# Monday, April 5, 2004

The Treaty of Versailles was probably less obvious. Sun’s agreement with Microsoft on Friday further doomed Sun Microsystems. Sure Scott and Steve can be on stage together all they like and exchange hockey jerseys declaring “peace“, but it really was Sun giving up a worthless front in the war for its survival.

 

Microsoft has never really been a super threat to Sun. Maybe recently with Windows Server 2003, but in the last 20 years of Scott calling Bill Darth Vader or making fun of the fact that Bill Dropped out of Harvard, Microsoft was the boy in Redmond that everyone in the Valley loved to hate.

 

So while Sun was announcing layoffs and blackmailing Microsoft for 1.8 billion in the same day, they pulled off a great coup. Sensing that settling with Sun would help Microsoft end its legal problems (Sun also said the settlement satisfies the objectives the company was pursuing in the European Union actions pending against Microsoft.), Sun used Bill and Co for a desperate influx of cash. Too bad it is too little to late.

 

Even after cutting almost 10% of its workforce and doing a management shakeup, Sun is still on life support. Linux is really Public Enemy Number 1 for Sun. Sun has no Linux strategy and Linux is a technology that could render Sun obsolete. Linux is based off Unix and makes it obsolete since it is more modern and cheaper (Linux is not free). Sun sells Unix. Linux runs on low end machines. Sun’s Unix does not. Sun makes lots of money selling very expensive hardware. That business is getting worse and worse by the day.

 

Not to mention IBM’s recent love-fest with Linux and more recent attacks on Sun. This makes IBM public enemy #2 for Sun.

 

Maybe Scott should sue Linux and IBM too…After over 7 years of using the American and European legal systems and costing the taxpayers billions, Sun got a few month operating cash out of Microsoft. I hope you use it wisely.

 

 

posted on Monday, April 5, 2004 2:45:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [17] Trackback
# Friday, April 2, 2004

Netscape co-founder, Marc Andreessen speaking at the 3rd annual "Open Source in Government" at George Washington University in Washington DC last week, and came up with his personal top twelve reasons for why open source will boom over the next 5-10 years. Too bad they are all wrong, here is my point by point rebuttal. Here they are:

 

1.       "The Internet is powered by open source."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: Not true Mark. Microsoft’s IIS server powers the majority of the internet. On the client side Internet Explorer is the dominate client.

 

2.       "The Internet is the carrier for open source."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: True, but also it is a carrier for all other types of software, just browse the internet and there are tons of sites selling the stuff.

 

3.       "The Internet is also the platform through which open source is developed."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: I prefer my software development teams all in the same room, not scattered around the world in different time zones. I know it is all cool and “new age” to say you want to have a team all spread out around the world, but it is just not at all efficient. All management gurus are on my side, sorry. This was cool in the dot com phase, time for the industry to grow up.

 

4.       "It's simply going to be more secure than proprietary software."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: NOT true. See yesterday’s blog.

 

5.       "Open source benefits from anti-American sentiments."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: You are a sad and cynical man to say this.

 

6.       "Incentives around open source include the respect of one's peers."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: And NOT profit. This ensures that only cool features get built, NOT the mission critical features. Where is incremental backup and replication in postgress. What about transactions and stored procedures missing for so long in MySQL. See my blog here. Sorry Marc, capitalism works, just ask our friends in the USSR.

 

7.       "Open source means standing on the shoulders of giants."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: This is so vaigue, I am beginning to think that you are taking yourself way too seriously. My thoughts are that Microsoft, Apple, SUN, SAP, etc are a giants.

 

8.       "Servers have always been expensive and proprietary, but Linux runs on Intel."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: As does Microsoft. TCO for Microsoft is much lower than Linux. I have proven this so many times I am sick of doing so. See my New York City Council testimony.

 

9.       "Embedded devices are making greater use of open source."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: This is flat out false.

 

10.   "There are an increasing number of companies developing software that aren't software companies."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: What are they then, hobbyists? They are not doing QA then? No code reviews? Is the software mission critical? Are they using Linux? And who cares if they are making software then?

 

11.   "Companies are increasingly supporting Linux."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: That is grand. They are also supporting Sun and Microsoft and many other technologies.

 

12.   "It's free."

 

Steve’s Rebuttal: Not true. Linux is NOT FREE. See my New York City Council testimony.

posted on Friday, April 2, 2004 1:09:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [8] Trackback
# Thursday, April 1, 2004

For a long time it has been asserted as "fact" about Linux being more secure because it's OPEN and therefore more eyes look at the code and are able to secure it easier. Naive Marc “right place at the right time” Andreessen lists it as the 4th reason in his “why open source is better” list.

 

 This “fact” is dead wrong. I have always believed that Linux will be far LESS secure than propriety software since all it takes is one bad hacker to ruin they day. In a new report, Is Linux More Secure Than Windows? from Forrester Research Inc., says that Microsoft fixes security problems faster! One of the benefits of open source is that there are so many free developers working non stop to fix bugs fast. But somehow Microsoft seems to fix things faster. Guess Adam Smith was right after all.

