Disclaimer: I support Novell’s PR in Asia Pacific.
On Monday, Microsoft released code for the Linux kernel community. Stories found below:
Two years ago, when Novell bridged the gap between Open Source and Windows,by forming an alliance with Microsoft, the Open Source community was up at arms. Novell was derided for getting into bed with Microsoft. Websites, bloggers and even journalists took sides. Novell became what one might call a second-class citizen in the Open Source community.
There were blogs calling for Red Hat to be acquired, so that they can be strong enough to fight Microsoft, because there is no one else out there to stop them.
And now, this latest Microsoft move to give up code to the Linux community. While there are a few reports saying its a move to better compete with VMWare, other commentators have said it will allow for better collaboration of virtual machines between Linux and Windows.
This could only mean good things for customers, who more and more have multiple platforms in their organisations and they just want things to work, and focus on making IT work for their organisation – not having to spend money on middleware, worry about interoperability or lawsuits.
Perhaps its a realization of Microsoft that there is no one-stop-shop solution to computing needs.
Now, tell me if I’m asking a silly question, but why is there always a rethoric of “war”, “conflict”, “competition” when it comes to operating platforms?
Yes, I believe that with competition comes innovation. But innovation can also come from collaboration, from sharing, from focusing on solving the problems.
Isnt this what the customer wants – people collaborating, proprietary coders exchanging ideas with the open source community, solving problems, looking at how applications should all work together?
And why the continuing suspicion among the Open Source community of Microsoft? Perhaps, in the past, Microsoft has not played fair.
But that’s in the past. I think the future’s about collaboration, about talking and solving problems – for the customer, for the industry – rather than conflict and competition. I believe that Novell’s relationship with Microsoft has opened the way to bigger things. It’s all about the customers and what they need to forge ahead.
The “peace” process is a long road, but it all starts with small steps, no?
“I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” – Barack Obama.
Change, we can indeed.
A really interesting IDC study, titled “The Hyperconnected: Here They Come” was released this month which talks about the exploding “culture of connectivity” and the implications that hyper-connectivity has on the enterprise and business practices.
Whilst on a fact finding mission, another interesting point that I came across is that the global mobile workforce continues to grow unabated – IDC expects the global mobile worker population to increase from 758.6 million in 2006 to more than 1 billion in 2011, representing just over 30 percent of the worldwide workforce. [see more details here]
The thing that really struck a chord with me is that we are becoming a generation addicted to connectivity. We are seeing our younger colleagues enter the workforce as ‘digital natives’ (an idea widely discussed by Peter Sheahan) – they only understand communication via IM, email, text messaging, social networking and so forth. This is the ‘conventional’ that they seek and the ‘unconventional’ that the rest of us are all so keen to adopt. Today, we are spending more time connected and switched on in both our personal and work lives – so much so that we are now seeing a blurring between the two.
More and more people are starting to leverage Web 2.0 tools in business (a term coined Enterprise 2.0) such as shared wikis, IM and social networks in order to better facilitate information sharing and collaboration between workers and provide a competitive edge to those businesses that embrace it.
I think we will see Enterprise 2.0 increasingly extend beyond the office as wireless technologies such as in-built 3G, WiFi and WiMAX become faster and more efficient for business users to access personal internet on-the-go, and as mobile devices become sleeker and lighter for users to carry with them.
The IDC study predicts that “hyperconnected business users will likely rise to 40 percent in five years”. Another five years down the track, I am sure we will see a substantial increase on this figure. Application and web developers, mobile device/ notebook manufacturers and telecommunications providers will need to cater towards making this hyper-connected experience for users a more seamless one.
Watch this space!