Open Source Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Mehdi Daoudi, Jason Bloomberg, Yeshim Deniz, Stackify Blog

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud

Open Source Cloud: Article

Munich's Linux Plans - "LiMux" - Put On Hold

Gee, did Munich spit in the wind?

The city of Munich's vaunted "LiMux" project to move its 14,000 workers from Windows to Linux - a spit in the eye of Microsoft, whose CEO flew to Germany last year to try to save the account and couldn't, even though he came bearing handsome discounts - was put "auf Eis" - on ice - on Tuesday because it apparently infringes roughly 50 European software patents.

Needless to say, Munich was the biggest Windows-to-Linux upset ever, a showcase win for the Penguinistas who saw Microsoft reportedly uncut the cost of Linux and still lose, and however Munich goes so ultimately may Linux, though the Penguinistas don't think so.

Right now Munich's plans to put "LiMux" out for bid in the next few days are on hold. Supposedly it's temporary. Munich may be optimistic. In America they're saying Linux infringes 283 patents, an issue Munich hasn't started grappling with yet.

The source of all the angst is the Linux client that IBM and SuSE apparently spec'd out during the freebie migration analysis they did for the town.

The patents - which impact on LiMux's Mozilla browser and e-mail; its SUSE firewall and its use of grp, iproute, iptables, the openldap client, openssl, pam, sasl; its graphics and multimedia and their use of gimp, libjpeg, kdemultimedia, libmpeg3, libvorbis, x, freetype and KDE; its use of OpenOffice and PDF, and its backup, administration and networking and use of cpio, r(s)sh, the Samba client, nfs-utils and portmap - belong to Canon, Oracle, Sun, Postini founder Scott Petry, the Fraunhofer Institut, Brokat, Matsushita, BT, HP, Novell, NCR, Bull, Olivetti, Sony, France Telecom, Lake Technology Ltd, Taligent, AMD, Olympus Optical, Apple, Adobe, AT&T, Prolink, Hitachi, Dupont, Siemens, Ericsson, Cabletron, Teradata, Fujitsu, and of course Microsoft - among others.

In other words, it's stepping on a lot of toes and not all of them may be willing to sacrifice their IP on the altar of open source. Munich may be calling on Microsoft hat in hand one of these days.

See, the European Union is on the verge of adopting American-style software patent law this fall and harmonizing it across all its member nations, despite the fact that open source advocates may riot and take to the barricades if they do.

The patent prospect got Munich supporters worried. Worried enough for Jens Muehlhaus, an alderman from Germany's Green Party and an open source advocate, to file two motions last Friday calling on the mayor of Munich, who had pushed the city's migration to Linux, to contact the federal German government and between them figure out how the proposed EU software patent directive affects Munich's Linux project.

See, according to Florian Mueller, another open source advocate and adviser to MySQL, Europe's largest open source software house, a cursory search established that the Linux "base client" that the city of Munich was planning to install threads on more than 50 European software patents.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, an open source friendly, did the research. (Gee, imagine that, Microsoft didn't light the fuse.)

According to Mueller, Muehlhaus was afraid that if Munich went ahead, patent infringement assertions could put whole departments of city's administration out of commission or cost Munich a whole lot in licensing fees. And, like Deutsche Bank Research before him, he was concerned about the ability of open source software to meet Munich's needs if the patents hinder its future development.

Munich's CIO Wilhelm Hoegner was also worried. He said it's "indispensable" to find out what consequences the EU directive will have on open source software. Not finding out, he said, could be a "catastrophe for Munich's Linux migration project and for open source in general."

Currently software can't be patented in Europe unless it's part of a separate invention or process, and even then it depends on the country and local court interpretations. The European Parliament bill will make software easier to patent, a move that has outraged open source activists, who claim patents restrict innovation.

At LinuxWorld Conference & Expo this week Bruce Perens, the American open source activist, claimed that the delay was actually a piece of political theatre on the part of the Greens designed to derail the EU patent legislation.

Europe's Penguinistas are evidently hoping a Munich scare will rally public opinion and act as lever in their last-ditch lobbying of the European Parliament. Unless, of course, it backfires.

Europe's biggest technology companies like Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Philips, and Alcatel are pushing for the patent initiative and big companies generally win.

American companies own something like 75% of the patent already issued by the European Patent Office (EPO). Smaller European companies are afraid they won't be able to compete with the Americans. There's talk of "strategic patenting" and an "arms race" by the Americans.

The EPO has been granting software patents since 1998 apparently in violation of the patent laws under which the EPO itself was established and the pending EU legislation was drafted by a group of patent administrators close to the EPO.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...