LibreOffice Beta 2 (Office Fork off Oracle) launches!

 

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Announcement from Code Ninjas at Document Foundation

10 years after the StarOffice code has been opened as OpenOffice.org, The Document Foundation is proud to announce the availability of LibreOffice Beta 2 for public testing. Please, download the suitable package(s) from

http://www.documentfoundation.org/download/

 

Ajay- Note that first beta was downloaded almost 100,000 times

install them, and start testing! Should you find bugs, please report them to the FreeDesktop Bugzilla:

https://bugs.freedesktop.org

If you want to get involved in this exciting project, you can contribute code:

http://www.documentfoundation.org/develop/

translate LibreOffice to your language:

http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/LibreOffice/i18n/translating_3.3

or just donate:

http://www.documentfoundation.org/contribution/
A list of known issues with Beta 2 is available in our wiki:

http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Beta2

Beta Release Notes

This beta release is not intended for production use!

There are a number of known issues being worked on:

  • The Windows build is an International build – you can choose the user interface language that is suitable for you, but the help is always English. We are currently working on improving the delivery mechanism to be able to provide you with the localized help. We are also working on smaller problems like wrong description of several languages.
  • The Linux and MacOSX builds are English builds with the possibility to install language packs. Please browse the archives to get the langugage pack you need for your platform.
  • The LibreOffice branding and renaming is new and work in progress. You may still see old graphics, icons or websites. So please bear with us. This also applies to the BrOffice.org branding – applicable in Brazil.
  • Filters for the legacy StarOffice binary formats are missing.

I tested it- it seems okay enough. Once again Open Source tends to underplay expectations (when was the last time you saw that in enterprise software?)

China biggest threat to Indian Software in 5 years: Indian Tech CEO

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An interview with a noted Indian Software CEO, mentions China the possible biggest threat in next 5 years at  http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/10/13/stories/2010101353180700.htm

 

China could be the biggest threat to India in next five years, positioning itself as the lowest-cost manpower supplier in the IT sector by 2015, according to Mr Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies.

“I believe it (China) is the biggest threat in the next five years that we are going to face…So India will have to up its game,” he told reporters on sidelines of ‘Directions’, the company’s annual town hall.

Terming China, as both “threat and opportunity”, Mr Nayar said that India will have to find alternate “differentiators” than the ones it currently has. Despite issues of language and the purported inability to scale-up, China has sharpened its technological and innovation edge, he added.

“Look at the technology companies from China…how does that fit in with the assumption that they (China) do not understand English or technology. They are producing cutting edge technology at a price which is lower than everyone else,” he said.

Manpower

By 2015, Mr Nayar said, China will be the lowest cost manpower supplier in IT sector to the world

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I wonder how he did his forecast. Did he do a time series analysis using a software, did he peer into his crystal ball, or did he spend a lot of time brainstorming with his strategic macro economic team on Chinese threat.

China has various advantages over India (and in fact the US)-

1) Big pool of reliable scientific manpower

2) State funded education in higher studies and STEM

3) Increasing exposure with the West-English speaking is no longer an issue. Almost 50 % of Grad Students in the US in STEM and certain sectors are Chinese and they not only retain fraternal ties with the motherland- they often remain un-assimilated with American Culture mainstream. or they have a separate interaction with fellow American Chinese and seperate with American Americans.

Chinese suffer from some disadvantages in software-

1) Communism Perception- Just because the Govt is communist and likes to confront US once a year (and India twice a month)- is no excuse for the hapless Chinese startup guy to lose out on software outsourcing contracts. unfortunately there have been reported cases where sneak codes have been inserted in code deliverables for American partners, just like American companies are forced to work with DoD (especially in software, embedded chips and telecom)

If you have 10000 lines of code delivered by your Chinese partner, how sure are you of going through each line of code for each sub routine or call procedure.

2) English- Chinese accent is like Chinese cooking. Unique- many Chinese are unable to master the different style of English even after years (derived from Latin and Indo European class of languages)

Sales jobs tend to go to American trained Chinese or to Westerners.

