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Showing posts from November, 2006

Microsoft has operating system patents; Linux has none

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This post was also published in CNET News.The uproar in the open-source community over Microsoft's embrace of Novell says a lot.

It reveals that many open-source backers fundamentally don't understand the software business. When vendors compete, customers win. This is good.

Contrary to the numerous rants in the open-source community, the recent deal between Microsoft and Novell--in which the companies have agreed to interoperability, reselling and patent protection--is actually an excellent business deal and a good thing for the open-source community.

Microsoft is growing up after its antitrust issues. It is actually listening to its customers. Chief information officers have been telling Microsoft for years that they are sick of interoperability issues and that Microsoft has to stop acting like a big baby and learn to play well with others. The good news here is that Linux is now woven into the business fabric of every major company.

The reality of the technology business is that…

Googlology: Avoiding the steamroller

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This post was also published in VentureBeat.It used to be de rigueur in Silicon Valley to stay out of the way of Microsoft’s product road map – even areas Microsoft hinted they might pursue. Nowadays, venture folks more commonly ask, “What are you going to do about Google?”

The reality of the marketplace is that unless a startup builds a huge community, Google pays only around $50 million for a company (if you’re lucky) and then only if they want to jumpstart a feature by buying a startup.

At this point, Google has trounced Yahoo with consumers. Google expanded its offerings by acquiring several YAW2 (Yet Another Web 2.0) companies with no viable business models, such as wiki software producer JotSpot, Upstartle (maker of the online word-processing program Writely) and of course YouTube. As a result, almost no gaps are left in Google’s consumer portfolio… and no $50+ million opportunities remain for startups other than in “Social Networking,” where Google might buy an existing community…