings, or Force Her to Delegate?
Somebody who knows someone on the board of directors at Hewlett-Packard has been talking to the editors of the Wall Street Journal again about what is going on inside HP's board meetings.
The Journal reported only a few weeks ago that, on three occasions, HP's chairman and CEO, Carly Fiorina, and the company's board of directors considered breaking up the new HP (a merger between the old HP, a printing company with an excellent Unix server business, and Compaq, a company with an excellent PC and X86 server business). Having considered it, both the board and Fiorina decided against the move, believing that the united HP is a stronger contender for consumer and commercial IT dollars than a company divided by product lines (with, say, PCs and printers in one company and everything else in another) or by market segment (one company for consumer products and another for commercial products).
Now the Journal is reporting that the HP board members met January 12 through 15 and discussed a number of things, particularly their concern that, over the years, HP's numbers have been a bit rocky. While it is true the HP-Compaq merger occurred just as the dot-com bubble had burst and an IT recession crunched the market, Wall Street and investors don't care about excuses, and they reward consistency and profits as much as they reward vision. It has not been easy for Fiorina to steer HP as quickly and as surely as she might like. IBM likes to gloat about how tough it has been for HP, but IBMers have short memories, having suffered pain just like this a decade ago. And unlike IBM, HP does not have vast legacy hardware and software businesses--and a services unit that really feeds off of these two--to make up half of its sales each year.
In any event, HP's board seems concerned by the exodus of talent from the company, which we have chronicled over the years, and it also, if the Journal report is true, seems to be worried that Fiorina is involved in all of the small decisions in the day-to-day running of HP. To that end, HP's board has apparently decided that Ann Livermore, who heads HP's vast Technology and Services Group, Vyomesh Joshi, who has just been put in charge of a merged PC and printer unit, and Shane Robison, the company's chief technology officer, should be given a bit more autonomy. HP has also apparently asked Thomas Perkins, of venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to rejoin HP's board of directors, which will be up for election in mid-March.
IBM Gives Data Centers What They Really Need: SOMA
Sometimes, you just have to laugh at the ridiculous acronyms in the computer business. IBM Global Services this week announced a perfectly reasonable new offering with the unfortunate name of Service Oriented Modeling and Architecture, or SOMA. Everybody is interested in designing and implementing more flexible information technology and applications that reside on top of it, and that is what SOMA is all about. Unfortunately, that is also the name of the drug that people blissed out on in Aldous Huxley's sci-fi classic, Brave New World. Oops. But sometimes it's hard to stop the IBM marketing machine once it gets in motion in Somers, New York (not to be confused with Soma, New York, where all IBM marketing focuses on the iSeries). IBM is clearly excited about services-oriented architectures (SOAs), and for all we know the SOMA name is absolutely appropriate, since it is supposed to systematically analyze and reorganize all business processes, tweak them for improvements, and get IT aligned with these changes in such a way that future refinements are more easily implemented.
Sounds like a drug to us.