Great Balls of LinuxWorld Fire

Singed at trade show; Adobe stuff stalls; MBA bumblings.

Save me a wing," yelled the Power Meower. A pungent aroma, not unlike barbecued penguin, assaulted the Puss proboscis as he arrived at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo. El Gato was quickly informed that he had just missed a small fire at the Unisys booth in the Boston Convention & Exposition


Center. "BFD," cackled the Kitty, and he didnt mean that as an abbreviation for the Boston Fire Department. A little smoke in the hall was nothing compared with the burning speculation at the show about whether or not Sun Microsystems may announce plans to open-source Java at its upcoming JavaOne Conference in San Francisco in May. The flurry of speculation was fueled by the recent publication of an open letter to Sun President Jonathan Schwartz from former Sun exec and current ActiveGrid CEO Peter Yared in which he asked Schwartz to explain why it was good for Sun to open-source Solaris and StarOffice but not Java. When approached about the issue, Sun officials offered no comment on Yared or his letter but promised the company will address the subject before its JavaOne event.

Before leaving Linux land behind, the Kitty received a call from an Adobe dweller who claimed that Adobe Acrobat, which is supposed to be released in June, hasnt hit beta status yet. Although some of Adobes Macromedia-based products, such as Flash Player SDK 7 and Flash Lite 2,

have hit the streets, the buzz is that some of the Adobe flagship products may be delayed due to all its recent merger minutiae with Macromedia.

The Baron of Babble soon bounded off to The Black Rose for a bite and a brew with a bicoastal buddy, who noted that SAP will finalize its acquisition of Virsa Systems, a compliance and risk management software maker, by next month. SAP may also be gearing up to provide a software-as-a-service offering based on its Business One suite of applications, according to the Puss pal. As the Katt crushed crackers into his clam chowder, the pal said the buzz in the Bay area lately has been that Mercury Interactive may be acquired sooner rather than later. The buyer topping most rumor lists has been HP, but the Furry Ones friend said IBM, with its Tivoli software, is a more likely suitor.

The clarion call of the KattPhone turned up a Tabby tattler attending the Gartner Outsourcing Summit in Orlando. The caller claimed the keynote speech by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen was captivating. Christensen wrote "The Innovators Dilemma," which details how great companies eventually get upended by disruptive innovation. He noted that the top biz schools all use case study methods, focusing on what has worked well in the past. The prof told the Gartnerians that teaching students this way reinforces the negative behavior that companies exhibit by doing only what has worked before. "So, who needs business school," mused the Mouser. "I repeat the same mistakes daily with no formal training."

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...