Thursday, May 29, 2008

Facebook Joining the Open Source Bandwagon

It is expected that predominant social networking web site Facebook will soon announce the re-release of its platform as open source. Competitive pressure is credited as the reason behind this move as competing web sites are already positioning to get behind another open source platform for exchanging social information. This is driven by a larger trend in which content providers leverage Metcalfe's law by transforming themselves into content platform providers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Microsoft Boosts Support for Rival Formats in Office

In a recent news article, Microsoft has announced plans to provide native support for the Open Office file formats in its own office productivity suite.

Open Office is an open source office productivity suite whose development is mostly under the guidance of Sun Microsystems.

Microsoft has made a lot of money off of their own office productivity suite. Over the years, this profit has been used to underwrite Microsoft's attempts to acquire increased share in the markets that Sun traditionally occupies.

I find Open Office to be an excellent office productivity suite. Because of this, I have neither personally used nor purchased a copy of Microsoft Office since 1995. I have used later versions of MS-Office while working for various corporations where that productivity suite is part of the standard, corporate desktop image.

Although MS-Office still enjoys predominance in the marketplace, the list of companies that have switched to Open Office continues to grow. I believe that more and more companies will re-examine their position on MS-Office and its premium pricing as the market of office productivity suites becomes more and more of a commodity.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Media Economy 2.0

I just recently ran across this blog entry by Dennis Haarsager who has become CEO of NPR. He has been promoting the quest for the Long Tail in broadcast media for years. I have no access to the political internals of public broadcasting so let me simply hope that this move is indicative of a healthy change in the industry.

Broadcast media and retail music has always acted in fear of the Web 2.0 movement. They appear to see it as a threat, mostly in terms of intellectual property theft and loss of revenue. My hope is that they can begin to see it as a great opportunity for expansion in new markets. It looks to me like public broadcasting is about to lead the way.

May 15 update: The public sector isn't the only sector finally getting it. CBS announced today that they are purchasing CNet. Though not exactly considered the darling of the Web 2.0 world, CNet's extensive technology and gaming reviews and news shows that it does have an understanding of the long tail.