This week saw Scott McNealy hand over the reins as
What does this mean for Sun and its many customers around
the world? The announcement of the appointment of Schwartz as
It is likely that there will be no immediate change in the
strategic direction of Sun. The companyís current core Server and Storage
platforms are at their strongest for several years and the latest chip
developments appear to be attracting the attention of customers old and new.
However, it is in the area of software and services where Schwartz may be able
to bring benefits. Sun has long been recognized for its server offerings but
has not been as successful promoting its wide range of software solutions. With
his background running Sunís software business between 2002 and 2004 Schwartz has
a very good knowledge of both the companyís software offerings as well as the
challenges faced by those selling them. Schwartz should prove to be a very good
Cisco recently unveiled the Unified
Customer information within companiesí departments are generally islands separated from each other by the
imposing barrier of cubicles. Accounting has their information, the sales
department has their information, transportation has their information, etc.
When a customer is transferred from one department to another, they often have
to repeat all of their information to someone new. Giving the info once and
having the entire company know who you are is a time and money saver for both
customer and company. Less hassles for the customer may lead to more sales.
Quicker call time for the company, too, may lead to more phone calls taken. The
There are four things to consider when talking about Ciscoís
Softricity has announced version 4.0 of its SoftGrid application virtualization software, which is designed to make virtual applications easy to create, deploy, manage, and use. According to Softricity, SoftGrid can virtualize any Windows application and deploy it to servers within minutes by turning applications into portable run-time application images. The latest version also offers new remote help designed to reduce application management costs further. Softricity turns locally installed applications into virtual network services that are centrally managed and deployed to desktops, servers, laptops, or virtual machines. Softricity likens the virtual environment to a protected sandbox where applications create no changes to the underlying operating system, thereby avoiding conflict with other applications. In addition, Softricity has streaming technology which sends minimal code to run applications on the client system. Softricity believes that testing and help-desk support are reduced significantly by virtualizing applications.
Despite the fact that itís been around for awhile in various forms, virtualization is still a scary word to some IT managers. Virtualization in essence masks complexity between various layers of technology. Most of the recent fuss around virtualization has been at the hardware level: virtualizing servers or storage subsystems for example. Softricity believes that virtualization should continue to the application level, since many of ongoing IT management costs stem from having many machines with many copies of software deployed on them. This problem has been tackled from various fronts, including the idea of locking down systems, or thin clients that leave most of the code on the server. These solutions all have their merits, but each one also has limitations to users as well. Softricityís solution accepts the fact that most companies are heavily invested in rich clients and seeks to take advantage of that capability, rather than following the competitionís lead by transferring the workload to server farms, which become a management issue of their own. With Softricity there is no need to rip and replace infrastructure, and there is no need to change applications. This is virtualization so the operating system and the application function as they always did while the Softricity product builds a prophylactic layer of protection around them. For companies with many desktops and a desire to reduce the amount of time spent managing them, this could be a solution worth investigating.
Softricity is a small company that is slowly growing its
presence along with its customer base. One of the ways it is seeking to expand
its presence is by integrating its software with Microsoft SMS 2003, which
means that managers can manage and deploy virtualized applications within the
SMS management console. Softricity has also just announced that it has become a
member of Blade.org, the community formed by
The Bush administration has created new legislation that is backed by Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees intellectual property law, which would expand restrictions on software that can bypass copyright protections and increase federal wiretapping and enforcement powers. The House Judiciary Committee has stated that the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2006 is expected to be introduced in the near future. It was also reported that Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the full House Judiciary Committee, will be leading the effort. The proposed law would permit wiretaps in investigations of copyright crimes, trade secret theft, and economic espionage, and would establish a new FBI copyright unit. Current law would be changed to permit criminal enforcement of copyright violations even if the work was not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The criminal penalties for copyright infringement would be increased five to ten years and doubled for subsequent offenses. The proposed legislation would permit civil asset forfeiture for anything used in copyright piracy along the lines of forfeiture rules established by federal drug laws and would permit copyright holders can to impound any records documenting the manufacture, sale, or receipt of infringing goods. In addition, the bill would make the act of trying to commit copyright infringement, even if unsuccessful, a federal crime punishable by up to ten years in prison.
The brave new world is upon us. Realizing that this new age made it easier for social reprobates to engage in intellectual property theft on a scale previously unimaginable, a few years back the U.S. government enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. While the response was and remains an important one in the quest to protect the intellectual property of all parties, there were some aspects of the law that have given broadly enhanced powers to government agencies and some private parties, mainly corporations with large catalogs of intellectual property commonly known as CDs, and DVDs. This latest salvo at intellectual property crime seeks to further enhance the reach and scope of the DMCA, and to some, does so at a level that is more about limitation of fair use and private liberties with increased government encroachment on personal information than stopping blatant piracy.
To be clear, we believe that intellectual property is a
tangible commercial asset, no different than any other asset that a company,
organization, or person may own. With this ownership comes the right to decide
upon how or whether this information is delivered into marketplace. That said, the doctrine of fair use, especially where no commercial
loss is taking place, is equally sacrosanct. If one purchases or licenses
intellectual property, backing it up for safekeeping (and continued personal
use), no matter how it is done, in our mind remains a valid pursuit. Of
particular note, the two-faced approach to encryption/decryption illustrates the
level of contempt with which some copyright holders hold their customers (if
you want a backup, buy two copies from us). The bill proposes that anyone who
makes, imports, exports, obtains control of, or possess copyright circumvention
tools would be guilty of a federal crime. When one stops to think about this,
this would include every