Fotango in state of shock, as Canon Europe plots escape

Zimki - a crisis platform

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Exclusive One day, you're a startup on top of the world, serving as the Diamond sponsor of the popular OSCON conference alongside Intel and Microsoft. The next, your COO quits. And the day after that, your parent company looks set to abandon you. Life is tough at Fotango, the maker of the Zimki utility computing platform.

The Register can confirm that Canon Europe has moved to cease all funding of the UK's Fotango. Word of the funding apathy comes just a couple of days after Fotango COO Simon Wardley shocked OSCON attendees by announcing his resignation during a speech at the conference. Wardley protested Fontango's decision not to open source its Zimki software, and now Canon has protested the startup as well.

"Following a recent evaluation of the future of Zimki, the Fotango board concluded that there was a lack of alignment to Canon’s core business and that substantial investment would be required to make Zimki a complete product," a Canon Europe spokeswoman told us. "As a result, it is proposed that Canon will cease investment in Zimki, but this proposal is subject to an ongoing consultation process with all Fotango employees.

"We have no further comment to make until all Fotango employees’ opinions have been considered, and the consultation process is completed.”

Fotango came to life in 2000 and was bought by Canon Europe in 2001. It makes a number of products aimed at software developers. The company, however, has spent most of its time promoting Zimki - a JavaScript platform meant to aid with the production of utility computing-style applications.

As we wrote last week, one Zimki developer describes the product as follows:

"You build your Zimki application and we host, manage, scale and back it up. Rather than paying a subscription or a service fee your application consumes resources on one of 3 meters – bandwidth, storage, and operations in the virtual machine. Basically, the more of the resources you consume, the more you pay - and of course, vice versa."

During his speech at OSCON, Wardley called for an open-source utility computing layer that would let customers move their applications and data between various utility computing providers. The likes of Sun, IBM and Amazon.com offer a variety of utility-style services where you can use their servers and storage to run applications. Wardley, however, fears that the vendors could end up locking you into their systems without an open transport layer for data. He hoped Zimki would be that layer.

According to Wardley, the Fotango board decided against open sourcing Zimki despite making repeated promises to do so in the past.

It's unclear now if Fotango will split off from Canon Europe and secure its own funding. It's also unclear if Wardley knew about these coming events before making his public resignation. Canon Europe refused to field questions about Fotango's future that stretched outside of the above statement, and Wardley has yet to respond to our request for comment.

OSCON attendees last week were bombarded by Zimki advertisements - a weird turn of events since the show is dedicated to open source software and Zimki remains closed. Now, you have to question the amount of money spent promoting the platform with Canon Europe looking to shed the startup. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story


Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.