Now that Microsoft has issued a special covenant not to sue developers -- even open source developers -- that develop software that supports its XML-based Office file formats, the entire industry (OK, a goodly portion of it) is holding breath to see how the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will respond. Originally, Massachusetts sent Microsoft and its file formats packing on the basis that they didn't satisfy the state's test for openness.
Between the Lines
Larry Dignan and other IT industry experts, blogging at the intersection of business and technology, deliver daily news and analysis on vital enterprise trends.
Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.
Rachel King is a staff writer for ZDNet based in San Francisco.
Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.
After co-founding and leading CNET (from which this blog issues forth) from obscurity to Web stardom, Halsey Minor started 12 Entrepreneuring, raising over $130 million to incubate Web services companies before flaming out during the 2001 bubble bursting. One of the few incubated companies to survive 12 Entrepreneuring's dissolution was Grand Central Communications, which provided a hosted SOA integration hub.
After helping to get Sun's OpenSolaris onto its own two feet, Sun's director of marketing for the open source project Claire Giordano has announced (via blog) her departure to Amazon.com search subsidiary A9.
Balance among differing and sometimes highly complex development approaches is the key.
Last week, just before the Thanksgiving holiday got underway in the US, Larry Rosen, the attorney that wrote the book on open source licensing If the Microsoft news wins Google over to the company's file formats, it could be game over for ODF.
Security expert Bruce Schneier was interviewed by Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK regarding the notion that foreign governments are a serious threat to a nation's critical national infrastructure and whether cyberterroism is a more potent threat than the rampant cybercrime. Schneier views cyberterrorism threats as overstated.
Nick Carr responded to my post about "Why blogging matters," characterizing blogging as mostly superficial and impressionistic, and suggesting that the blogoshere is a "fantasy community crowded with isolated egos pretending to connect." Here's a piece from Nick's post:The blogosphere's a seductive place - it's easy to get caught up in it - and there's lots of interesting thoughts and opinions bouncing around amid the general clatter.
UPS does IT on a very large scale: $1 billion in IT spending this year, nearly 5,000 IT staff, 384,000 employees, 15 mainframes, 8,700 servers, 250,000 PCs, 2,700 networked sites, 474 terabytes of storage, 500 applications, 10 million tracking requests per day, 88,000 vehicles, 90,000 handheld devices and the 9th largest airline. The massive array of technology and personnel is all focused on delivering more than 14 million packages a day across 200 countries.
I'm trying to grab a few vacation days here during the short week. But the news that Microsoft is looking to establish its Office XML Reference Schema (the new file format for it's Office productivity suite) as an International Organization of Standardization (ISO) ratified standard has pulled me out of hiding for at least one blog.
As a Web communications tool, blog software utilizes a fairly standardized format for sticking content on the Internet. It's far easier that building a personal or business Web page, and is appropriately scaled for dashing off notes and responses or posting passionate, or more detached, manifestos, proclamations, encomiums and rants.