I commissioned an original sketch to make this point: the criterion for a successful collaboration and messaging platform is increasingly dependent on integration with cheap, open-standards based mobile-devices. But, it's too many words, so how about a Microsoft-vested person standing in front of a fractured dam ? Feel free to use it (under Creative Commons) and add your own titling. My chosen caption is:
I think some of the current systems will fall away. I don't think that will be because there's not room for another operating system. I think it's because their quality bar won't stack up. And they won't get the scale that they need. And our job is to make sure we get that scale. So, I won't speculate on the number of operating systems you can see. I certainly think in the feature phone space you'll see some pruning of the Linux tree, and I don't think that's really sustainable.
At the time of Robbie's pronouncement, Microsoft was preparing two new phone platforms: the Kin and Windows Phone 7. The Kin was released in April and Windows Phone 7 will be available sometime in early 2011. Astonishingly, within six weeks of the launching of Kin, Microsoft killed the product. The pruning of mobile systems has turned out to have a sharper edge for Microsoft, than Linux.
Microsoft has a complicated story to tell with open-source (FOSS) in general, and Linux in particular. What's been interesting to watch, is the shift in market forces that is moving much faster for FOSS in social-media and consumer devices. I don't think anyone cares about another Year of the Desktop Linux announcement, because the audience has moved on. Ubuntu 10.04 rocks. Windows 7 is great. Fedora 13 is back. Mac OS X 10.6 is terrific. FOSS or proprietary--the differences aren't that significant for 90% of the applications and business purposes. Pick your desktop for your needs. The real money has moved off of the desktop onto something much smaller, more common, and far more distributed. Your cell phone.
The biggest drama with the players of proprietary vendors and FOSS is unfolding in a middle ground between pure consumer devices and corporate, enterprise systems: the phone. It's just "phone," now, and it means "cell phone" whether it includes a data package or not. The terminology "Smartphone" has nearly become quaint, like "PDA" and "cyberspace." When I over hear a conversation about a new phone, the dialog is about "how many apps have you loaded?" and "can you skype/do email/take pictures/GPS/IM ?" Yesterday's smartphone capabilities are quickly becoming a baseline for what users expect as a commodity. Demand has continued to accelerate, so much so that the average pricing of "smartphones" has even started to decrease.
Like a black hole that can't be seen, but warps space all around it, the dominance of the cell phone is being felt in many industries. Wrist watches are alien devices to the under 30 crowd. 25% of all U.S homes have cut their landlines, of the remaining 75%, 15% of the landline households only use cellular. FIOS and cable accounts are on the upswing, while DSL is working best where the alternatives aren't competitive. The gravitational pull of this astronomically-sized event is sucking in one industry after another.
For instance, the digital camera industry is being crushed and reshaped by cell phones. In Thom Hogan's analysis, "Camera phones are quickly gobbling up the low end of the compact camera market as they become 'competent enough.'" Point-and-click cameras are melting away under the heat of iPhone's and Androids' rocket ascension. Of Wired's top-ten must-have iPhone apps, two of them are photography utilities.
And, then there is your credit card. Both In2Pay (for the iPhone) and Square (iPhone and Android) support purchase transfers through the cell phone. Visa touts their capability as "designed to enable iPhone users to make contactless transactions, such as Visa mobile payments, by simply waving the iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal."
Unified Communications (UC) is moving onto the cell phone and mobile devices (like Apple's iPad and Dell's Streak). It's a fascinating progression where the idea of UC used to be to put the phone in the computer. Now, it's about putting the computer into the phone. Skype, Goober, Strata CIX VoIP, Cisco, and Avaya are are building or distributing VoIP capabilities for mobile devices.
The pace of development is so rapid, that the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF) has been created to "enable interoperability of open, standards-based UC hardware and software . . . " While there may be a need for openness, the founding members themselves have never actually been characterized as proponents for open standards, and it appears that the market leaders in VoIP (Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, IBM, NEC, etc.) have little interest in embracing UCIF. Network World's Jim Duffy opines about the membership divide for the UCIF: "It might be because the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum was founded by a handful of their competitors. Microsoft, Polycom, Juniper and HP are all involved, as is LifeSize, which makes a competing telepresence system to Cisco's." Because UC relies on large, infrastructure systems, it seems almost disorienting to view the pint-sized cell phone as tipping the scale. With integrated contact management, calendaring, and email that can be easily localized to the individual (rather than bouncing between office, home, etc.), UC finally has a viable business model for the general user.
Architectural dominance over cell phones and mobile devices is crucial to the growth of almost every tech-industry. General-purpose mobile phone vendors increased sales by 17% in the first quarter 2010, from 2009. But, the smartphones grew an astounding 50%. These phones aren't cheap--how is it possible that during a recession the demand for them continues to grow ? It's the Internet. Because they are Internet capable, they present a less expensive alternative to paying for a full computer and a land-line. The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that 40% of all "adults use the Internet, email or instant messaging on a mobile phone." The highest adoption rate is found with African-Americans and Hispanics who "take advantage of a much greater range of their phones' features compared with white mobile phone users." The smartphone is redefining the Internet as the "mobile web," and opening wide a portal of accessibility for those with limited means.
Vision Mobile, an analysis and advisory firm, queried over 400 mobile app developers, with the surprising result that Android was significantly favored. Here's some of their highlights:
"Android stands out as the platform most popular with mobile developers."
"On average, the Symbian platform takes 15 months or more to learn, while for Android the average reported time is less than six months."
"In terms of debugging, our benchmarking shows that Android has the fastest debugging process, compared with iPhone, Symbian and Java ME."
"On average, 86 percent of respondents who use open source at work use it within development tools such as Eclipse. Android and iPhone developers are three times more likely to lead open source communities. . . ."
