02.02.08

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Paula Rooney Acknowledges ‘Hijack’ Tactic, Dana Blankenhorn Suggests Forking, Motorola Claims Unaffected

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, KDE, Mail, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Xen at 10:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Paula Rooney was among the first writers out there to notice the real purpose of the Citrix/Xen marriage. She finally elaborates a little, but she does that in a separate yet related context.

Recently we’ve examined the M&A craze sweeping the open source sector, and acknowledged that open source is not only driving the rise of innovative startups like Zimbra and XenSource, but essentially transforming the business models of large traditional proprietary companies such as Sun, Oracle, IBM, Citrix .. and now Microsoft.

I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Citrix’s purchase of XenSource late last year got Microsoft into the open source business in not so subtle fashion. Microsoft and Citrix are so tightly bound that the latter is viewed aalmost as quasi subsidiary of Microsoft. (Let’s not forget that Citrix was one of the last ISVs that refused to move their flagship product to Linux).

We now have Zimbra to worry about (albeit Murdock might make a bid to acquire Yahoo). Fortunately, some forks make a nice get-away opportunity. Hula lived on as Bongo, so the potential of forking, as Dana Blankenhorn explains, proves to be a life saver.

The fork, Joomla, continues to move forward, as does Mambo itself. Over time the code bases separate, the projects become competitors. Think of it as evolution in action.

A fork can cost a project momentum, or not. WordPress, on which this is written, was originally a fork of b2/cafelog. If the forker knows what they’re doing, in other words, they can out-do the forkee.

Remember Nokia and Qt? The recent devouring of Trolltech seems like a hostile move. Motorola has already responded to queries from LinuxDevices, but it does not seem too concerned.

Motorola has responded to the news earlier this week that rival Nokia plans to purchase Trolltech, long-time supplier of the graphical development framework used in Motorola’s Linux phones. In a nutshell, the response boils down to, “We were over Qt, anyway.”

All in all, what we’re seeing here is the hijacking of various key companies through acquisitions. Larry Ellison tried this a couple of years ago, but the company whom he was trying to hurt has just been absorbed by a gentler giant.

In our new daily digests of news we try to include plenty of encouraging stories. However, no matter how you look at it, some of the hostile acquisitions that we have seen recently are anything but good news. Only wishful thinking make them seem so.

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