In Indian software companies, accent is a lesser problem.

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The biggest threat to Indian software in 5 years is actually Indian software itself- Can it evolve and mature to a product based model from a service only model.

Can Indian software partner with Chinese companies and maybe teach the Indian government why friendship is more profitable than envy and suspicion. If the US and China can trade enormously despite annual tensions, why cant Indian services do the same- if they lose this opportunity, US companies will likely bypass them and create the same GE/McKinsey style backoffices that started the Indian offshoring phenomenon.

3) Lastly- what did the poor American grad student do to deserve that even if devotes years to study STEM (and being called a Geek and Nerd) his job will get outsourced to India or China (if not now- in his 30s or worse in his 40s). Talk to any middle aged IT chap in the US who is middle class- and India and China would figure in why he still worries about his overpriced mortgage.

Unless the US wants only Twitter and Facebook as dominant technologies in the 21 st century.

Amen.

 

 

 

Interview John F Moore CEO The Lab

Social Media Landscape

Here is an interview with John F Moore, social media adviser,technologist and founder and CEO of The Lab.

Ajay-  The internet seems to be crowded by social media experts with everyone who spends a lot of time on the internet claiming to be one? How  does a small business owner on a budget distinguish for the correct value proposition that social media can give them. 

John- You’re right.  It seems like everytime I turn around I bump into more social media “experts”.  The majority of these self-proclaimed experts are not adding a great deal of value.  When looking to spend money for help ask the person a few questions about their approach. Things you should be hearing include:

  • The expert should be seeking to fully understand your business, your goals, your available resources, etc..
  • The expert should be seeking to understand current management thinking about social media and related technologies.

If the expert is purely focused on tools they are the wrong person.  Your solution may require tools alone but they cannot know this without first understanding your business.

Ajay- Facebook has 600 million people, with people preferring to play games and connect to old acquaintances rather than use social media for tangible career or business benefit..

John- People are definitely spending time playing games, looking at photos, and catching up with old friends.  However, there are many businesses seeing real value from Facebook (primarily by tying it into their e-mail marketing and using coupons and other incentives).  For example, I recently shared a small case study (http://thejohnfmoore.com/2010/10/07/email-social-media-and-coupons-makes-the-cfo-smile/) where a small pet product company achieved a 22% bump in monthly revenue by combining Facebook and coupons together.  In fact,45% of this bump in revenue came from new clients.  Customer acquisition and increased revenue were accomplished by using Facebook for their business.
Ajay-  How does a new social media convert (individual) go on selecting communities to join (Facebook,Twitter,Linkedin,Ning, Ping,Orkut, Empire Avenue etc etc.
How does a small business owner take the same decision.

John- It always starts with taking the time to define your goals and then determine how much time and effort you are willing to invest.  For example:
  • LinkedIn. A must have for individuals as it is one of the key social networking communities for professional networking.  Individuals should join groups that are relevant to their career and invest an hour a week.  Businesses should ensure they have a business profile completed and up to date.
  • Facebook can be a challenge for anyone trying to walk the personal/professional line.  However, from a business standpoint you should be creating a Facebook page that you can use to compliment your other marketing channels.
  • Twitter.  It is a great network to learn of, to meet, and to interact with people from around the world.  I have met thousands of interesting people, many of which I have had the pleasure to meet with in real life.  Businesses need to invest in listening on twitter to determine if their customers (current or potential) or competitors are already there discussing them, their marketplace, or their offerings.
In all cases I would encourage businesses to setup social media accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.  You want to ensure your brand is protected by owning these accounts and ensuring at least the base information is accurate.
Ajay- Name the top 5 points that you think make a social media community successful.  What are the top 5 points for a business to succeed in their social media strategy.