"Within the space of just two years, open source has created the biggest disruption the mobile industry has ever seen, second only to the Apple's iconic product series and the app store paradigm."
So, when it comes to messaging platforms, cell phones are the ring in the nose of the bull. It used to be that the IT enterprise chose the carrier, the integration vendor, and the email system, which in turn, dictated the supported mobile device. That's all yesterday. The cell phone is not just the end-point for checking calendars, it's the nexus for a fantastic range of 24x7 services. It's tilting development towards open source and laying an Internet foundation for the mobile web. It's kind of cool to envision setting up calendaring, instant messaging, LotusLive meetings, contact management, Google Voice, document sharing and more on a simple device that fits in a pocket. The maturation of the mobile, Internet-connected device is making the Dick Tracy phone-of-the-future look positively two-dimensional.
No Cost Android Development Course by Google
Wed, Jul 16th 2014 10:21p Jack Dausman Google has announced Android development training, at no cost. Android Fundamentals is an online training course featuring Google Developer Advocates Reto Meier, Dan Galpin, and Katherine Kuan, working with the team at Udacity that’s advanced and technical enough for experienced developers who are new to Android — maybe even new to mobile — but not new to programming. Really ought to be a no-brainer: the entire curriculum is provided. If tutoring is appropriate, there is a small ch [read] Keywords: development
Clearly, Open Source Advocates Should Dress in Sports Jerseys
Sat, Jul 12th 2014 11:09a Jack Dausman The social and technological impact of the Open Source movement for innovation has been staggering. Interestingly, though, several prominent projects are losing their non-profit status. Ruth McCambridge of The NonProfit Quarterly notes that history is repeating itself, and that many journalistic endeavors had been struggling to maintain their non-profit status. Many were repeatedly denied, although there were already a number of us existing as nonprofits, on the basis that their revenue plans w [read] Keywords: foundations
Who's the Prettiest Language of them All ?
Mon, Jul 7th 2014 11:30p Jack Dausman http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/interactive-the-top-programming-languages The venerable and esteemed IEEE Spectrum has an interactive chart for ranking computing languages. The references that they use are Google searches/trends, Twitter, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Reddit, etc. These comparison charts are always valuable, but they also introduce new questions. For instance, why does the IEEE data differ so much from RedMonk's own listing of programming languages ? Sure, the reference sources are [read] Keywords: google
Amazon Is Moving in to the Public Sector
Mon, Jul 7th 2014 12:30a Jack Dausman Kenneth Corbin, writes in CIO that Amazon is continuing to develop its core services for the public sector. To date, AWS has won contracts with more than 800 government agencies, more than 3,000 educational institutions, and more than 10,000 nonprofit organizations. It's the first time the company has broken out a customer count in the nonprofit sector.Teresa Carlson, vice president of the worldwide public sector with AWS, points to a constellation of factors, from government mandates to cost [read] Keywords: community
Sun, Jul 6th 2014 6:38p Jack Dausman http://opensource.com/business/14/7/6-fresh-guides-managing-openstack OpenStack continues to spark a lot of interest as a completely opensource IaaS, which is competing against AWS, Google's Compute Engine, and Microsoft's Azure. Right now, its growth seems to be strongest as a private cloud. That means, it's even more critical to have the design implementation correct, and to include O&M within its true operational cost. OpenSource.com has provided a useful compilation of management i [read] Keywords: google
AWS versus Azure
Tue, Jul 1st 2014 11:30p Jack Dausman Not quite as entertaining as Mad Magazine's Spy-vs-Spy, Bridget Botelho has summarized a useful comparison in the terminology and services that are offered by AWS and Azure. http://searchaws.techtarget.com/news/2240223645/AWS-vs-Azure-face-off-cloud-costs-commitments-and-SLAs [read] Keywords:
'The Expert' is Going Viral
Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 5:09a Jack Dausman Humor can be such an excellent means to communicate truth. Lauris Beinerts has based his video on a short story "The Meeting" by Alexey Berezin. The video highlights problem solving dynamics. Instead of, "I would like you, the expert, to understand the problem and propose a solution," we have "I already have the solution and would like you, the expert, to implement it." https://www.youtube.com/user/laurisbeinerts [read] Keywords: application
Most Secure Desktop is Free ?
Sun, Jan 26th 2014 5:56p Jack Dausman This month, the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) released their security analysis of end-user devices. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of the US NSA, and provide basic configuration guidance on security standards from OSX to Blackberries. It's a surprise, though, to find that the OS ranked most secure is Ubuntu, an Open Source Linux platform. This assessment has a personal side, for me. I just sent off some pre-configured laptops to be used in a Kenyan medical facility and NG [read] Keywords: desktop
Does IT Matter ? The Debate on Its Strategic Value has Taken an Odd Twist
Sun, Jan 26th 2014 5:36p Jack Dausman Nicholas Carr made a name by deconstructing the strategic decline of IT for business innovation. Just as it was once imperative for every manufacturer to host their own power plant, so every 21st company has their own IT center. Carr has brilliantly argued that IT is becoming a commodity service, essential, but undistinguished. What does it mean for Nicholas, when the model begins to revert ? Because of the widespread distribution of alternative energy sources, Utilities are suffering a decline [read] Keywords: notes
Total Game Changer in the Linux World
Wed, Jan 8th 2014 9:11a Jack Dausman http://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-announce/2014-January/020100.htmlCentos is joining with RedHat. It's really interesting to gauge the impact with the variety of cloud providers. Azure doesn't have much for RedHat, but totally integrates with Centos. Not such good news for Canonical, as this gives a real competitor for Ubuntu Server (in terms of licensing and costs).Could give OpenStack a real punch-up. [read] Keywords: centos