“Democracy will prevail”: The silent majority

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One of the more alarming places I have awoken is in a central London mansion ($40m+). More specifically in a silk fabric lined guest room on the top floor. Reasonably early in the morning I woke with an incredible thirst. I tried to find the kitchen for a glass of water. On entering the basement kitchen I discovered a toy poodle. There was an unfortunate incident with the dog. I cleaned up in the kitchen, in the stairwell and up the stairs as best as I could. By the front door I checked who the mail was addressed to. Thanks to Google I could quickly establish that the owner was a very prominent and controversial French/Libyan Arms Dealer. I left quietly, for a big man, and walked the short distance to Lords. I watched England beat Pakistan in the cricket while I spent the day re-hydrating.

von_newmann_architecture

The von Neumann architecture is a computer architecture based on that described in 1945 by the mathematician and physicist John von Neumann. Stored-program computers were an advancement over the program-controlled computers of the 1940s, such as the Colossus and the ENIAC, which were programmed by setting switches and inserting patch leads to route data and to control signals between various functional units. In the early days of computing programmes were dedicated to their devices and highly proprietary. The birth of software came soon after to share and sell more general purpose operating systems and in time applications.

In the last decade, the size of the business software market was overtaken by consumer spending on software. Interesting a high proportion of this software is embedded in devices – iPhone, PS4, Xbox, Surface, Nokia, and the notoriously over engineered Samsung Incendiary Devices…

The consumer is interested in what a device or computer can do for them – work more efficiently, access entertainment, keep on top of home finances, manage family photos//media, and orchestrate social life. There was a strangle hold on software by the big software companies. Microsoft, Apple, Blackberry, Sony et al have grown into large Global companies for consumer focused software, while IBM, CA, Oracle, Salesforce et al have grown very big with a large revenue stream from proprietary software, (despite some claiming not be software companies). Open Source software is a paradigm shift. It bring democracy to the software market and has large implications for hardware and networking too.

Interesting things happen on Real Tennis courts. I am not necessarily talking about the sport but the politics, death, parties, contests, challenges, betting and dating that have taken place on and near side. The Tennis Court Oath, taken on 20 June 1789, was a pivotal event at the start of the French Revolution. Jacques-Louis David’s iconic 1791 painting “Le Serment du Jeu de Paume” (modified above) is perhaps the most famous image of a tennis court. The painting portrays hundreds of people gathering together after being locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General by King Louis XVI. Fearing that their lives were in danger, they took a collective oath on a nearby tennis court which signified, for the first time, that French citizens formally stood in opposition to their king. The oath was a revolutionary assertion that political authority derived from the people rather than from the monarchy.

SUSE is also a lot more influential and important than the brand awareness would suggest. SUSE is fundamental to the smooth running of businesses, research bodies, academic institutions, Government and skunk work projects. Real Tennis and SUSE have reason to be celebrated and known, together with historic reasons as to why it tends to be those in the know that have a full awareness of their significance.

Business schools and other commentators are referring to the revolutionary times we are living. Henley Business School term this Industrial Revolution 4.0 and is characterised by the seamless integration of the physical environment with information networks, rapidly advancing digital technologies, the emergence of IoT and growing machine interconnectedness – machines are communicating with each other such has been seen in the only the manufacturing industry previously.

Consumers and businesses vote with their feet and wallets/budgets. The silent majority in politics and in business are not necessarily the most prominent as a brand or in the media. The electorate can surprise – Brexit and curious concern about elections in the USA!

The rise of Open Source software is undeniable, in both the public free experimental distributions and commercial distributions. There is a very large Open Source distribution which Is trying to be more like an Oracle or Microsoft. Then there is the true supporter of open source, SUSE.

SUSE is the Open Source champion and the flag waver for the democratisation of the Operating System, Software Defined Storage and Cloud solutions.

We live in very interesting times. There are significant risks and opportunities. Make sure your feet and your companies technology is firmly rooted on a rock solid platform.

SUSE will ensure that you are well prepared for tomorrow wherever you wake up or whatever external shocks hit your business.

Jon MacNeill Speirs, SUSE

* Known as Court Tennis in the USA and Royal Tennis in Australia

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