Hatâ€™s Linux distribution and attempt to compete on price, while Microsoft and
Novell allied to promote interoperability but with a none-too-subtle hint that
Microsoft believes Linux violates its patents, and that anybody running other
Linux distributions might run afoul of Microsoftâ€™s legal department. The
biggest open source competitor recharged its batteries, releasing Windows Vista
and beginning to ship related products.
While competitive mayhem was the norm, technological progress was impressive.
Eclipse made the first decisive step in realizing its application platform
vision with the integrated mid-2006 "Callisto" release. Software-as-a-Service
(SaaS) became an increasingly common buzzword for many and a proven reality for
some, particularly as Salesforce.com launched its own partner ecosystem.
XML-based file format wars raged, most notably around the ODF office document
format. These innovations are likely to reshape the economics of the software
business in general and open source in particular. We will look at how
providers can turn these changes into opportunities, not threats.
Though weâ€™ll talk about the overall open source world, weâ€™ll pay particular
attention to unique features of the Eclipse community and business models of
Eclipse contributors. Weâ€™ll look at recent and upcoming technologies expanding
the reach of Eclipse and how they may herald incremental opportunity for
companies that deliver on the potential value of the expanding platform.
This presentation is targeted at business decision makers needing to understand
more about how open source in general and the Eclipse ecosystem in particular
may color investment decisions in these technologies. Though the Wall Street
perspective is most immediately useful for publicly traded companies, this talk
can provide background for smaller companies about what outside investors want
to see. This may also be useful for product architects looking to make
technology decisions based on an even broader understanding of how to make
companies and their customers successful.
Brent Williams heads equity research at Hapoalim Securities USA, a division of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank. Mr. Williams has been a stock analyst covering publicly traded software companies (including Microsoft and several key Eclipse Foundation members) for ten years. Just before moving to Wall Street, he covered software development tools at Gartner Group, and ran the operating system/desktop applications group at IDC. He has also been involved in marketing and selling infrastructure software at several startups. He spent nearly a decade as a C programmer, including five years working on database engines at Ingres in the 1980s.