ASF: Everything’s Fine. No Need for Life-jackets! is thriving!

Apache thinks is right on track, but the latest report on the incubation states, As of 2011-10-12 there are 76 committers with 55 on the PPMC, compared to 72 and 55 at last report.

Meanwhile, LibreOffice has 205 active contributors and 200 translators and has cranked out releases.

Methinks Apache doth protest too much about whining from the developers.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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68 Responses to ASF: Everything’s Fine. No Need for Life-jackets! is thriving!

  1. Nope. Steve Ballmer is the kind of person not to spit on Bill Gates’ ideas. Just as a criminal record may prevent hiring a person for a particular position of trust, Steve Ballmer’s history precludes me from accepting him as the manager of a company producing anything. As far as I know, Steve Ballmer is OK with doing whatever he can to kill competition and that’s not the kind of company with which we should do business.

  2. Ch says:

    So SB bases company strategy on an e-mail that BG sent him 14 years ago ? If you really want to believe that, then let’s leave it at that.

  3. “From: Bill Gates
    To: bradsi; davidcol; dennisad; paulma
    Cc: jimall; mikemap; nathanm; steveb; stevesi”

    If you read the e-mail, BillG is not asking but telling people what to think. Steve Ballmer was on the CC list.

  4. ch says:

    “It’s not irrelevant that the boss of a company with a desktop monopoly is thinking that way.”

    Do you have any proof that Steve B. is thinking that way ? Sorry, but I get the feeling you’re living in the past.

    “It is not irrational to hate M$ because they are out to get freedom loving people in IT.”

    How so ? Care to elaborate ? MS is contributing to the Linux kernel, collaborating with the Samba folks, producing it’s own OSS – and _not_ sueing KDE or Gnome or OOo/LO. Are they after you ?

  5. ch wrote, “Did they sue KDE or Gnome ? No, so that’s irrelevant.”

    It’s not irrelevant that the boss of a company with a desktop monopoly is thinking that way. It is not irrational to hate M$ because they are out to get freedom loving people in IT.

  6. ch says:

    “Bill to buddies”

    So what ? Did they sue KDE or Gnome ? No, so that’s irrelevant.


    I assume that’s a typo.

    “Novell’s Windows 95 (Alpha II) client”

    Things may change in Alpha and RC releases, that’s what they are there for. And Win95 included its own Netware client, anyway. Most importantly, you had to dig real deep to find such an occurence of breakage because they are rare. On the other hand, in the land of the penguin you might find yourself API-wise at the mercy of this man:
    (Wow, less stable and professional than Steve B. on a bad day !)

  7. GNU/Linux discloses everything and uses open standards.

  8. Bill to buddies, “I want soemthing where anyone doing our APIs or using our formats will infringe on our ideas. I have received nothing on this. I think there are misunderstandings about what can and cant be done. This should be treated seperately but I want to know who the champion is, what the status is. How many patents would a chicago clone on top of Unix violate? If not a lot then I will help you be more creative. What lawyer has been picked to really be your partner in thinking this through in a brilliant way and make sure the documentation is done right? I want to involve some thinking nathan has been sharing with me on this as well so make sure you are communicating with him. In particular I want to do something about patenting .exe format and encrypting drivers.”

    WordPerfect: “Fidelity Investments notified Novell yesterday that after installing the “released code” version of Windows 95, Novell’s Windows 95 (Alpha II) client no longer functioned. Engineering’s latest available version of Windows 95 is BUILD950.RC4 (Build 950, release candidate 4). Fidelity has a later version that RC4, which does not function with the client.”

    M$ tweaked the API at the last minute to mess with a competitor. See Groklaw

  9. ch says:

    “Court cases in the USA and elsewhere in the world have turned on Microsoft’s policies in leveraging this condition for other products, not for formation of the “monopoly” condition itself.””

    Actually, MS got into the dominant position quite legally – and mostly because all the competition screwd up sooner or later. Only then (roughly mid-1990s) did they employ the nasty strong-arm tactics. I’ve never understood why: DR-DOS and OS/2 were doomed even without any MS shennanigans, but probably BG was paranoid and couldn’t believe his good luck: “There _must_ be someone after us ! They can’t _all_ be that incompetent !”

    So the courts can’t do a thing about the dominant position MS enjoys today, that’s all pretty legal. But they can – and do – hold MS to a different standard than everybody else. MacOS X may come with a full basket of applications (not to mention the typical Linux distro), but MS mustn’t dare to put a single media player on the disk. Likewise with MS having to disclose internal interfaces like SMB: Nobady else is forced to do stuff like that.

  10. ch says:


    I just played a game on Win8 (32 bit) that was written for Win 3.0 (16 bit) more than 20 years ago. Yes, MS is really religious about backwards compatibility – a lesson they learned from OS/2 1.x. (And it was Intel who cut support for 16-bit SW on 64-bit OSes.)

  11. Contrarian says:

    Make that 8%

  12. Contrarian says:

    “Contrarian actually puts it quite well. The only reason why people use Exchange is because it is interdependent of other MS Office application.”

