Steve Rubel wonders if "the Interruption Economy sacks prosperity:" "Conventional wisdom says that technology -- and nowadays the Internet -- will always continue to advance and bring with it productivity gains and prosperity. That's certainly been the case for years. However, historically there are pauses. After the benefits of the Industrial Revolution were fully realized it took awhile for the next big era to begin. I wonder if we're about to enter a similar lull now that the Information Age is arguably almost 30 years old." Rubel demands "we need new tools for … Read more
Bill Gates welcomed the world to a new breed of "kinder capitalism" at Davos this week. Conveniently forgetting his past, Mr. Gates declared:We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well.
We have. It's called open source. Open source is "kinder" by design, no matter how capitalistically/self-interestedly it is used. Here's why:… Read more
While many businesspeople are worrying about a possible recession, Microsoft says it sees its part in the economy remaining strong.
In a telephone interview on Thursday, Colleen Healy, Microsoft's general manager of investor relations, said that the company booked a greater amount of future revenue than it had expected, taking in about $500 million more than planned in its "unearned revenue" column. That comes on top of the record results for the quarter that ended December 31.
"From our perspective, we are expecting IT spending to remain stable," Healy said. "Software, in particular, remains … Read more
I nearly cried (really) when I read Mark Shuttleworth's eloquent and searing analysis of the United States financial crisis. He doesn't necessarily call it such, but he points to my country's failure in economic leadership...and the adverse consequences for the planet.
Underlying it all is a too-easy addiction to credit:
To make matters worse, a series of financial innovations created a whole industry designed to help people go back into debt on their houses. I remember trying to watch TV in the US and being amazed at the number of advertisements for "home equity withdrawals". They made it sound like turning your major personal financial asset - your paid-off house - into an ATM machine was a good thing. In fact, it was a means to spend all of your primary store of wealth. And with inflated house prices, it was a way to spend money that you did not really have. A convenient way to get into a deep, dark hole of family debt.… Read more
As we told you last September, BMW has been kicking around the idea of a fourth brand (in addition to MINI, Rolls Royce, and BMW) for a while. This week it emerges that this new addition to the Bimmer family lineup may be a dedicated "green" line of vehicles focused on high fuel economy and lower emissions. If so, the strategy would certainly make sense as it will enable BMW to meet tough environmental requirements without sacrificing too much of its performance-related DNA. BMW is one of a number of premium European brands likely to suffer most at … Read more
The Open Season team got on the phone with Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, and Rich Green, SVP of Software at Sun Microsystems, shortly after the announcement of the acquisition was made. You can listen in here.
As Matt and Dave see it, Sun may well become the center of the open source universe, acquiring a bevy of companies. Are Matt and Dave jealous of Marten's riches? Yes they are.
"It has been like walking around in a candy story," Mickos said, after looking over Sun's vast computing labs.
Enjoy the podcast. We did.
Sun Microsystems announced today that it will be acquiring MySQL for $1 billion. Sometimes the good guys get exactly what they deserve.
At first blush, it seems an odd acquisition for Sun. Sun, after all, is not (or was not) in the database market. But Sun's historical strength in the web economy, and MySQL's current role as the heart of the web, makes it an interesting, important step for Sun to make. Said Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz:Today's acquisition reaffirms Sun's position at the center of the global Web economy. Supporting our overall growth plan, acquiring MySQL amplifies our investments in the technologies demanded by those driving extreme growth and efficiency, from Internet media titans to the world's largest traditional enterprises. MySQL's employees and culture, along with its near ubiquity across the Web, make it an ideal fit with Sun's open approach to network innovation. And most importantly, this announcement boosts our investments into the communities at the heart of innovation on the Internet and of enterprises that rely on technology as a competitive weapon.
Bingo. Perhaps most importantly for MySQL and its employees, an acquisition by Sun means that MySQL gets to continue being a pureplay open-source company and won't need to sacrifice the ideals or the benefits of open source to suit a halfway (and half-baked) stance on open source.… Read more
Reading through Morgan Stanley's January 6 report entitled "There Will Be Blood," it's hard to feel cheery about 2008. That is, unless you're an open-source company, in which case perhaps you're recession proof.
But with Morgan Stanley projecting a pullback in IT spending in 2008, and especially for hardware, being open source, by itself, won't save a company. (Note: The "Blood" report is available only to clients, thus there's no link for it.)
Open-source companies should be hedging their bets by making sure they have money in the bank and lots of customers. In a downturn, it may well be easier for open-source companies to acquire new customers than their proprietary cousins, but this doesn't mean it will be easy. Having enough cash to weather the storm is critical.
As for tech, generally, the reasons for a bleak outlook are several, according to the Morgan Stanley report:… Read more
AT&T's stock took a hit Tuesday after the company's CEO told investors that a weak economy is hurting the company's landline and broadband business.
Randall Stephenson, AT&T's CEO, said Tuesday during a Citigroup investor conference that the company was forced to cut off some of its broadband and landline customers in the consumer segment in the fourth quarter because they were not able to pay their bills. The news shook investors, and the stock dipped $1.87, or 4.5 percent, to $39.16 per share at the closing bell.
Stephenson was … Read more
With everyone becoming a producer in the YouTube age, self-branding ("The Brand Called You") has evolved from a fancy to a necessity.
Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame have shrunk to 5 seconds of microfame, and in the contained public arena of social networks, amateur paparazzi--thanks to the viral nature of social media--have the power to grant celebrity status. That, in a nutshell, is the thesis of Clive Thompson's poignant piece for Wired on the rise of "microcelebrities."
As Facebook walls make personal communications open to the rest of your trusted network, even your … Read more