John-
  • Define your goals up front.  Understand why you are building a community and keep this goal in mind.
  • Provide education.  Ideally you want to become a thought leader in your space, the trusted resource that people can turn to even if they are not using your product or services today.
  • Be honest.  We all make mistakes.  When you do, be honest with your community and engage them in any fall-out that may be coming out of your mistake.
  • Listen to them.  Use platforms like BubbleIdeas to gather feedback on what your community is looking for from the relationship.
  • Measure.  Are you on track with your goals?  Do your goals need to change?
Ajay- What is the unique value proposition that “The Lab” offers

John- The Lab understands the strategic importance of leveraging social media, management and leadership best practices, and our understanding of local government and small and medium business to help people in these areas achieve their goals.  Too many consultants come to the table with a predefined solution that really misses the mark as it lacks understanding of the client’s goals.
Ajay-  What is “CityCamp in Boston” all about.

John- CityCamp is a FREE unconference focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations (http://www.citycampboston.org/what-is-citycamp-boston/).  It brings together politicians, local municipal employees, citizens, vendors, developers, and journalist to build a common understanding of local government challenges and then works to deliver measurable outcomes following the event.  The key is the focus on change management, driving change as opposed to just in the moment education.
Biography-

John F Moore is the Founder and CEO of The Lab (http://thelabinboston.com).  John has experience working with local governments and small and medium business owners to achieve their goals.  His experience with social media strategies, CRM, and a plethora of other solutions provides immense value to all of our clients.   He has built engineering organizations, learned sales and marketing, run customer service teams, and built and executed strategies for social media thought leadership and branding.  He is also a prolific blogger as you can see by checking out his blog at http://thejohnfmoore.com.

Bruno Aziza, Microsoft Global BI Lead joins PAW Keynote

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An interesting development, Bruno Aziza, Director, Worldwide Strategy Lead, Business Intelligence, Microsoft has joined Predictive Analytics World as a keynote speaker.

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/dc/2010/agenda.php#day2-2

Keynote
Predictive Analytics and Business Performance

In this session, Bruno Aziza will discuss the challenges organizations face with Analytics and Performance. This participative session will provide first-hand accounts from Fortune 500 companies who are winning by building accountability, intelligence, and informed decision-making into their organizational DNA.

Speaker: Bruno Aziza, Director, Worldwide Strategy Lead, Business Intelligence, Microsoft

Some info about Mr Aziza,

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/dc/2010/speakers.php#aziza

Bruno Aziza, Director, Worldwide Strategy Lead, Business Intelligence,Microsoft

Bruno AzizaBruno Aziza is a recognized authority on Strategy Execution, Business Intelligence and Information Management. He is the co-author of best-selling book, “Drive Business Performance: Enabling a Culture of Intelligent Execution” and a Fellow at the Advanced Performance Institute, a world-leading and independent advisory group specialized in organizational performance. Drs. Kaplan & Norton, of Balanced Scorecard fame, praise Aziza for moving “the field of performance management forward in important new directions.”

Aziza’s work has been featured in publications across North America, Europe and Asia such as Business Finance magazine, Intelligent Enterprise, CRM magazine and others.

Aziza has held management positions at Apple Inc.Business Objects (SAP), AppStream(Symantec) and Decathlon SA. He currently works on Microsoft Business Intelligence go-to-market strategy and execution for partners, services, sales and marketing. Aziza lives in Seattle with his family and enjoys sports and travelling.

He regularly provides views on leadership and performance on the SuccessFactors thought leader Network , the CIO Network and Forbes Magazine. Aziza is the host ofBizIntelligence.TV – a leading weekly show on Business Intelligence and Analytics. An award-winning speaker, Aziza frequently keynotes international events and has shared the stage with executives and thought leaders such as Dr. Kaplan. Aziza’s biggest crowd to date is 5,000 people.

Follow or contact Bruno via:
•Twitter @ http://twitter.com/brunoaziza
•Facebook @ http://tinyurl.com/bruno-on-facebook
•Linkedin @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/brunoaziza
•YouTube @ http://tinyurl.com/bruno-on-tv
•Kindle blog @ http://tinyurl.com/culture-blog
•Forbes blog @ http://tinyurl.com/culture-blog

That makes it an interesting Pow Wow between the big players at the conference Oracle,SAP, IBM, SAS and now MS –all seem to be there.

