Weekend Reading 6.19.05
Time has flown by and I have missed a lot of cool posts and articles on the web, so let's jump right back on track.
Starting out, Mary Jo Foley led me to an article on eWeek detailing current Windows desktop deployments indicating that Windows 2000 is still the dominant OS on the desktop. Windows 2000 accounted for 48% of total Windows deployments in 1Q05. That is down from 52% in 4Q04. Windows 9x and NT accounted for less than 5%, while Windows XP accounted for approximately 47% of deployments. The article goes on to guess that during the rest of 2005 most of the remaining 5% of Windows 9x and NT will migrate over to XP putting it into a tie with Windows 2000. The next step function for Windows upgrades will take place when Windows 2000 support ends in 2007. That could make it a long upgrade cycle for Longhorn, wonder how Microsoft is going to push users to the new OS, maybe make a shorter life for XP?
Moving on, InfoWorld columnist, Mario Apicella posted his opinion on Pillar Data that is funded by Larry Ellison. The premise of creation for Pillar was to create cheaper and easier to manage storage solutions. This was a similar tact adopted by Network Appliance when they first introduced their NAS systems. Now as Network Appliance matures so does their technology and it just might be prime time for a new disrupter to step into the ring. Could the privately funded Pillar cause a disasterous pricing war within the storage business? Can Ellison lock in IT departments like he has done with Oracle databases?
Furthermore, WiMax is a technology that has been picked and panned by industry experts recently. It appears that old MaBell has decided to go ahead with a test of 802.16-2004, the fixed version of WiMax, in Atlanta, Georgia during the end of 2005. An article from eWeek quotes an enginner from AT&T stating, "For a company like AT&T, where we don't have a large local presence, it's crucial to find alternate ways to access those buildings," Nadji said. "The expectation is that there should be a price advantage for the wireless." This is a common application being mentioned by many of WiMax's proponents and I won't pan it until I see it. What's interesting here is that if this were to work, it would solidify the use of 802.16e, the mobile and faster version of WiMax that has not been ratified yet. If 802.16e were to become the platform for offering metro IP networks, could this put a damper on sales of fiber in major metro areas? Articles have stated that metro routes are needing more fiber, but could WiMax put a stop to the demand?
Finally, I had to take a little more time reading through Bill Burnham's most recent posting discussing the investing generalization that enterprise software is dead. The posting highlights the changes in the Enterprise Software space taking shape now, primarily service oriented architectures, but he elaborates on "Software as a Service." This is how salesforce.com offers their CRM product, a hosting product that companies pay a monthly seat fee. The product is customizable and is beginning to be adopted on a larger scale (during salesforce.com's 1Q05 earnings call they reported having 267,000 subscribers, adding 40,000 subscribers in 1Q05 alone). Could other companies succeed at changing the landscape for how enterprises pay for software? Might the industry giants make major steps towards adopting this model? There were some interesting links off of Burnham's post that I'll follow up on later in the week.
Signing off for the weekend.