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Digium Offers Subscription Support Plans for Asterisk

When it comes to open source telephony software, Asterisk has one of the longest, most illustrious backgrounds in the market. There's been a nagging issue that's been holding Asterisk back, however, especially in larger enterprises -- a lack of professional support. Digium, the corporate entity that sponsors Asterisk, began offering tiered subscription support services through its storefront this week.

Just as it has been for the previous ten years, the Asterisk telephony engine and toolkit is available for download (free of charge, licensed under the GPL) with support, advice, and discussion offered through the community forums. The subscription support plans are designed to complement the community-driven efforts while giving enterprises the option to call upon dedicated experts to help with deployment, maintenance and training.

Silver Lining in Microsoft/TomTom Settlement: TomTom Didn't Stand Alone

Jim Zemlin at the Linux Foundation has a good reaction piece up today to the news of TomTom's settlement with Microsoft in their patent fight. We covered TomTom's countersuit against Microsoft, and the fundamental issues here. Dana Blankenhorn's take on the settlement was that it seems pretty clear the company [TomTom] has surrendered, and Paula Rooney at ZDNet characterizing the settlement as David losing to Goliath. Zemlin sees the result of this dispute as evidence that Microsoft's new openness is not necessarily so open, but there is a silver lining.

Benchmark Tests: OpenOffice Windows Vs. OpenOffice Ubuntu

Do you use the OpenOffice suite of productivity applications? If so, OpenOffice.org Ninja has a good post up showing cross-platform benchmark tests for OpenOffice and popular forks of it on Ubuntu and on Windows XP. The tests include basic OpenOffice, StarOffice, Go-oo (a Novell- and Microsoft-backed fork that we covered here), and Portable OpenOffice. The results include some surprises.

Firefox Market Share Numbers Vary, But it Appears to Be Tops in Europe

Most people are aware that Mozilla's Firefox browser has over 20 percent market share at this point, with the latest data from NetApps showing it at 21.77 percent share. However, not everyone is aware of how dominant the browser has become in certain parts of the world, especially Europe, and it's surprising how skewed browser market share citations get across the many sites that report data. Here are a few different slices on Firefox's market share from various sources, including one showing it as the top browser in Europe. You can pick which one to believe.

Ubuntu Requests Reviewers to Handle Flood of Brainstorm Ideas

As KDE jumps boldly into the waters of its new brainstorming initiative, the Ubuntu Brainstorm team battles a strong current of incoming ideas.

Ubuntu's Brainstorm project has witnessed a steady increase in idea submissions since its inception, and given this upward trend and current workload, the team has decided to call for reinforcements. The Brainstorm team is seeking users familiar with Ubuntu's Brainstorm process to act as Idea Reviewers.

Linux, It Does a Body Good: Approachable Promotion Efforts

Creative Commons photo by Kino-Eye

Remember the IBM Peace, Love, Linux campaign? Perhaps its impact was greater in some areas than others -- I remember seeing Tux's smiling face on taxi cab billboards (and spray painted on sidewalks) all over Boston. It was merely a month or two later I found myself nervously installing my first Linux distribution. Was this ubiquitous (and not terribly self-explanatory) ad campaign the reason I tried Linux? No, but I can't discount that the ad's approach and playfulness wasn't some sort of subliminal influence.

I'm not suggesting free software advocates hone Svengali-like powers and study hypnosis, but it seems that a lighter, not so tech heavy approach to promoting open source could be quite successful. It's not possible to completely divorce technology from open source software, of course, but for average users, what matters most when it comes to software is what they can do with it. An open source application is useful at face value, and has the potential to always be a little bit more.

And the average user doesn't care much about that. Many might like the idea, some might find they never fully understand the concept -- and a smaller number will find it so appealing, eventually, that they begin to modify their software. Having no desire to hack an existing open source application doesn't mean it isn't useful for its intended purpose right now.

The Economy is Hardly Done Driving Enterprise Open Source Adoption

Ross Turk, directory of community at SourceForge, has a notable column up today at InfoWorld, where he considers whether the economic downturn really is good for open source. We've reported on the topic a number of times, and concluded that for the most part, the gloomy times are boosting open source adoption. Survey respondents recently overwhelmingly agreed with that, as seen here. Turk points out that in the difficult economic period seen in 2000 to 2002, open source adoption in enterprises took off, but he points out that this time things may be different. Is he right?

TomTom and Microsoft Settle Suits (and Countersuits): Is it Over?

The patent dispute between automotive GPS manufacturer TomTom and Microsoft has come to a close, with both sides settling the original suit and countersuit. CNet has a short but informative summary of at least some of the terms (certain financial specifics were not disclosed). The terms are written in order to preserve TomTom's compliance with its obligations under the GPL v.2 licenses on its code. TomTom must also remove functionality from its products that are related to the two file management systems that were under contention in the suit.

This is, at least for the upcoming agreed-upon five year period, how it will be between TomTom and Microsoft. It's been settled, and very little (at least from the Microsoft and TomTom camps), has been officially said about the three patents that dealt with TomTom's implementation of the Linux kernel. It's over, but have the final notes been sung?

Smartphone Sales Predicted to Stay Strong, to Become Led By Open Source

Two new market research reports are predicting strong smartphone sales growth going forward, and some researchers are predicting that open source-based smartphones will soon start to trump Apple's iPhone. In-Stat is predicting that the number of mobile application users will quadruple in five years, and that sales of open source-based smartphones will double iPhone sales over the same time period. In-Stat's latest report on the trend, foresees applications moving briskly from mobile application stores such as Apple's and the Android Marketplace.?

OStatic Buffer Overflow

Has Sun been holding Java back? Red Hat thinks so.

The Open Cloud Manifesto is nothing but a vapor tiger. IBM is the lead toward this purported push toward an open, interoperable cloud model.

GNOME vs. KDE: Which has the evolutionary advantage? Both are mature desktops, but Bruce Byfield sees KDE as the evolutionary leader.

21 of the best free Linux DVD tools. Good choices, from Xine to Handbrake.

Mark Cuban: Open-source your venture funding. Will startups post their business plans on his blog?

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