    Well you are almost totally correct, #ziggyfish. People do not use Exchange because it is interdependent with MS Office, but rather because they have come to base a lot of their day to day business operations on Exchange enabled features for mail, meeting schedules, and the like. The client app for Exchange is Outlook and that is most easily obtained as part of the MS Office suite. Word and Excel are not such unique things anymore and have not been killer apps for more than a decade, but then nothing in that class has been such a wonder. They are just part of what has become more important in terms of day to day operations.

    Does OO or LO have a PowerPoint equivalent? I don’t hear much about it, but I don’t look very hard. No need to do that, I have MS Office and lack for nothing.

    SharePoint is big, too, among the business office crowd.

    “The only reason why OEMs only support Windows is because of they are interdependent on Microsoft (just look at some anti trust lawsuits involving Microsoft).”

    I don’t think that you fully understand this issue either, #ziggyfish. OEMs are not just in business, they are in the PC business and we have to examine just how important the Windows OS is to the definition of their product. Almost 30 years ago, IBM started down the PC road and were quickly followed by a bunch of clone makers. The most successful of the cloners were the ones who exactly copied the IBM product and offered 100% compatibility with MS-DOS. That grew to be Windows over the years and now the term “Wintel” is essentially equivalent to PC. The alternative product is called a “Mac” and there are no others in the minds of the consumers.

    Nothing in antitrust cases sheds much light on this other than to note its pervasive existence. Court cases in the USA and elsewhere in the world have turned on Microsoft’s policies in leveraging this condition for other products, not for formation of the “monopoly” condition itself.

    Basically OEMs do not need any alternative to Windows. If they were to use Linux and pass the savings along to customers for the so-called “Microsoft Tax”, they would not sell any more machines and would suffer some loss of total revenue which would have bad implications in the financial markets. If a company like Dell sold machines for an average of $600 and switched to Linux and sold the same machine for $550, they would immediately suffer a 12% decrease in annual revenues. What would that do to their stock? Certainly nothing good, and that is only if they could get all of their customers to go along with the change and that is very unlikely.

  13. Developers don’t want to be used by M$ which is what M$ does every time they change an API. In the recent article on GROKLAW we learn that M$ had thousands of APIs for Lose ‘9x. They closed some and opened others at the drop of a hat to mess with competition. What a waste of programmers’ talent to have their work squashed because of M$’s decisions.

  14. Apple until now has not produced low-priced stuff. They like the high margins at the upper end. That keeps them in a niche. I doubt more than 10-20% of users like to throw that kind of money on the brand. HP and Lenovo and a few others tend to cater to the high end but the vast majority of OEMs of PCs compete on price. We have IBM to thank for the Wintel monopoly but IBM also gave us open specifications so that more OEMs could compete to supply components. Apple did switch to x86 but mostly to keep their margins high, not to compete on price. Of course Apple is better than M$ when it comes to performance so on price/performance Apple is not too bad. It is worth a lot to avoid the malware and driver problems of that other OS, but GNU/Linux works, too, and is much less expensive because the systems don’t come from Apple. Apple has had a change of management. They could be a force for good if they adopted GNU/Linux or started to produce a wider range of products.

  15. Ziggyfish says:

    Contrarian actually puts it quite well. The only reason why people use Exchange is because it is interdependent of other MS Office application.

    And the only reason why people use MS Office is because it is interdependent on Windows. The only reason people use Windows is because it is interdependent of OEMs support for hardware. The only reason why OEMs only support Windows is because of they are interdependent on Microsoft (just look at some anti trust lawsuits involving Microsoft).

    And the cycle begins again. What the world needs is either a move to Linux or Mac(which is well on it’s way to happening). Or lawmakers in the US needs to stand up for what they have been put in power to do, and not be drones. And the only way the US can ensure that is by voting for the right people at an election. So the only people you have to blame is your selves.

  16. ch says:

    “Does it seem like their priority was to produce a valuable product for the end-user or to keep other companies out of the channels?”

    I still don’t see where you are reading something about “keeping other companies out of the channels” ?

    “Paying programmers is easy.”

    It seems I didn’t make myself clear: I was not referring to developers paid by MS but to the gazillion companies and individuals who write SW for MS’s various plattforms because there’s a market and MS makes it easy for them. One of the reasons for MS’s success: They know what a plattform is, and they know what is most important for a plattform: “We need developers, developers, developers, developers!”
    Heck, they even turned Office, Visual Studio and the Flight Simulator into plattforms !


  17. Contrarian says:

    “Contrarian does not accept the plain meaning of words ”

    It is not the words, #pogson, but rather the concept. Your claim is that

    “Most of the world lacks currency, banks or plastic. Barter is huge”

    I say where is any evidence of that and you reply that major companies cross license their patents. Are you seriously suggesting that is proof of your claim whether it fits some old definition or not? The original issue is in regard to how markets are measured and I say that they are measured in terms of how much money changes hands in that market. You and #oiaohm cannot point to much financial activity with FOSS, so you claim that barter is the key, but where is there any such barter?

