RIM to give away server software

BARCELONA, Spain--BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is trying to hold on to business customers with a free version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server software.

Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis announced here Tuesday during his keynote address to the Mobile World Congress that the company will offer a free version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server software for small and medium-size business customers, as well as for businesses that want to let employees use their own phones to access corporate e-mail.

BlackBerry Express Server is software that syncs BlackBerry phones with Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business servers. Previously, RIM had charged all companies a … Read more

PHP and Perl crashing the enterprise party

The enterprise has long favored Java and .Net, but PHP and other dynamic programming languages have left their infancies and are rapidly closing the gap on their more stodgy competitors.

That's the message I got from Bart Copeland, CEO of ActiveState, the "dynamic languages company," in a conversation this past week. I wanted to find out how the Vancouver-based "old school" open-source company is faring in building business solutions and developer tools around Perl, Python and Tcl.

Quite well, as it turns out (and as described by Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond). But the story is … Read more

Microsoft dropping FAST search for Linux, Unix

Microsoft plans to begin phasing out Unix and Linux platform support for its FAST enterprise search products, as of its next release.

According to a Thursday blog post from Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Bjørn Olstad, the team will be "investing in interoperability between Windows and other operating systems, reaffirming our commitment to 10 years of support for our non-Windows products, and taking concrete steps to help customers plan for the future."

Enterprise search remains a lucrative, if oddly fractured market. According to analyst firm Gartner, in 2008, software revenue (new licenses and maintenance revenue) in the enterprise … Read more

Can Microsoft be lust-worthy?

Microsoft is far from dead, but it's hemorrhaging on all sides, and particularly in markets closest to consumers like mobile where it is steadily losing market share.

As one example, though a potent one for me, a longtime friend and Microsoft employee wrote on Facebook that he had finally capitulated and bought an iPhone.

This is a man who dutifully stuck to Windows Mobile while the rest of the world fled. He's a man who resolutely continues to promote Microsoft for many good reasons..

He's now gone to the "dark side." Or the cool side, … Read more

Should enterprise IT piggyback on consumer Web?

For all the billions enterprises spend on IT each year, they arguably get far inferior software than Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other consumer Web companies make available for free. In part, the consumer Web can deliver exceptional value for so little because it piggybacks on the expensive infrastructure built by others.

Is it time for enterprise software to "pull a Google" and build solutions on the consumer Web?

It may sound preposterous, but consider just how good the software you use at work is compared to the software you use at home. It's not even close. The … Read more

An application war is brewing in the cloud

Today's cloud-computing vendors focus on infrastructure, but that won't be the case for long. It can't be. As competing vendors seek to differentiate themselves, they're going to move "up the stack" into applications.

It's like the history of enterprise computing, played out in months and years instead of decades.

Oracle arguably set this strategy in motion when it acquired its way to a complete infrastructure-plus-applications portfolio to lower customer acquisition costs and improve its competitive differentiation for CIOs. IBM and Microsoft also went that route, though to differing degrees and in different ways.… Read more

2010 the year of cloud-computing...M&A

Cloud computing is still more attractive to venture capitalists than it is to enterprise IT buyers, and that's unlikely to change in 2010. As IT buyers warm to the idea and implementation of cloud computing, 2010 is going to prove to be a very big year for cloud-computing M&A as big-fish vendors like VMWare, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle round out their cloud product portfolios with little-fish innovators.

Some, like Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, suggest that cloud computing is simply a fad, one that attempts to solve many of the same problems that SOA, EDI, etc. already attempted … Read more

Business document helper

Form Docs provides a wealth of business forms and documents that are perfect for small businesses. In addition, its design elements ensure that it can create a document for any need.

The program's interface is incredibly simple to operate, thanks to its excellent tutorials. An intuitive layout simplifies navigation between different documents, which helps ensure each document is filled out properly. Form Docs offers an impressive collection of document templates, including human resources hiring forms, project quotes, tax forms, purchase orders, and easily a dozen more, all fully customizable and with clearly labeled fields. Its simple operation leaves you … Read more

Third phase of open source: customer participation

BUENOS AIRES--Open source has successfully navigated its first two phases of development and adoption. We're now entering the third, and possibly final, phase: the time when consumers of open-source software also become producers.

Can enterprise IT make the leap?

Billions of dollars in IT investment are at stake. Perhaps even more importantly, billions of lines of code could be, too. While significant software products are written for sale, arguably much more software is written by enterprise IT to run businesses as diverse as Safeway stores and Barclays banks.

Unlocking and distributing the value of that enterprise IT, developed to … Read more

Your new software vendor? Domino's Pizza

Life has never been better for enterprises and consumers. From free music to free software, the digital economy is an all-you-can-eat free-for-all.

That is, unless you're a vendor.

Traditional vendors are getting shellacked by the digital economy, spurring some, like Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp., to threaten to stick a finger in the dike and demand that users pay for content. (At Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, users already do pay to access some stories online.)

The problem with this approach is that not everyone is willing to follow suit. Why? Well, not everyone needs to. The BBC respondedRead more