Truly a Predictive Analytics World.

 

Enterprise Linux rises rapidly:New Report

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A new report from Linux Foundation found significant growth trends for enterprise usage of Linux- which should be welcome to software companies that have enabled Linux versions of software, service providers that provide Linux based consulting (note -lesser competition, lower overheads) and to application creators.

From –

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2010/10/new-linux-foundation-user-survey-shows-enterprise-linux-achieve-sig

Key Findings from the Report
• 79.4 percent of companies are adding more Linux relative to other operating systems in the next five years.

• More people are reporting that their Linux deployments are migrations from Windows than any other platform, including Unix migrations. 66 percent of users surveyed say that their Linux deployments are brand new (“Greenfield”) deployments.

• Among the early adopters who are operating in cloud environments, 70.3 percent use Linux as their primary platform, while only 18.3 percent use Windows.

• 60.2 percent of respondents say they will use Linux for more mission-critical workloads over the next 12 months.

• 86.5 percent of respondents report that Linux is improving and 58.4 percent say their CIOs see Linux as more strategic to the organization as compared to three years ago.

• Drivers for Linux adoption extend beyond cost: technical superiority is the primary driver, followed by cost and then security.

• The growth in Linux, as demonstrated by this report, is leading companies to increasingly seek Linux IT professionals, with 38.3 percent of respondents citing a lack of Linux talent as one of their main concerns related to the platform.

• Users participate in Linux development in three primary ways: testing and submitting bugs (37.5 percent), working with vendors (30.7 percent) and participating in The Linux Foundation activities (26.0 percent).

and from the report itself-

download here-

http://www.linuxfoundation.org/lp/page/download-the-free-linux-adoption-trends-report

Which software do we buy? -It depends

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Often I am asked by clients, friends and industry colleagues on the suitability or unsuitability of particular software for analytical needs.  My answer is mostly-

It depends on-

1) Cost of Type 1 error in purchase decision versus Type 2 error in Purchase Decision. (forgive me if I mix up Type 1 with Type 2 error- I do have some weird childhood learning disabilities which crop up now and then)

Here I define Type 1 error as paying more for a software when there were equivalent functionalities available at lower price, or buying components you do need , like SPSS Trends (when only SPSS Base is required) or SAS ETS, when only SAS/Stat would do.

The first kind is of course due to the presence of free tools with GUI like R, R Commander and Deducer (Rattle does have a 500$ commercial version).

The emergence of software vendors like WPS (for SAS language aficionados) which offer similar functionality as Base SAS, as well as the increasing convergence of business analytics (read predictive analytics), business intelligence (read reporting) has led to somewhat brand clutter in which all softwares promise to do everything at all different prices- though they all have specific strengths and weakness. To add to this, there are comparatively fewer business analytics independent analysts than say independent business intelligence analysts.

2) Type 2 Error- In this case the opportunity cost of delayed projects, business models , or lower accuracy – consequences of buying a lower priced software which had lesser functionality than you required.

To compound the magnitude of error 2, you are probably in some kind of vendor lock-in, your software budget is over because of buying too much or inappropriate software and hardware, and still you could do with some added help in business analytics. The fear of making a business critical error is a substantial reason why open source software have to work harder at proving them competent. This is because writing great software is not enough, we need great marketing to sell it, and great customer support to sustain it.

As Business Decisions are decisions made in the constraints of time, information and money- I will try to create a software purchase matrix based on my knowledge of known softwares (and unknown strengths and weakness), pricing (versus budgets), and ranges of data handling. I will add in basically an optimum approach based on known constraints, and add in flexibility for unknown operational constraints.

I will restrain this matrix to analytics software, though you could certainly extend it to other classes of enterprise software including big data databases, infrastructure and computing.