    Give it up. Some tribsman in Australia is not likely to take a couple of pigs into the outback Best Buy and try to obtain and ARM based PC.

  18. Contrarian wrote, “If Microsoft and Apple agree to cross license one another to avoid the costs of going to court and in recognition of the fact that they do not really compete with one another, that is not barter at all. Just a balancing of interests.”

    The plain meaning of the word, Barter:
    “To traffic or trade, by exchanging one commodity for another,
    in distinction from a sale and purchase, in which money is
    paid for the commodities transferred; to truck.
    [1913 Webster]”

    So, Contrarian does not accept the plain meaning of words applies to M$ or IT or anything at all. It is a waste of time to discuss anything with him.

  19. oldman says:

    “Weasel words. Arguing with you is a waste of time.”

    Seem to me Pog that you dont want to accept delivery on what is being said.

  20. Weasel words. Arguing with you is a waste of time.

  21. Contrarian says:

    It occurs to me that there was a case where a major software company, VERITAS Software, had an agreement with a customer, AOL IIRC to essentially trade advertising on AOL for AOL use of VERITAS backup and file management software. My memory is a little vague on that, but the SEC got involved, the deal had to be unwound and the true cash values determined for both tax purposes and corporate accountability. It was some 6 or 7 years ago, as I recall. I would look it up, but I am too lazy.

  22. Contrarian says:

    “I pointed out that M$ employs it.”

    You stretch the truth here, #pogson. You have no knowledge of any such thing. And that is hardly even a relevant example.

    If Microsoft and Apple agree to cross license one another to avoid the costs of going to court and in recognition of the fact that they do not really compete with one another, that is not barter at all. Just a balancing of interests.

    Barter would be trading one set of goods for another that will be consumed by the two parties involved.

    “People similarly trade in their old cars when they buy a new one. They don’t technically sell the old car but get a valuable consideration in return.”

    Well, that is not the case in my state, #pogson. A sales tax is assessed on the total deal and duely collected by the auto dealer and paid to the state. That is not much of an argument for a barter system that replaces cash in any case. I am sure everyone can see that. Such a barter system would have to operate continuously in order to be cnsidered a replacement for cash.

    “out in the bush …”

    I don’t see any evidence of that either, #pogson, just your convenient anecdote. In any case, you said “Most of the world lacks currency, banks or plastic. Barter is huge” and now you are admiting that it only exists to any degreee “out in the bush”?

  23. I pointed out that M$ employs it. They licence their patents to someone who returns the favour with no cash transferring. Even when there is some cash trasferred it is merely to make up a difference in value, not the whole value. People similarly trade in their old cars when they buy a new one. They don’t technically sell the old car but get a valuable consideration in return. Farmers are very likely to barter, one trading feed for meat, for instance. Trappers may trade fur for equipment. Not all of this is legal, but out in the bush there aren’t many lawyers around to say so. I once got stuck in the ditch and traded a Gerry can of fuel for transportation. Money would have been useless to my counterpart because he was low on fuel and the side-trip would have run him out.

  24. There’s nothing wrong with charging money for the provision of FLOSS.

    “When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.” see

    Technically, you may charge for the copies but since the licence is conveyed with the copy it amounts to the same result. To the extent that charging money interferes with distribution and the providers have other priorities, it is rarely, if ever, done. It is far more common to charge for some associated service. That is, the business model is to produce some desirable software and support use by installing, consulting, customizing etc.

  25. Bad data. Those using GNU/Linux greatly exceed 1% of computer users. Then there’s Android/Linux and the Internet and web servers and …

  26. Those two were key players for M$ planning the strategies. Does it seem like their priority was to produce a valuable product for the end-user or to keep other companies out of the channels?

    Paying programmers is easy. Advertise, hire, and pay them just like any other employees. Businesses that want “support” for some product are much more likely to get what they want from people they can hire and fire than some unknown person working in a basement in Redmond. I have used a lot of M$’s products and never got any support from them. Mostly they cost me time and re-re-reboots.

  27. Ch says:

    “memo from Joachim Kempin to Bill Gates:”

    That has exactly what to do with anything ?

    “Manpower working on FLOSS greatly exceeds M$’s staff. What are they 70K? Flossies number millions.”

    Once again, you compare apples to screwdrivers. Yes, MS “only” has some tens of thousands of developers, but the Windows eco-system has a lot more – plus all the coders and wannabe-coders out there.
    FLOSS sure has lots of coders and wannabe-coders, too, but especially on desktop SW there seems to be a lack of developers. Coders are fine for the small stuff like media players, but for the big stuff (like office suites) you need developers, developers, developers, developers.
    So it’s no coincidence that the Linux desktop has scores of media players but not one office suite that rivals MSO (or equivalents of Photoshop, Visio, Cubase, …).

    “It’s just that there are many more ways to pay programmers than buying licences.”

