30 May

Internet Security Market takes the next step...

Interoperable Standards created by Open Source

Two years back Dan Lynch asked the panel of Internet Experts at Stanford's "Internet: Today and Tomorrow" about interoperable security standards. Last week at InterOp, the trade show he invented, OpenSEA was announced, taking 802.1x into that arena using open source as the active means to that end. It almost exactly matched what he asked for.

[Disclosure: Dan's a friend, and led the finance of one of my ventures. His son, Zack, was in today's SF Chron promoting NeuroInsights, and it's a great read on both of them.]

It occurs to me that people don't get the elements of how this all works together, so I'll break it down into details. Read more.

Lets take an accepted success - Internet Explorer and Firefox. IE overtook Netscape to dominate the browser client space a decade ago. Firefox, the reinvention of the bones of Netscape, is an open source rival that pushes innovation beyond IE in innovation (tabbed browsing, integrated spell checking, new standards integration, ...).

The key to the success of Firefox is the way it works leveraging a common product and development base with a component/services framework that pushes other products and partners. Meanwhile, even Microsoft finds it hard to catch up - they are late with poor quality new browser versions (IE7), they unfavorably compete with their own older versions (IE6 is *still* king, albeit an addled one), and Active-X, their component software play, is falling apart with security issues, stability, and standards challenges galore. In essence, the tiny little flyspeck of Firefox runs circles around the Goliath Microsoft perpetually.

This is soon to become the rule and no longer the exception. And no, it's not just Microsoft as the target, but any large company with a non-competitive product offering, trying to ride a platform sell. This is what the OpenSEA announcement is all about.

So the formula is this - your open source client module/application/library displaces the platform one, and forms a new cross platform "platform", and in lieu of plug-ins, has a external service architecture over the network (or web) that it leverages for advantages the embedded one can't provide. Since open source means that best of breed features constantly, cheaply, and reliably show up ahead of the stolid embedded one, competitive position is easily maintained given a broad base. Revenue from the external service architecture partners moves the client further down the field.

There's a lot more about this I'm not saying, but you get the drift on how the basics work. In addition, proprietary competitors, platform owners, and support providers can attempt to damage or severely redirect these opportunities, but they would do so at the risk of killing product sales opportunities themselves, so there's no obvious "knockout strategy" to be employed.

Use your own imagination to discover the latent possibilities of this approach - but here's a hint - there are more of them than popular open source projects available today. Just takes a little "initiative".

Posted by william at 00:17 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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