XML Development – Full Steam Ahead
I am astounded at how the open source community thrives on mostly volunteer work from a loyal fan base. Asterisk is a great example of how the power of a private company, Digium develops open-source software and the combination is this ever-expanding software community developing better and better applications.
But where Asterisk has its loyal communications developers a company looking to copy the Asterisk model in the operating system space is is Xcerion. The company will soon release an XML based operating system which lives in a browser. Its limitation will obviously be the sophistication of its graphics but it does have Flash support so it may not be as bad as you first think.
Tom Claborn at InformationWeek seems to think this product could be a threat to Microsoft. I see it more of a threat to SalesForce.com. Tom agrees with this thought and mentions it at the close of the article.
The goal of Xcerion is to get the free operating system installed as widely as possible and live off a share of the revenues from the application developers. It seems just like IMS to me and it definitely mirrors what SalesForce.com is doing with AppExchange. In fact this model is more like AppExchange than open source – except the initial product, the OS is free.
The operating system is called XIOS and to be honest before today I never heard of the company or operating system. But the thing is – it has all the buzzwords and features you want. It can be downloaded to a local machine. It is light – only 2 megabytes. It can store files locally and it is XML-based. Developers and users love all these things and storing files locally may be the only Achilles heal of SaaS providers.
So is XIOS a threat to Microsoft? Potentially in developing countries and eventually in the US. But so far the browser-based software Google has put out in the hopes of competing with Microsoft is weak at best. It will take years before browser-based applications replace Word and Excel.
But still there are many niches this software can fill such as computing in third world countries, and perhaps countless others. So the company and XIOS are worth watching but I don’t think it make sense to short Google, Microsoft or even SalesForce.com for a few years.