    What other ways, exactly ? Support ? Bad idea. Donations ? Yeah, sure …

    Wait – I got it! Let’s learn from RMS: Get a job paid by the taxpayer and happily code away …

  28. Contrarian says:

    “Manpower working on FLOSS greatly exceeds M$’s staff.”

    OTOH the number of people using Microsoft products greatly exceed the number of people using FOSS products in any identifiable way. For example, People use Windows at a ratio of more than 100 to 1 on their desktop and laptop computers. It would appear to me that the Microsoft development model is incredibly more efficient than the FOSS model on that basis alone.

    Don’t you think that it would be more useful for the FOSS developers to go into some other line of work and leave the task to the professionals?

  29. Contrarian says:

    “I have absolutely no objection for anyone being paid for work, including programmers. It’s just that there are many more ways to pay programmers than buying licences. Why limit their compensation to a single model?”

    So you are classifying what you agree is a mere policy decision, i.e. to charge for licenses and pay developer salaries and bonuses rather than charge directly for labor, as some sort of evil as you have often called it?

  30. Contrarian says:

    “Most of the world lacks currency, banks or plastic. Barter is huge.”

    You would be hard-pressed to come up with any examples to support your audacious claim, #pogson, but it would be interesting to see you try. #oiaohm has failed on every occasion to rise to such a challenge. Perhaps the old master could do so.

    By way of counter example, I might point at the hardscrabble farmers of Afghanistan raising opium poppys to fuel the drug trade. Are they paid in cattle or some other commodity? No. They get old fashioned cash money. Ditto the ransoms demanded by the Somalian pirates, desperate to carve out an existence and driven to crime. Do they demand grain in payment? No. Cash as always. Do the Chinese child laborers who slavishly work to make shirts and shoes at the demand of their overseers get a chicken or two for the pot in exchange for their work? No. Cash again.

    Just where is this barter system in vogue?

  31. Chuckle. Contrarian, you are out to lunch. Most of the world lacks currency, banks or plastic. Barter is huge. Just look at M$. Sometimes they extort licensing fees but they also accept barter, cross-licensing, in which no money changes hands.

  32. I have absolutely no objection for anyone being paid for work, including programmers. It’s just that there are many more ways to pay programmers than buying licences. Why limit their compensation to a single model? FLOSS works very well for programmers, making their work easier and they get to share the fruits of all the world’s FLOSS programmers. That is a huge benefit of FLOSS to a programmer. Look at programming jobs advertised. 5 years experience doing this or that wanted. Where is a youngster to get that experience if they cannot get a job? OTOH they can work for Google or many other organizations and get something great to put on the resume. Some programmers can/want to set up their own businesses. They can arrange to be paid by licensing fees or services rendered or any combination they want. I prefer FLOSS as do many programmers or the code would not be generated.

  33. Contrarian says:

    “That’s the opposite philosophy to what Ch wrote.”

    That is not a philosopy at all, #pogson. It is merely an observation on what might be a limiting factor for office automation product markets.

    You seem to have some emotional objection to anyone receiving the fruits of their labors. Why is that?

  34. Contrarian says:

    “Even today you can buy goods by barter.”

    Who cares, #oiaohm? It is rare and always ineffective. It does not scale at all. When it comes to understanding commerce, the amount of trade due to barter can be ignored.

  35. Manpower working on FLOSS greatly exceeds M$’s staff. What are they 70K? Flossies number millions. The largest FLOSS project in manpower is likely Linux. The smallest probably has one guy tweaking. In between are many thousands of projects getting into distros with a few people each. There are 25000 projects alone in Debian GNU/Linux. Github has “1,063,340 people hosting over 2,997,557 git repositories”. The world can produce its own software cooperatively. M$ need not apply because M$ does not play fairly.

  36. memo from Joachim Kempin to Bill Gates:

    …current PC technology is totally sufficient for most office tasks and consumer desires and that any performance bottleneck is not in today’s PCs but in today’s COM pipes. This in itself might slow down replacement cycles and life time shortening until we find true MIPS eating applications- a priority not only INTEL should subscribe to….

    That’s the opposite philosophy to what Ch wrote.

  37. oiaohm says:

    Ch are you kidding me. Microsoft memos from anti-trust cases are clear they are out to make money by being as incompatible as possible.

    Resulting unfair competition. Lot of ways MS always starts selling the next verison of there product as the one that is going to fix it all just when they release the current. If they released one that worked there profit engine would die.

    Reason people would be less willing to upgrade.

    Redhat subscription model has no such stupid requirement to need to convicence people to upgrade. So does not provide motivation to shove out substandard product.

  38. Ch says:

    “MS is out to make money _by_ providing a solution that works efficiently for the users.”

    Fixed that for you.

  39. oiaohm says:

    “I am, indeed, focused on the cash element of a product market. It is, after all, how the score is actually kept. The term “market” comes from the idea of buying and selling goods and today’s commerce is almost always measured in terms of the cash involved.”

    The problem is cash is only one metric. Market comes from the idea of buying and selling goods. Even today you can buy goods by barter.

    You start clearly here. “today’s commerce is (almost always) measured in terms of the cash involved”

    Reason why its not always measured in cash is it can turn out that due to the payment system in play that cash is a false representation.

