Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
The Almighty Buck

VC looking at OSS on Upside 19

An anonymous reader sent us an interesting article that discusses Venture Capital, and more specifically, how VC relates to Open Source. Its interesting- he talks about OSS as leverage against MS, as well as a few other bullets from the usual outline.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

VC looking at OSS on Upside

Comments Filter:
  • What happens when Microsoft decides Amazon and ebay are too powerful?

    Nothing. M$ needs stocks that are even more inflated than their own one, to make their stock look more attractive for their employees.

  • Try [] .

    GISA (General Internet Servelet Architecture) will also be a boon here, assuming it ever gets off the ground.

    -- Eric

  • Zope ( appears to be the only "formal" web app server for Linux.

    However: There are more web app servers on the way for Linux. The CORBA plug-in for Apache should be a clue, eh?

    -- Eric

  • I think of Real Networks. They were the Java of 1996. Then Microsoft decided they were too powerful and squashed them like a mosquito.

    And what about Netscape, once the boom of the internet. Marc Andreesen used to appear on magzine covers and /. every day. Then Microsoft decided they were too powerful and shut them down.

    What happens when Microsoft decides Amazon and ebay are too powerful?
  • Real Networks "squashed like a mosquito"? Um, then why has their stock gone up 1500% in the last year? They're still very much alive, and in fact still have a majority of streaming media on the Web last I checked. Even, which has obviously been paid a HUGE amount of money by M$ to push NetShow, still has a lot of Real-format content.

    I totally agree that Microsoft is much, much too powerful, but I think you're exaggerating a bit here. Microsoft can't simply "shut down" Amazon or eBay any more than they were able to "shut down" AOL when they started MSN.

  • The real problem I can see is figuring out where to put the money. Not from a risk/profibility prospective, but from a availability prospective. There are a lot more OSS projects, *good* OSS projects out there than there are companies.

    SuSE, Debian, Redhat, VA Research, Cygnus, Loki, Applix, Sendmail... I can't think of any other companies off the top of my head that are heavily Linux.

    There there are the companies that are just joining in. I made (am making, actually) a killing at Corel because I invested before the Linux release. In fact, my "virtual" linux portfolio has been doing very nicely, and it's composed of companies that are mainly non-linux, but linux friendly. Sun, SGI, Intel, Compaq, HP... you know, all the other Unix vendors :)

  • Oracle, and I think Netscape have committed to porting their App servers to Linux. In fact, the Oracle one may already be available.

  • MS is very capable of killing software companies, but its interest and power to kill services such as Yahoo is pretty weak. The name of the game with MS is to prevent marginalization of their platform. That is to say, that they will do their best to insure that all usefull products are exclusively operable on the windows platform. Thats why they've killed Netscape. That why they're promoting DirectX (over GL) in a big way. Thats why they've tried to push Real Audio out of the picture and replace it with their own standard. Not because they like it. Not because they really believe that their standard will deliver higher performance to their customer. They want to make it very hard to switch platforms without loosing a whole lot of software.

    Netscape is(or was) essentially a service. The majority of their profits have come from NetCenter, which is an internet portal much like Yahoo. It comes preconfigured in Netscape browsers to load it automatically, so NetCenter gets lots of traffic. As MS gains browser market share, Netcenter will lose corresponding proportions. MS can just as easily force out certain online sites with this kind of muscle. While I can hardly see it being in their interest to rape eBay or Amazon, I wouldn't say this for other sites. Lets say that starts to gain popularity via word of mouth, and MS decides that this mp3 technology further marginalizes Windows. A few changes to their preconfigured 'portal', and you're on some alternative music site which just happens to only serve up clips in the latest propietary MS audio encoding format. This is pretty significant power.
  • The most intersting thing mentioned here was the democratization of software. This is really what Linux and open source is all about...Taking some control over the software that we use to work and play with.
  • A few things would make this happen:
    1) A company with the necessary capital and talent sees a market for it.

    2) Members of the Free Software community decide that it's an itch and move to scratch it.

    3) A non-software company decides they need a distributed application on reliable GNU/Linux servers. They find a willing and able developer and fund the development of the project.

    BTW -- If you represent the non-software company in #3, my email address is Let's talk. :)
  • If you wanted to remain object-oriented on a true application server, Java with CORBA and Remote Method Invocations seems to be the obvious solution. Other alternatives might be: (1) implement DCOM on Linux, (2) forget passing "objects" and just create a server-side socket listener that handles client requests, (3) find and use a C++ -based CORBA architecture that understands distributed objects.

    In Windows environments, distributed applications always seem to me to have some common elements:
    1) Multi-tiered architecture with business objects sitting between remote clients and a database.
    2) Even if it's not in the original design, sooner or later someone wants to web-enable the application. The "application" server ends up being a "web" server and the application becomes inter/intranet-based. People like being able to get their sales reports at home on their web browser.

    In theory, this could all be done on Linux with existing tools (Java, RMI, CORBA, JDBC, Oracle/Informix/Sybase databases). It just remains for someone to do it. Personally, I'd love an excuse to take a crack at it.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead