Have we officially returned to the silly season of the late 1990s? If not, there was a momentous step closer taken this week.
Have we officially returned to the silly season of the late 1990s? If not, there was a momentous step closer taken this week when Microsoft announced their intention to acquire five percent of Facebook for a price of between $300 million and $500 million.
This puts the Microsoft evaluation of Facebook at $10 billion, which is entering terrain that is suspiciously familiar — cast your thoughts back to the $3.6 billion purchase by Yahoo of Geocities. Where are they now? In that vein, a blog detailing other things for Microsoft to spend their money on was posted this week.
Open source had an up and down week. It began with the discovery of a buffer exploit within OpenOffice that affected all platforms. Then this issue of DRM reared its head with an ex-Microsoft security expert, Jesper Johansson, saying that he would move off Windows Media Center to LinuxMCE.
Johansson had the following to say: "How many billions has the industry spent on DRM schemes that the bad guys break in weeks? How many perfectly legitimate users has the industry annoyed and driven away? How many lost DVD sales has it caused? How many lost sales of Microsoft's Media Center software and Windows Vista has it caused because the DRM sub-system randomly decides that you must be a criminal?" Interesting thoughts from an ex-insider but it is unlikely to change the approach that media companies have to controlling their content.
The week for open source ended with the announcement of the Australian Open Source Industry & Community Census. The results will be available in February and will be used to build an online "open source business directory", which will enable users to find open source services based on location, type of organisation, and skills within the organisation.
An enjoyable Grand Final/long weekend to all — good luck to your teams unless they are Manly, Port Adelaide or Sydney FC.