    Kolab lot of the developers work on it main code base comes directly from the companies using it. So the payment for Kolab is part cash to Kolab system for support and part developer time from companies using it.

    This repeats over and over again with open source programs. You maths on cash is out Contrarian. Ok who submits coded to the core of Microsoft products. Only Microsoft Staff.

    Two different models two different cash systems. So Microsoft has to make all cash flow back to them so they can pay developers to keep product progressing.

    Where Open Source as long as companies are happy using the product developers from those companies keep the software progressing as long as they are also 100 percent happy with the licensing terms.

    Remember China is 90 percent + not paying Microsoft for what they are using. Events like this don’t bother open source projects.

    Open Source model is compatible with how people in china and a lot of other places want todo business.

    So redhat brings in 1 billion dollars. When you wake up that its users also are providing developers to redhat to fix up stuff and maintain stuff that redhat is not paying for but the customers of redhat are paying for. This should cause a little realisation of a problem. The Redhat balance sheet is not telling a full story.

    No open source balance sheet is.

    How does open source normally score how well a project is going. Not buy cash buy how many developers they have actively working on the project. Since it will be the active developers that will lead to the future product that everyone will be using.

    Now number of developers working on MS Office at Microsoft vs Libreoffice number of Developers would be an interesting fig.

    Man power is the important factor. Man power is how open source projects keep score. Working out how to source more is the goal.

    oldman be truthful even you avoid lock-in by one provider by at least enough that you can get a good price.

  40. oldman says:

    “Real IT admins know that and avoid lock-in with M$. ”

    Real IT Admins dont get specify the systems that teir employers use. Real IT admins support the applications that their employers require them to support. If the application run on linux, they support linux. If the application runs on windows they run on windows.

    THAT is what real IT Admins (myself among them) do!

  41. Contrarian says:

    I think that you are having a problem with the definition of “real” here. You take it to mean the handful of sorry souls who fuss about with Debian and I take it to mean the legions of admins who run Windows Server based organizations. If you want to describe the 1% or smaller case, go ahead, but it won’t lead to any useful conclusion.

    Certainly the Windows server and office automation users are locked in, #pogson. That is what they want to do. Over a decade ago they and their companies migrated to a network connnected, mostly paperless environment that was served by Microsoft innovation such as Exchange, Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and the like.

    They have based their business systems, practices, and policies on this technology and they are not about to do anything that would cause them to have to redo it just to save a few pennies by switching to some questionable replacement.

    The essence of the concept of Trusted Supplier, such as Microsoft has become for many corporations, is that the customer relies upon the supplier for critical technology and the supplier has earned that trust by repeatedly supplying satisfactory solutions for predictable costs. Meeting expectations is more important to companies than revolutionary ideas, #pogson.

    They expect their suppliers to build upon what was done in the past and allow them to recover most of their previous experience and value if/when changes are needed.

    I would expect that to be the case even with rural school systems such as where you have had your life’s experience. Have they ever been eager to change things? Tell the truth now.

  42. Contrarian wrote, “Real IT admins know that and hence do not mess about with OO.”

    Real IT admins know that and avoid lock-in with M$. M$ is out to make money, not to provide a solution that works efficiently for the users/suckers. With FLOSS, you can install Debian GNU/Linux and access the whole repository for the cost of installation, a far better investment than signing up to renew M$’s licences forever.

  43. Contrarian says:

    Right. If you go back and check, you will see that I posted:

    “I’ll point out once more that MS gets some $20B in revenues from office products annually”

    What you seem to be missing is the fact that Exchange, MS Office, and Sharepoint, etc., are all interdependent for business use. You cannot replace MS Office with Open Office without making it connectable to Exchange and Sharepoint, for example. Real IT admins know that and hence do not mess about with OO. The exact breakdowns within BSD for Exchange, Office, etc., is not important. That would be like worrying about how much of Ford’s sales were for engines rather than for complete cars.

  44. Which document? All I see here is the gross revenue for that division and information that 80% of the revenue comes from businesses. That revenue include the office suite, the collaboration suite and some other stuff:“Microsoft Business Division offerings include Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and Microsoft Dynamics business solutions.”

  45. Contrarian says:

    See page 28 for Microsoft Business Divisions.

  46. Where are the numbers?

  47. Contrarian says:

    “Contrarian you are so focused on cash.”

    Well, #oiaohm, ordinarily I would ignore your childish and clumsy posts, but I saw that in the first line and thought that it would serve as a good place to tee up my next shot.

    I am, indeed, focused on the cash element of a product market. It is, after all, how the score is actually kept. The term “market” comes from the idea of buying and selling goods and today’s commerce is almost always measured in terms of the cash involved.

    So if the world has a need for something that they are willing to pay to get, the amount of cash given to any one player sets that player’s share of the overall cash available which determines the market’s overall size.

    Simple enough for you? Maybe not, but you will just have to catch up on your own.

