Showing posts from March, 2009

Microsoft + Facebook + netbook = World domination (again)!

I'd imagine Microsoft is still stinging, years after letting the Google opportunity slip through their fingers. That's always an unfortunate possibility for companies who adopt the wait-and-follow approach to innovation. Although Microsoft did switch gears significantly and invested in Facebook in October 2007 before it ran away too. Based on the deal terms (a 1.6% stake of $240 million), it would appear there was more value to Microsoft than just the equity position. But I've come up with a strategy for Microsoft to get ahead of the curve this time, one that could return it to it's World domination position.

It's no secret that Facebook's growth is stellar, projected Worldwide at 5 million new users every week! Facebook is in some ways becoming to social networking what Google is to search. And that is what makes a phenomenal opportunity to Microsoft if they get ahead of this one. Less than 25% of the World's population are Internet users. For many …

Virtualization / cloud M&A opportunities

We've entered the phase where M&A of technology companies gets interesting. Oddly, while the economics are less than stellar, and cut backs and lay-offs run rampant, a number of major companies sit on mountains of cash. Recent M&A activities and rumors thereof, will knee-jerk companies into the buying frenzy that accompanies this phase. But beyond that, there is a new trend of Unified Computing, written indelibly in ink by the recent Cisco move into the server market. This will focus the M&A urgency on a few specific areas, and light up the war rooms at many corporate headquarters. So I'm offering some related ideas.


In the open source dimension I see a big future for Linux+KVM. Factoring in trends towards cloud computing, a bad economy putting a push behind Open Source, and a huge ecosystem surrounding Linux, Linux makes sense as the hypervisor. And as it so happens, the company behind the KVMhypervisor (Qumranet) is now owned by Red Hat, who has …

Virtualization 3.0: Cloud-wide VM migration and memory de-duplication

For those unfamiliar with my background, I authored a full x86 PC emulation project in the 1990's, called bochs. It was used in one form or another, by a number of virtualization players, including an R&D project at Stanford which became VMware. It's been interesting watching x86 virtualization mature, from the early days of it being used as a developer's tool and then on to server consolidation (what I call virtualization 1.0). Consolidation is an interesting proposition of its own, making use of the VM level of abstraction to pack more work onto less physical resources. But it's still a very static technology in that VMs need to be booted and shut-down to be moved to different hardware.

When VM migration came onto the scene, it unlocked a wealth of additional value of virtualization, and a set of higher-level technologies. In VMware terminology, DRS tapped VM migration to do load balancing within a cluster of machines. DPM uses migration to pack VMs into les…

A netbook concept for the next billion people

Despite the current economics, netbook sales have been growing at double-digit rates. It's one of the few hot spots in the consumer computing space. There are now over 50 vendors with an offering across EMEA! What's really interesting is the shift towards the importance of the telco channel in accelerating netbooks sales. The decreasing price point of netbooks, while not necessarily exciting the hardware manufacturers, is enabling new ecosystems, use-cases, and facilitating a value-system shift from the hardware to the newly enabled ecosystems. In Europe, for example, this shift has been towards wireless data service providers, in much the same way that inexpensive handsets enabled wireless voice services. But there are many other exciting possibilities in after-market sales, with decreasingly expensive devices. According to IDC, "mini-notebooks will continue to shake the industry from both a go-to-market and a pricing perspective".

Sales prices (not factoring …