 

The industry and the author of the article from Forrester believe that based the available data on the past security vulnerabilities, security vulnerabilities follow a timeline from discovery to fix. During this timeline hackers exploit the vulnerability. (Hackers have a “time to market” so to speak that is getting quicker and quicker, see below.)

 

Since the goal is to fix the vulnerabilities faster to reduce attacks then Microsoft is actually more secure. Microsoft took an average of 25 days to fix a vulnerability and RedHat took an average of 57 days.

 

Now forget the MS v Linux issue (more on that soon), but we have to take some responsibility ourselves, no matter what the OS. We have to install patches. Prior to the Nimda worm being released the patch for the exploit had existed for 331 days. SQL Slammer, 6 months. Welchia/ Nachi just over 5 months. Recently with the Blaster worm the patch for the exploit was released only 25 days before the worm was released. In each case a patch was available. We are seeing hackers watching for security alerts and then using those alerts to create exploits and take advantage of the fact that deploying security patches is a complex process in the corporate space or simply not done in the end-user space.

posted on Thursday, April 1, 2004 11:41:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [10] Trackback
# Monday, March 29, 2004

Last year I was a judge in the final round of the Imagine Cup at TechEd in Barcalona, Spain. It was a great thrill to be involved. I am honored to be a judge in a regional round tomorrow at Fordham University.

posted on Monday, March 29, 2004 1:52:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [21] Trackback
# Saturday, March 27, 2004

For no other reason than they don't support stored procedures. Anyway, it has been a great time at VSLive so far, here are some images and memories from this week.

Photos: http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/photos/#

ABC TV coverage:   http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/mmnewsclip/

Our show coverage: http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/

Opening BillG Keynote: http://www.ftponline.com/reports/vslivesf/2004/gates/

posted on Saturday, March 27, 2004 11:02:07 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
# Friday, March 26, 2004

Got up early this morning and did an 8 mile run over the Golden Gate bridge and back to the center of town with tri pal Andy Catlin. Put me in a good mood to see the VSLive keynote on Yukon Business Intelligence by Microsoft PM Bill Baker. Besides enhancements to Reporting Services and DTS (DTS will be renamed), Yukon will help bring BI to the masses with UDM:

 

There will be “Visual Studio Controls for Reporting Services“ in Visual Studio 2005 where you can embed reports into ASP pages and Windows Forms much easier. There is navigation, ad hoc query and other cool controls to play with.

 

DTS is completely rewritten. Total event driven and based on the CLR.

 

The Unified Dimension Model is new and great. The UDM basically combines OLAP and the relational worlds into one programming model that will truly bring OLAP to you and me.  

 

Can't wait. :)

 

I give three talks today: SQL Server Notification Services, XQuery in Yukon and ADO.NET Best Practices. I am a busy kid today.

 

Trivia: Yukon is named after the national park in Alaska, not the Canadian province (or territory, who can keep track!). J

posted on Friday, March 26, 2004 12:55:42 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
# Thursday, March 25, 2004

That was Sun Microsoft’s CEO Scott McNealy’s response to an IBM open letter to Sun to open up Java and make the Java language open source.

 

Many people have urged Sun to open up Java. After Eric Raymond’s open letter last month, Scott replied: “We’re trying to understand what problem does it solve that is not already solved.”

 

You make me laugh Scott. Too bad everyone else thinks you, your Linux strategy and desperate attempt to hold on to Java are a joke.

 

C# is open. J

posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 3:57:40 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [28] Trackback

$613 million that is? The European Commission has fined Microsoft a record $613 million. What are they going to do with the money, further subsidize Airbus? Further subsidize French farmers? Lower German taxes? Give the money to Linux “research”? Send troops to Iraq?

 

I think that Microsoft is victim of anti-American sediment in Europe right now. The fine is excessive. It surpasses fines the Commission has imposed on price-fixing cartels and it sends the wrong message about antitrust enforcement priorities.

 

The US Attorney General’s Office agrees with me. "Imposing antitrust liability on the basis of product enhancements and imposing 'code removal' remedies may produce unintended consequences," US Assistant Attorney General Pate said. "Sound antitrust policy must avoid chilling innovation and competition even by 'dominant' companies. A contrary approach risks protecting competitors, not competition, in ways that may ultimately harm innovation and the consumers that benefit from it."

 

Come on now, Media Player? It sucks. Everyone downloads MusicMatch or WinAmp anyway. IE beat Netscape since Netscape took way too long to innovate (was years in-between releases). Media Player sucks and nobody really uses it.

 

So European Commission you showed your true colors Maybe the US should fine Airbus for dumping and price fixing.

posted on Thursday, March 25, 2004 9:12:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback
# Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The New York Jets appear to be returning from exile with a new stadium in the west side of Manhattan (thank goodness I live on the East side).

posted on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 1:46:14 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback