Great Minds Think Alike (Fools Seldom Differ?)

It must be the lunar eclipse. I’m agreeing with a lot of statements being made in the industry. Thought a few of them were worth noting.

Sun and Microsoft agree that software pricing should not differentiate between single core and multi-core cpu’s. Which is why we are moving all Sun’s software offerings to a single, common, per “socket” pricing format, instead. We’re counting sockets, not cores. But truth be told, even that’s going to be tough to do going forward. Audits are painful for everyone.

Longer run, what better meter for usage than the number of employees you have (as listed in your SEC filings)? PeopleSoft has it right – if all employees will use your products, price on a per employee basis – all businesses count employees (even tiny businesses). And Sun’s software is of the nature that it’s used not only by all employees, but we tend to serve businesses that extend our software to their customer bases – employees and customers both authenticate to directories, view the web through web servers, run applications against app servers (especially at companies that rely on the internet). So why bother with two prices – Sun actually waives pricing for external usage – pay $100/employee, and external deployment is free of charge. Free. Free free free. (We’re becoming great friends with procurement officers the world over šŸ™‚ (And by the way, if you’re fewer than 100 employees, the products are just plain free – for internal and external usage.)

But back to the top level point, like I said, pricing by the core in a cpu is nonsensical – especially with Sun’s whomping 32-thread systems on the way (and what’s beyond that, I’m not even sure we’ll know how to count). Speaking of which…

Sun and Intel agree that multi-core computing is the wave of the future, and that their gigahertz race is dead. Granted we had that viewpoint approximately 3 years ahead of Mr. Barrett, but we’re glad we’re finally in agreement. If the world of web services is multi-threaded, and your operating system eats threads for lunch, your microprocessor may as well be optimized for multi-core/multi-thread workloads. And speaking of web services…

Sun and the Apache Software Foundation and JBoss agree on integration standards for web services. Two beacons in the open source software community just signed on with Sun, and a host of other partners (including SAP, Oracle, Novell, Sonic, others), to the JCP’s Specification Request 208 (known affectionately as ‘JSR208’).

What’s remarkable is that just last week, IBM pulled out of JSR 208 – out of a fear their proprietary approach would be cannibalized by an open standard. IBM, love to have you back… sure would hate to see your approach to Service Oriented Architectures garner a PROPRIETARY warning label, while the open standards and open source community leave you behind.

Remember, customers are in charge. And no matter how distasteful they find per-core software pricing, they find being locked in even worse.

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