    If there is a market, there is cash and someone is getting that cash. Who is getting it and how much they are getting is how score is kept. If there is a lot of cash, then it is a big league sort of market. Whoever is getting the most cash is the market leader.

    Then there is the idea of a market niche. What you do is construct a hypothetical box around some area of product, say what we all recognize as a traditional laptop computer. Then we only measure how much cash is being spent on such products and which suppliers are getting more cash than others and why. It can be furter subdivided into luxury and commodity areas or left as one big blob. It all depends on what you are trying to find out about how to get more cash yourself.

    When it comes to the “computer market”, #pogson seems to want to draw the line around anything that has batteries or a line cord and uses the word “processor” in its advertising literature or technical specifications, but I think a finer definition is needed to see where things are actually headed. In particular, it would help determine if any of the traditional players are winning or losing more or less today than they might have done in the past.

    I don’t think that the FOSSers would like to do that, of course, since it would expose the historic and continued hopelessness of their cause.

  48. Contrarian says:

    “That makes you an insider.”

    I only wish that were true, #pogson! I would be in far more luxurious quarters, not bothering with posting in obswcure forums. But, alas, that is not the case.

    Microsoft publishes the quarterly and annual results for its business divisions via SEC forms widely available on the internet. I am sure that you know that. Exchange is a component of its Business Software division that incorporates things like Exchange, MS Office, and system services.

    All of their products work synergistically to capture and hold the lions share of the office autoation software business. I get the impression that you do not have a very good understanding of how things are actually used in big (and medium and even small) businesses. The FOSS approach of trying to replace any one product, such as Word or Excel, with ersatz such as Open Office or Libre Office, is doomed to failure because of that.

    Think of Libre Office as being essentially a one-legged stool being offered to someone who wants to sit down comfortably. It is missing the market. It may be the case that it is sufficient for any enterprise that does not choose to work the way that most others do or for individuals who do not have a need for anything beyond simple word processing, but that is not Microsoft’s market and it never has been.

  49. oiaohm says:

    ThoRa I do agree with twitter not edited.

    I know exactly what Exchange can do. Biggest problem in 2007 exchange on is lack of a catch all account.

    Spamfiltering in exchange is a pain in the ass to setup correctly. Add third party catch all account break mail filtering.

    Unable to multi scan emails threw many different filters without exchange either being stupid and timing out and rejecting the email or not filtering at all. So end up sitting exchange behind a Linux box proxy filtering snmp. Then end up switching to a Linux solution because plugining in anti-virus and spamfiltering and other things is many times simpler and 100 percent dependable. Because ISP’s do this every day of the week.

    Yes one typo with exchange you go from filtering working to no filtering and having every user scream at you. Or that every email is being returned to sender so everyone again is screaming at you.

    So I can say with confidence Exchange is a crap because I have worked with it.

    Yes the admin time and cost is why lot of business are hoping MS cloud offered exchange works.

    Ch remember MS cloud is lock in. Also remember Google is completing head to head against MS cloud offering.

    Remember lot open source groupware does offer cloud solutions as well. Only difference synced between local server and cloud hosted.

  50. Ch says:

    Nice quote, Mr Pogson. It would be even nicer if you realised what it’s talking about.
    “In 2011, Microsoft Exchange Server will have a worldwide installed base of 360 million mailboxes.”

    So these 360 million Exchange mailboxes are 100% of what is regarded here. (Please keep in mind that Exchange is mostly for companies, few consumers use an Exchange mailbox.)

    “On-Premises Microsoft Exchange Server deployments currently account for the majority of Microsoft Exchange Server mailboxes worldwide, representing 76% of the worldwide installed base in 2011.”

    76% of these Exchange mailboxes reside on servers within the company.

    “We expect this to gradually decrease as the popularity of hosted, cloud-based solutions increases.”

    24% of these Exchange Mailboxes run on hosted systems, and this percentage is likely to increase (think Cloud).

    Now comes the surprising bit: MS makes money both from on-premise Exchange servers and from hosted ones.


    That’s comparing apples and screwdrivers.

  51. ThoRa says:

    “As someone who’s actually used Exchange, I can say that it’s a POS. Anyone recommending it is either bought or incompetent or both. Really, it’s worst of class software.”

    Is that what you really think? Here, fixed that for you:

    “As someone who has actually no clue what Exchange can do and how to properly set it up, I can still say with confidence that it’s a POS.”

  52. twitter says:

    As someone who’s actually used Exchange, I can say that it’s a POS. Anyone recommending it is either bought or incompetent or both. Really, it’s worst of class software.

    I’m happy to learn that Open Office is still doing well. Thanks for the update, Pogson.

  53. oiaohm says:

    Contrarian you are so focused on cash. Kolab Systems serous-ally has a big of market share of the groupware business. Note Exchange is groupware if it was just email it micro remember all the ISP’s running email servers that are FOSS.

    Really if I was using Kolab as a small business there is no way in hell I would migrate to exchange.

    The big thing Kolab is using tech the ISP’s use to hand emails that is better tested and more resilient than Exchange.