Noted Assumptions- 1) I am vendor neutral and do not suffer from subjective bias or affection for particular software (based on conferences, books, relationships,consulting etc)

2) All software have bugs so all need customer support.

3) All software have particular advantages , strengths and weakness in terms of functionality.

4) Cost includes total cost of ownership and opportunity cost of business analytics enabled decision.

5) All software marketing people will praise their own software- sometimes over-selling and mis-selling product bundles.

Software compared are SPSS, KXEN, R,SAS, WPS, Revolution R, SQL Server,  and various flavors and sub components within this. Optimized approach will include parallel programming, cloud computing, hardware costs, and dependent software costs.

To be continued-

 

 

 

 

Libre Office

Some ambiguity about Libre Office and why it needed to change from Open Office- just when Open Office seemed so threatening on the desktop

FROM- http://www.documentfoundation.org/faq/

Q: So is this a breakaway project?

A: Not at all. The Document Foundation will continue to be focused on developing, supporting, and promoting the same software, and it’s very much business as usual. We are simply moving to a new and more appropriate organisational model for the next decade – a logical development from Sun’s inspirational launch a decade ago.

Q: Why are you calling yourselves “The Document Foundation”?

A: For ten years we have used the same name – “OpenOffice.org” – for both the Community and the software. We’ve decided it removes ambiguity to have a different name for the two, so the Community is now “The Document Foundation”, and the software “LibreOffice”. Note: there are other examples of this usage in the free software community – e.g. the Mozilla Foundation with the Firefox browser.

Q: Does this mean you intend to develop other pieces of software?

A: We would like to have that possibility open to us in the future…

Q: And why are you calling the software “LibreOffice” instead of “OpenOffice.org”?

A: The OpenOffice.org trademark is owned by Oracle Corporation. Our hope is that Oracle will donate this to the Foundation, along with the other assets it holds in trust for the Community, in due course, once legal etc issues are resolved. However, we need to continue work in the meantime – hence “LibreOffice” (“free office”).

Q: Why are you building a new web infrastructure?

A: Since Oracle’s takeover of Sun Microsystems, the Community has been under “notice to quit” from our previous Collabnet infrastructure. With today’s announcement of a Foundation, we now have an entity which can own our emerging new infrastructure.

Q: What does this announcement mean to other derivatives of OpenOffice.org?

A: We want The Document Foundation to be open to code contributions from as many people as possible. We are delighted to announce that the enhancements produced by the Go-OOo team will be merged into LibreOffice, effective immediately. We hope that others will follow suit.

Q: What difference will this make to the commercial products produced by Oracle Corporation, IBM, Novell, Red Flag, etc?

A: The Document Foundation cannot answer for other bodies. However, there is nothing in the licence arrangements to stop companies continuing to release commercial derivatives of LibreOffice. The new Foundation will also mean companies can contribute funds or resources without worries that they may be helping a commercial competitor.

Q: What difference will The Document Foundation make to developers?

A: The Document Foundation sets out deliberately to be as developer friendly as possible. We do not demand that contributors share their copyright with us. People will gain status in our community based on peer evaluation of their contributions – not by who their employer is.

Q: What difference will The Document Foundation make to users of LibreOffice?

A: LibreOffice is The Document Foundation’s reason for existence. We do not have and will not have a commercial product which receives preferential treatment. We only have one focus – delivering the best free office suite for our users – LibreOffice.

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Non Microsoft and Non Oracle vendors are indeed going to find it useful the possiblities of bundling a free Libre Office that reduces the total cost of ownership for analytics software. Right now, some of the best free advertising for Microsoft OS and Office is done by enterprise software vendors who create Windows Only Products and enable MS Office integration better than  Open Office integration. This is done citing user demand- but it is a chicken egg dilemma- as functionality leads to enhanced demand. Microsoft on the other hand is aware of this dependence and has made SQL Server and SQL Analytics (besides investing in analytics startups like Revolution Analytics) along with it’s own infrastructure -Azure Cloud Platform/EC2 instances.