For this week's MonkCast, RedMonk's principal analyst and co-founder Stephen O'Grady joins the call as does RedMonk analyst Michael Cote who sits in for show regular James Governor (on vacation). Today's subjects were primarily about Microsoft's big training event -- TechEd -- in Orlando (where Cote was in attenance) and progress being made on the latest version of the GNU General Public License (an open source license now nearing its third version).
According to Cote, Microsoft is finally, after a great many years, finally delivering on its promise to be an enterprise-class solutions provider rather than just a vendor delivering solutions into the enterprise as he maintains it has long done. Cote cites a new breed of management solutions from Microsoft -- solutions that were on display at TechEd -- as evidence of this.
But is it too little too late? That question led into a vibrant discussion of whether the shift to taking delivery of software as a service (SaaS) -- what Cote refers to as "URL computing" -- is (a) real and (b) if it takes hold, will all that "manageware" be necessary given that one of the major benefits of a SaaS model is how the service provider worries about managing the core systems, not the customer? In the face of SaaS, will systems management become the domain of service providers and not the end user companies?
One thing was for sure. Long term, neither Cote, O'Grady, nor I saw any technical hurdles to taking delivery of software as a service (even though some would argue the opposite). In terms of corporate America's willness to trust "the cloud" with their mission critical data, Saleforce.com seems to be a pretty valid proof point.
After deciding the future of the application space (and whether Microsoft will be able to respond to whatever market forces are in play), we switched topics to the GPLv3 where O'Grady updated us on the progress being made in terms of finalizing the open source license. O'Grady explains the key differences between the old and new GPL and also talks about how the new GPL could legally prevent deals similar to the recent pact between Microsoft and Novell from going down. The current GPLv3, notes O'Grady, has a grandfather clause for Novell.
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