Page Two

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2003-05-05 Print this article Print

Take open source, too. Ive been pushing our own CIO, Jasmine Alexander, to write a guest column for in which she would detail why open source software would never darken her door. Ive been reading about all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing over Microsofts restrictive Office licensing policies, yet if big greens financial results are any indication, IT has been lining up to sign the contracts like lambs heading to slaughter. Why hasnt Open Office or Star Office made any headway? Where are the successful pilot implementations? Are we really doomed to mediocrity because were all chicken?
Well, Ive got good news. Innovation is happening, its just coming from odd places. I was talking with a friend who works at a major Silicon Valley foundation, designed to help non-profits build better communities. The entire foundation has given Windows and Office the boot, and theyre rolling out open-source desktops. Even better, theyre developing a model program for doing so, which will turn into a turnkey approach for non-profits across the country. This is great. After all, who would you rather receive foundation and grant money: The organizations working to make our towns better, or Microsoft?
Maybe you really are doing some innovative stuff. Maybe you just arent willing to talk about it because itll create some real advantages in the marketplace. But if you can, let me know. Id love to be able to say that innovation is alive and well in corporate America, but I cant. Five years ago, Id never have thought Id write these words, but it looks like non-profits are leading the way in technology innovation. And thats pretty darn amazing. If you can talk about it, talk to me. Id love to show off some of the cool stuff going on, and maybe change my mind about businesses. Give me a shout at Most Recent "Mind the Gap" Columns:

With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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