Jim Jagielksi announced August 30 release 2.2.2 of the Apache HTTP server, the latest update to the most successful yet least controversial open source project. This is THE Apache, the web server, not to be confused with the hundreds of other open source projects the Apache Software Foundation has spawned, dozens of which have reached relative stability.
This is the project/product that killed the standalone middleware market when IBM decided, "Why build our own. Give these guys a few bucks to a have 'birds of a feather' meeting."
Congratulations but I sure miss the fun similar releases would have caused 10 years ago. BEA would tell you all the things that were wrong with it. Some open source zealot (not part of the Apache Software Foundation) would tell you that Microsoft (MSFT) causes world hunger.
From an investment point of view, starting with IBM's decision -- and Oracle's (ORCL) related decision to ship Apache with its app server -- increasingly the middleware market merged into the platform-software market and more recently the software market merged into the overall IT market. Today, all the IT leaders except SAP have declared they're in a business bigger than or different than the software business. (SAP's CEO made the declaration about 18 months ago and shortly thereafter was no longer SAP's CEO.)
Oracle sells servers. Microsoft sells (or is trying to sell) telephones. EMC sells document management software. Intuit sells second mortgages. And ironically many of the smaller companies in the former software market that have not yet made their declaration have started calling themselves "open source" companies. Looking for that Apache lightning to strike twice.
-- Dennis Byron