Microsoft produces a “trash talk” video about Open Office

Microsoft has released a YouTube video offering “A few perspectives on OpenOffice.org”… watch and enjoy… As an OO user, and a supporter of ODF my initial reaction was to scoff…

As Glyn Moody says on his (excellent) blog here supporters of OpenOffice ought to be pleased – When Microsoft fires up the fud-o-matic it’s a sure sign that they are at least paying attention.

Here’s my take :

  • Yes, it’s nice that Microsoft is paying attention
  • But it’s not the point – as I’ve said time and time again the traditional “(Microsoft) Office Suite” is dying
  • The OpenOffice guys have to confront the reality that they’re NEVER going to build a better “Microsoft Office” than Microsoft Office

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Oracle and IBM agree to work together on OpenJDK

Yesterday Oracle and IBM hosted an analyst call to announce that they’ve agreed to collaborate on the future development of the OpenJDK for java, In addition the two companies stated that they will continue to work together to enhance the JCP.

As usual, here’s the compressed version:

  • This is good news
  • It’s positive to see Oracle willing to collaborate with IBM
  • Oracle still has to address some serious concerns surrounding the JCP
  • Java ME is dead, the future of Java on mobile devices is Java SE

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Open Office : Well and truly forked

LibreOffice has just emerged as a new fork to the openoffice suite of products. Its mission is :

to make an office suite available as truly free software, developed within the wider community. The organisation has support from companies like Google, Novell and Red Hat.

I wish LibreOffice success, but a big part of me thinks that without some huge changes, OpenOffice is a dead horse that ought not to be flogged any more. Now I’ve written about it before, but I’m just going to have to get “shouty”.

Here’s what I’m planning to say:

  • OpenOffice is a great product… for the 1990′s
  • Seriously… there’s this new thing… The Internet. And it’s awesome
  • OpenOffice is doomed to fail without a major change in strategy and purpose
  • Microsoft is busy seeing the future while the “office wanabees” scurry after it
  • Office suites are the past not the future
  • If you want to get ahead of Microsoft look at CKEditor, Evernote, Google Docs, WordPress, Joomla then take another step…
  • What I’d do if someone gave me the cash,..
  • A call to action

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A fabulous picture

Tom Raftery shared this picture on twitter this morning:

“Lead me not into temptation” by Tom R

Tom was kind enough to give me permission to reproduce it, his flickr stream is here

I could write a thousand words on what this picture means to me, but I’m more interested in learning what it means to you…

[Ed : Tom's original caption was "see no evil!", but he improved on it by re-captioning it "Lead me not into temptation"]

HP CEO steps down

Mark Hurd, HP’s CEO since 2005 has just stepped down, facing charges of sexual harassment and fraudulent expense claims.  An external investigation of the claims found that Hurd did not breach the company’s sexual harassment policy, but that he had violated the company’s business conduct standards.  Hurd will be replaced on an interim basis by Cathie Lesjak (HP’s CFO) while the board searches for a replacement.

Here’s what I think;
•    HP won’t suffer enormously as a result of Hurd’s departure
•    While Hurd’s original appointment was good for HP, he should have moved on before now
•    HP needs to find a CEO that can strike a balance between the forest (Fiorina) and the trees (Hurd)

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IBM makes a serious move into cloud integration with acquisition of Cast Iron Systems

This morning IBM announced that it has acquired Cast Iron Systems, for an undisclosed sum. Cast Iron Systems a 75 person strong “cloud integration vendor”. I’m at IBM’s Impact 2010 conference, and have mulled this one over with James Governor and Neil Ward-Dutton already (James has already blogged on this here and Neil here. I don’t have much to add to either Neil or James, but – never the less…

  • This is a really good move for IBM as it establishes IBM as the de facto leader in Cloud integration
  • This gets IBM some really good mid-sized clients and a mid-sized client-friendly business model
  • Cast Iron offers significant value to IBM’s customers by radically simplifying the process of integrating cloud-based apps like SalesForce.com, google docs and a host of others either with eachother or with “non-cloud” apps like SAP.
  • The number of different API’s and, indeed, API approaches adopted by different SaaS and Cloud players makes it a real pain to integrate them – Cast Iron makes it possible to link SAP with SalesForce.com in seconds rather than days or weeks
  • While this is an excellent addition to IBM’s integration portfolio, it has also added (yet) another way to specify how two applications interact which places the onus on IBM to help customers decide which approach/technology to use

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Constantin film blocks hitler parody videos

You’ll probably have seen one or more “Hitler Parody” videos on you tube, in which a short clip is taken from the German-language film “Downfall” and the subtitles replaced for comic effect.

This morning Glyn Moody retweeted this article, it seems that  maker of “Downfall” , Constantin Film Distribution has taken steps to oblige the likes of YouTube to take these parodies down on the grounds of copyright infringement.

First, I’ll have to admit that part of me is little uncomfortable about a film extract depicting a man directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people being used for comedy purposes. But I’ve had it pointed out to me that, culturally, it might actually be part of the healing process to depict this evil evil creature in a darkly comic light. Besides, there’s plenty more publically accessible content that is a whole lot more distasteful out there.

Next I’d add that I don’t think these clips do infringe, since in most cases they represent less than 2% of the original I would say that they represent fair use. But I am neither a Lawyer nor a Texan judge, so my views on IPR law aren’t overly special.

Whatever the law, and whatever the dubious tastefulness of these parodies, Constantin film is making a mistake in blocking these parodies. If Constantin were smarter, they’d have promoted them, hell if I were the company I’d have found a developer to build an app that made it easier to create the parodies and hosted it on my website.

This bad call on Constantin film’s part neatly presents the division between the people that “get” the notion (and power) of the creative commons and those that don’t.

Evidently Constantin film is a “don’t”.

Apple pays tribute to Jerome B York – 1938-2010

Today, Apple’s home page contains only one item, a tribute to Jerome B York. Mr York was, by all accounts, an extremely successful man whose career spanned CFO roles with Chrysler and IBM, the CEO’ship of Micro Warehous and an investment fund. In addition Mr York was a director of Apple.

This morning Apple’s homepage looks like this :-

Apple's home page containing a tribute to Jrome B York

Apple's home page on 18th March 2010

This is a powerful and touching tribute, and one that says something to me about Apple too.

I’d like to express my condolences to Mr Yorks family and friends.