    Now you go across ERP(enterpise resource planning software) the software that compains that are large use. It again provide groupware. The open source again some of them are using the same backend as Kolab. So you can migrate from Kolab groupware to an Open Source ERP without any disruption.

    Same applies to many CRM(custom relationship management software). They have integrated groupware functionality.

    In the ERP game Oracle Applications pulls in 14B+ USD. In fact you can migrate up from kolab to Oracle Applications without disruption. But you cannot migrate from Exchange to Oracle Applications without disruption.

    Exchange is a small business trap. It does not have the migration path to big business solutions.

    Basically Exchange is a small abnormality between ISP email solutions, CRM solutions and ERP solutions. Maintained by outlooks incompatible. Once CRM and ERP can provide MAPI exchange is dead for sure.

    Also I did some digging. “76% of the worldwide installed base in 2011.” That we were miss reading.

    Worldwide install base is revering to Windows servers. Not to the total world wide market. So only 76% of all windows server have exchange installed. Ok what are the other 24% using on windows. This is a interesting question.

    Basically Contrarian we both need to take a reading course over that bug we both fell for it. Worldwide install base does not equal world market.

    360 million mailboxes. Lets say MS did not count user mail boxs separately but each recieve snmp server. So basically there is only 474 million Windows servers. That is a pretty huge number.

    Thinking netcraft find 504,082,040 sites. And we know not all of those are on unique servers.

    This is quite a good clue to what percentage of invisible we should be expecting. About 1/5 displayed.

    This also explains why kolab don’t appear. Kolab does not run on Windows.

  54. So, you know how much M$ makes from Exchange? That makes you an insider.

  55. Contrarian says:

    “Further, 360 million mailboxes is a pretty small share ”

    Well, by your own cite that is 74% of the world market, #pogson, and I’ll point out once more that MS gets some $20B in revenues from office products annually, resulting in some $15B of profits.

    You can be pedantic and suggest that Microsoft is in trouble because they lack that final 26%, but I think that is a wrong view. Pointing to other suppliers of mailboxes has nothing to do with the market for Exchange either. The bottom line is that Microsoft gets most of the money that is paid for Exchange-type services and software. If many others do not have a sufficient need for Exchange to motivate them to buy it, I can only say that is not part of the market. Yet. A small business that doesn’t need Exchange and caqn get along with some FOSS product is just a future customer for Microsoft if and when they grow up.

  56. oiaohm says:

    Contrarian one of Exchanges competitors that integrates perfectly with thunderbird out box but badly with outlook. Is kolab. 360 million is a bogus number of some form. I know this because kolab itself is over 100 million install base.

    There are 2 other major competitors with Exchange out there. On top of that there are the ERPs that also compete with exchange.

    Munich government is in fact kolab and thunderbird. No exchange or outlook left installed on any machine run by the german goverment. Kolab is heavily used in German companies. Windows clients at Munich goverment are for internal operations only. This has reduced virus problems for them.

    The age of Exchange is almost over.

    Before exchange there was citadel. Citadel is many times stronger than exchange. Fully standard conforming.

    Along comes Outlook and Exchange that will only operate correctly with a match using a closed standard to interface. MS gains market share.

    Today sogo is one of many to come to offer outlook connect. All the features of exchange other than the mapi protocal existed in groupware servers prior to exchange. The older more mature groupware servers are truly better quality than exchange.

    When you wake up that there is nothing innovative to exchange other than MAPI. Its only a matter of time before it falls to being free.

    kolab has been working to bring kontact to windows due to how bad it links to outlook.

    zarafa is heavy used in other countries in the EU as well. This is the problem Contrarian foundation of exchange has been cracked by iphone once using proper standard was forced. There is a destruction axe coming.

    Yes MS offering hosted exchange taking them head to head with google was kinda required. Because you can bet at some point gmail will offer MAPI protocol so allowing outlook to connect.

  57. According to this, 24% of businesses that use a similar product don’t use Exchange:
    “In 2011, Microsoft Exchange Server will have a worldwide installed base of 360 million mailboxes. On-Premises Microsoft Exchange Server deployments currently account for the majority of Microsoft Exchange Server mailboxes worldwide, representing 76% of the worldwide installed base in 2011. We expect this to gradually decrease as the popularity of hosted, cloud-based solutions increases.”

    Further, 360 million mailboxes is a pretty small share considering how many PCs and users of PCs there are. Gmail, for instance has 260 million mailboxes going. M$ has no monopoly on e-mail and collaboration.

  58. Contrarian says:

    “There was business before M$’s Exchange and there will be after.”

    Before Exchange there was business, sure, and there was even email of a sort. But it was not used on such a massive and universal scale until the Exchange era. Exchange had competitors, but none evolved to the sort of universal capture that Exchange achieved. It is like Windows, #pogson. It has become the standard of comparison.

    You can yak all you want about things that are technical equivalents in the FOSS world and you might be technically correct, but that will not change the reality that Exchange is what is being used by business. American business, Canadian business, French business, Chinese business and Paraguay business. It is even being used by Munich business to the extent that they had to keep enough Windows clients in the mix to ensure that they could continue to do business with other.

