Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 14:10:45 -0500 (EST)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] Linux Pipeline - 03.29.2006 - Three's A Crowd Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Three's A Crowd | 03.29.2006
Linux Pipeline Newsletter

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Three's A Crowd
  • Top Linux News
        - New Web Service Looks To Push Office Off The Desktop
        - As Microsoft Preps IE Fix, "Drive-By" Exploit Sites Multiply
        - Ruby On Rails Framework Adds AJAX Tools In Major Update
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - Microsoft And Eclipse: A Showdown For Ajax Leadership
        - Office 2007 Delay Sets Stage For ODF Showdown
        - First Look: Jabber XCP 5.0
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: Firefox Faces The Future
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Three's A Crowd

    It's one of those days: More to say than time to say it. So here's a quick pointer to the one story I think it's worth your while to read, if you only have time to read one this week.

    First, be sure to check out this week's lead news story: Linspire founder Michael Robertson's push to turn a set of AJAX-based Web applications into a real challenge to Microsoft Office.

    Over the past 18 months, I've run approximately 12,000 stories about this product or that company setting its sights on Redmond's sacred cash-cow. The jury is still out on many of them -- including some, such as the outstanding suite, which seem likely to build small but respectable market shares as more people discover them. For a number of months now, I have used as my only formatted-text editing tool, and this product is the real deal: I have yet to experience any problems sending and receiving Office-formatted documents, and the OOo user interface works just fine for me.

    Still, the barriers a desktop application must overcome -- even one that costs nothing, and even one competing against an Office 2007 user interface that I'm guessing Microsoft ripped off from one of the flying saucers parked at Area 51 -- are plentiful and extremely daunting. Microsoft could (and in some cases already did) screw up the Office 2007 succession in any number of ways, and that most basic of all human instincts -- laziness -- would still save the company from the indignities of a truly competitive marketplace.

    And yet, even if the desktop competition gets nowhere against Office, there might be another way to fire up the meat grinder and get this party started. Now that AJAX, the new darling of the Web app-dev world, is proving what's possible using a lightweight Web interface, could the "Office killer" arrive not on the desktop, but over a network connection?

    That, of course, is Michael Robertson's aim with AjaxWrite. While he says the product is aimed mostly at casual users who need to put together the occasional document but don't own a copy of Office, AjaxWrite will also be well-positioned to embrace Office users who get a look at what Microsoft has planned for them, hear what this perpetual headache is going to cost them, and decide it can't hurt to take a quick peek, and maybe a spin around the block, in this free, Web-based thingamajig they've been reading about.

    If you've used a Web-based tool such as the mind-boggling Google Earth, you already know what online apps can do nowadays: pretty much anything their developers want them to do.

    Microsoft was behind the times with its AJAX strategy, just as it has been behind on what seems like a growing number of innovations (many of them with Google's pawprints all over them). Redmond has an ability to stop, pivot on a dime, and move in a new direction that no company its size has ever demonstrated; Bill Gates' decision to turn the company towards the Internet back in 1997 remains, in my opinion, one of the greatest feats in the history of American business.

    And yet, times do change; in many ways, corporate ossification finally seems to be slowing Microsoft's step just enough to make these types of challenges truly dangerous, rather than merely curious. Michael Robertson is a smart guy; when opportunity knocks, he plans to be there waiting, with a bottle of wine and dinner on the table. And if Robertson has his way, Microsoft will be too slow and too late to nab a seat at this table for two.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, and stay in touch.

    Matt McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    New Web Service Looks To Push Office Off The Desktop
    Linux entrepreneur Michael Robertson is launching a Web-based business-productivity software suite, built using open-source AJAX technologies, that could be a formidable weapon in the market battle to unseat Microsoft's ultimate money-making machine.

