Updates in Big Tech



Seems like silicon valley just can’t get enough soap opera drama lately. This thing with Oracle has really just been the most disappointing episode in a long string. It seems that the guy behind Sun Microsystems’ ZFS Storage technology (Jeff Bonwick) is just the latest in a long string of people to leave after the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. This has come not long after the main people behind the OpenOffice.org project have all left and created a new, more independent group, The Document Foundation. Concerns are being raised about the future of ZFS and of the Solaris operating system on several community forums, as so many former Sun employees leave the ranks. It is certainly questionable if the original vision for products such as Solaris and Java can be maintained with so many of the founding people gone.



Google, the worlds largest search engine, has made it’s way into more people’s crosshairs than most big computer companies ever have. Under litigation in at least 3 countries and at least 1 state in the US for privacy violations one has to wonder if Google has finally hit the ceiling, and begin to show it’s first signs of growth pains. Google’s quick rise to the top was awe inspiring for me, but that fast climb may cause future problems for the giant, as it learns to play nicely with international markets and laws.


microsoft-building-logoEveryone’s favorite behemoth, Microsoft has enjoyed a rather good year after being everyone’s favorite beating post for nearly 5 years. The release of Windows 7 has been very good for the software giant, and has been received well by both home and business users. Windows 7 has set world records for being the fastest sold, and most sold operating system in computer history. At last check there was over 170 million licenses of Windows 7 sold to date. Microsoft is also getting ready to redeem itself in the web browser market, recently announcing the Beta version of Internet Explorer 9. IE9 features a slimmed down interface with fewer buttons to get in the way of your internet experience, speed improvements that include the ability to disable an add-on that slows Internet Explorer from loading, and new GPU enhancements to ensure that you are getting the best experience that your computer is capable of. After using IE9 Beta for a week or so, I have to say that the changes made are significant and will most likely be very well received and very refreshing to people that use IE on a regular basis.


apple-buildingApple, after recovering from some very stupid mistakes during the release of the iPhone 4 seems to be doing nicely. The media seems to have forgotten all about signal attenuation and the free cases are being used and everyone is happy. Along with that, Apple has released several updates for it’s other core products, including the iMac, iPod Touch, Nano, and Shuffle. All the products got a facelift and some new features that will please consumers and increase sales during the holiday season. Jobs also announced an update for Apple TV, a product he says Apple does as a “hobby.” While purchasing a “hobby” product may not seem appealing to many customers, the feature list and the price may. Apple TV comes supporting HD standard, built in Wi-Fi N, Netflix streaming support, and cheaper movie and TV show rentals. Jobs promises all this for a price tag of $99. I expect that for homes with HDTV’s, this may be a rather appealing product. I’m expecting a good year for Apple, and if you’re looking at buying an Apple product, the time is right. All the new products and features are out for the year, so you’ll be running the latest greatest from Apple for a while.


Today’s market appears to be like water in a bowl, sloshing back and forth in an endless cycle. It’s hard to determine the best place to throw your money, or who is even going to survive the next decade. One thing has made itself apparent, slow steady progress fairs better than rapid change.


OpenOffice sticks it to the man

The news is spreading like wildfire that the developers largely responsible for the development of OpenOffice do not like the way Oracle has back-shelved the project and have defected to govern themselves. Their new group, dubbed The Document Foundation has released a beta version of their new, rebranded version of OpenOffice named LibreOffice. The change apparently seems to have been started by the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the company that first sponsored OpenOffice, by Oracle. Policy changes have been coming in a steady stream from Oracle since taking over Sun’s assets. The first change to hit the media was the lawsuits currently being leveled at Google for use of the Java Virtual Machine in it’s Android operating system, something that the people at Sun never seemed to care about.

With the recent changes by Oracle one is left wondering how long the Sun assets, such as Java, will survive as viable platforms for innovation. Oracle seems to be taking a hostile approach towards Open Source projects, which is quite the opposite direction from that which Sun was taking. Sun had started a great deal of open source work and was contributing a large number of intellectual properties back to the open source movement. One must be left to wonder how long it will be before Java, Virtual Box, and Solaris, will cease to exist under Oracle.