  59. There was business before M$’s Exchange and there will be after. The world can use it but they don’t have to depend on it. Look at the cloud/web. There are tons of web-based collaboration sites out there including many that do what is necessary. I was just looking at one in Debian’s repository the other day, EtherPad. It’s TinyMCE on the web doing a “chat” thing. You can have seven or any number of people all typing at once on the same document. That’s collaboration. I could use that in schools to have students write a book together. Another killer feature is that the document can be saved in multiple formats: ODF, HTML, PDF, text. Embedded in a chat/e-mail/database whatever, an organization has a ton of tools for collaboration. M$ did not invent collaboration and they don’t necessarily have the best tool for anything.

  60. oiaohm says:

    Contrarian limited mind set at work.

    There is more than Exchange out there. Really migrating to open source normally starts after exchange has stuffed up a few times and you are getting rid of it. Then outlook does not operate too well connecting to open standard servers.

    Thunderbird is a exchange client via a server converter. Basically every email client on earth you can use with exchange if you know what you are doing.

    Yes Thunderbird is mail client of choice normally with OpenOffice/Libreoffice but you don’t have to use that.

    Lot of businesses have davmail installed so idevices have full functionality.

    Yes the exchange issue died with iphones turning up with competent IT admin since adding davmail is required on a windows server to make all exchange features that can work on a iphone work. So you should be adding nothing to use thunderbird if your system is setup right.

    There is trustbird what is a security focused version of Thunderbird developed for mil usage. Secuirty wises runs rings round outlook. Yes proper built in internal mil grade encryption of emails without very much effort by end users.

  61. Contrarian says:

    “Do we choose Open Office, or Libre Office?”

    If you read the papers, it is clear that the world is using Microsoft Office. Are either of those open source projects compatible? As near as I can tell, neither has an Exchange client, so how could anyone ever use them in a business setting?

  62. Or the growth will be exponentially upwards.

  63. oiaohm says:

    ThoRa lets state a few simple thing the 200+ libreoffice developer army 80% were fact working on openoffice for someone the complete time of openoffice just most restricted from submitting up stream by legal departments.

    So not a pseudo-ethical drive at all.

    Now what reason where they not submitting back to Sun/Oracle. Copyright assignment requirement. This is in fact very hard for developers to get past there companies legal departments.

    Libreoffice and Openoffice at apache lose the copyright assignment requirement.

    Simple fact getting LGPL/MPL that libreoffice past legal department is simpler than getting apache license past legal department. Since both LGPL and MPL have a direct requirement for source code release. Where apache license does not.

    Competitor not able to nick off with code clause in MPL and LGPL. So just like Linux and BSD. Libreoffice is always going to have the large developer base since more developers are compatible.

    Apache licensed code can be legally wrapped into a MPL/LGPL work.

    Basically libreoffice is compatible with the most companies legal departments for code release. OpenOffice at Apache is more legal department compatible than OpenOffice at sun or Oracle for code release but is a little behind.

    Even so they both complement each other. Companies that will not directly release under MPL/LGPL normally will release under Apache license and vice verse.

    For access to the most developers splitting in two is good. If OpenOffice dies libreoffice will lose a few developers. 75% of libreoffice coding core are developers who legal department would not let them release to OpenOffice under sun or orcale most of those cannot release to OpenOffice at apache either. So worse case is 25% coder loss in case of OpenOffice complete death. Big number but tolerable.

    ThoRA its all about the go darn corporate legal departments. Not some idea of sticking it to the man. Basically how to we have our man in the legal department not tell us no.

    The split from OpenOffice by libreoffice in the first place was all about the number of coders who could not submit code because their legal departments would not let them.

  64. ThoRa says:

    The reason LibreOffice has more developers is simple. They think that they are sticking it to the man (which would be Sun/Oracle). It’s fueled by pseudo-ethical drivel. The hype will wane quickly.

  65. oiaohm says:

    Phenom something you are missing. Openoffice will be apache license. Libreoffice will be LGPL and MPL.

    Different companies like submitting code under different license. But I do expect some kicking and screaming from OpenOffice as libreoffice just imports features and Openoffice cannot import back the other way.

    Its very much bsd vs Linux all over again. History annoyingly repeats because we cannot learn from it.

  66. Finalzone says:

    LibreOffice superseded a long time ago with its active and fast paced development. The Document Foundation already announced development for Android and Apple IOS. Notice the significant trim of package size, cleaned codes, new features not found on OpenOffice like SVG support in only a year.

    On previous topics, someone complained about the lack of extensions and templates for LibreOffice while fully knowing these addons based from Open Document Format are compatible.

    Since you often visit Robert Pogson’s blog, you know how research about OpenOffice and LibreOffice unless your sole interest is to shill i.e. troll. With the age of digital information, there is no excuse to pretend ignorance.

  67. Phenom says:

    Great, so that’s the mission of Libre Office now? Do we choose Open Office, or Libre Office?

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