    As Microsoft Preps IE Fix, "Drive-By" Exploit Sites Multiply
    Microsoft is said to be scrambling to work up a patch for a vulnerability that enables hackers to exploit active scripting in Internet Explorer. Meanwhile, the number of sites exploiting the bug is growing, with hundreds of sites already targeting IE users who can be attacked simply by visiting one of them.

    Ruby On Rails Framework Adds AJAX Tools In Major Update
    Application development framework Rails went live with version 1.1 on Tuesday, adding more than 500 fixes and new features to the popular system for developing Web applications using the lightweight, open-source Ruby scripting language.

    JBoss Opens Up Messaging, Web Servers
    JBoss adds open-source messaging projects to its service-oriented architecture technology offerings, in an effort to boost the company's JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite into the enterprise market.

    LogicBlaze Launches Open-Source SOA Stack
    LogicBlaze aims to work closely with VARs and ISVs to promote Fuse: An open-source, services-oriented architecture stack that the software maker is promoting as a less expensive alternative to proprietary middleware.

    SUSE Linux CTO To Exit Novell
    Juergen Geck, a 10-year SUSE Linux veteran and the firm's CTO before its acquisition by Novell, is leaving the company at the end of this week -- the latest in a series of resignations among former SUSE execs, but one that both Geck and other Novell sources describe as amicable.

    Microsoft Launches IE Bug Database
    Microsoft is launching a public bug database for Internet Explorer 7, which is currently in beta, but it isn't for reporting security issues. That would be another site, the Microsoft Security Response Center.

    NY Police, Privacy Advocates Clash Over Surveillance Cameras
    Some civic leaders in New York want to ring the city with more than 500 surveillance cameras, but there is also strong opposition to using video surveillance as a law enforcement tool.

    Editor's Picks

    Microsoft And Eclipse: A Showdown For Ajax Leadership
    Dueling Ajax efforts, one from Microsoft and one developed for use with the open-source Eclipse platform, could ultimately determine who controls the user interface for interactive Web applications.

    Office 2007 Delay Sets Stage For ODF Showdown
    Microsoft may benefit from delays shipping Office 2007: It will give the company time to challenge the Open Document Format in Massachusetts, by winning ECMA approval for its own openly published but proprietary XML-based document formats.

    First Look: Jabber XCP 5.0
    Jabber's latest IM server could have more improvements in usability, but its support for open messaging standards is a big plus in a market where vendor lock-in can be a major source of expense and inconvenience.

    Is Your Business Ready For Podcasting?
    Podcasting -- currently mainly an ancillary service promoted by mainstream media types -- is fast becoming a small business tool. We show you how podcasting can make a substantive contribution to your bottom line.

    Three No-Cost Ways To Get Started With BPM
    Several business process management vendors now offer free, downloadable tools that let you model processes, analyze expected performance improvement and create most, if not all, of an actual executable design.

    Anti-Software Patent Activist's Book Aims To Rally EU Support
    Florian Mueller is gearing up to spearhead another drive against software patents. This time, thanks to Mueller's new book, and public dismay over Research In Motion's losing battle against a patent-trolling firm in the United States, he may be able to rally considerable support for a ban on software patents within the European Union.

    Oracle V.P. Talks Up Fusion, Open Source Opportunities
    Oracle's senior vice president of applications development, John Wookey, offers an update on Fusion, the company's next-gen SOA platform, its open source plans in the wake of its Sleepycat acquisition, and more.

    Voting Booth: Firefox Faces The Future

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    This week's poll question: What will happen to Firefox when Internet Explorer 7 is released later this year? Will Microsoft finally squash Mozilla with a quality Web browser, or does Firefox still have plenty of tricks to keep Redmond second-guessing? Let us know, cast your vote!

    Poll Results: Is DRM DOA?
    Last week's question: Will the Sony BMG court settlement discourage other music and digital media companies from experimenting with digital rights management technology?

    Yes - 15 percent
    No - 71 percent
    Who cares? DRM can always be broken, anyway - 14 percent

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