Matt Asay

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Matt Asay is vice president of corporate strategy at 10gen, the MongoDB company. Previously he was SVP of business development at Nodeable, which was acquired in October 2012. He was formerly SVP of biz dev at HTML5 start-up Strobe (now part of Facebook) and chief operating officer of Ubuntu commercial operation Canonical. Asay is an emeritus board member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

Internet Explorer needs fresh dev infusion for a full recovery

Despite years of pressure from government antitrust actions and open-source upstarts like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser still commands more than 50 per cent of the global desktop browser market. While Microsoft remains an obvious choice for many consumers, there's some indication …
Matt Asay, 04 Sep 2012

Hipsters hacking on PostgreSQL

With the rise of NoSQL, it's easy to assume that old-school relational databases are simply living out their dinosaur dreams for legacy applications. But a funny thing happened on the way to the SQL cemetery: PostgreSQL became cool again. Yes, PostegreSQL. PostgreSQL was developed in 1986 by Michael Stonebraker. It was meant to …
Matt Asay, 31 Aug 2012
Punk-styled girl with piercing gazes at an apple

Apple: I love to hate, and hate to love thee

I want to hate Apple. The company takes the most egregious of Microsoft's monopolistic practices and raises them to an art form. It's aggressive litigiousness threatens to impede innovation in the mobile industry for years to come: innovation that isn't Apple's, that is. And Apple's lust for control makes it a very poor centre …
Matt Asay, 29 Aug 2012

Has cash corrupted open source?

There once was a time when open source was all about peace, love, and Linux, a bottom-up community of self-selecting hackers that chummed together for the love of good code. As soon as Linux hit pay dirt, the nature of the open-source community changed forever. Today it is virtually impossible for a successful open-source …
Matt Asay, 24 Aug 2012

Apple's patent insanity infects Silicon Valley

Spotting a patent troll used to be easy. They were the ones who sold lawsuits, not products. Companies like Intellectual Ventures picked up the title "patent troll" from critics as they went beyond buying and licensing patents to suing companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard over claimed violations. That is, until the industry …
Matt Asay, 22 Aug 2012
Hadoop Elephant

Becoming Red Hat: Cloudera and Hortonworks' Big-Data death match

In the Big Data market, Hadoop is clearly the team to beat. What is less clear is which of the Hadoop vendors will claim the spoils of that victory. Because open source tends to be winner-take-all, we are almost certainly going to see a "Red Hat" of Hadoop, with the second place vendor left to clean up the crumbs. As ever with …
Matt Asay, 17 Aug 2012
apple logo

Apple's lone wolf approach to security will bite it in the rear

Apple may have minimal market share in desktop computers, but it has dominated the smartphone and tablet markets for years without any significant hacker exploits. Is Apple impervious to hackers, or is it just a matter of time before its luck runs out? The answer to both questions is a definite maybe. For years Apple has flown …
Matt Asay, 15 Aug 2012
Shows code generated from JBOSS

Unstoppable JBoss 'mafia' has big biz tech in its crosshairs

PayPal was the first Silicon Valley titan to get its own self-styled "mafia": a cadre of successful executives who left to create a range of great businesses like LinkedIn, Tesla and YouTube. Google now has its own "mafia", albeit one stronger in management expertise than product prowess, and no doubt Facebook, Twitter, Square, …
Matt Asay, 10 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Hacker-smasher: White hats join forces to build bot-beating weapon

In Hollywood, the good guys nearly always win. In information security, the bad guys ("black hats") often win, in large part because the bad guys know how to collaborate much better than the good guys ("white hats"). Until now. From Lulzsec to Chaos Computer Club, hackers increasingly band together to spring sophisticated …
Matt Asay, 08 Aug 2012
Broken CD with wrench

Does Box really need $284m in VC cash?

Once upon a time Joe Kraus dreamed that future start-ups would be 30 times cheaper to build. Clearly he hadn't talked to Aaron Levie, chief executive of enterprise collaboration company Box, which just raised $125m on a reported $1.2bn valuation. Box is playing a high-stakes poker game which will end in complete victory. Or …
Matt Asay, 03 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Linux lessons for Hadoop doubters

While Hadoop is all the rage in the technology media today, it has barely scratched the surface of enterprise adoption. In fact, if anything, we are still only on the first few steps of the Big Data marathon, a race that Hadoop seems set to win despite its many shortcomings. The big question will be whether the market will keep …
Matt Asay, 01 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

Money can't buy open-source love... only code can

Money can't buy you happiness, but Meteor, a web-apps startup focused on enterprise app development, seems to think it can buy it an open-source community. Instead of the standard startup funding announcement, proclaiming that the company will use its funding for product development, marketing and so on, Meteor says it "will use …
Matt Asay, 27 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

What happens when Facebook follows MySpace?

While it may be true that the web has an infinitely long memory, I'm struggling to figure out where to store pictures and anecdotes from the lives of my children. Given how quickly fashions change on the web - from MySpace to Facebook to Instagram to Twitter - it's hard to believe that anything, no matter how dominant it is …
Matt Asay, 25 Jul 2012
Apple iCloud prompt

'Sacrifice another goat!: iCloud is Apple's biggest failure before Google

For a company that prides itself on craftsmanship and a beautiful user experience, Apple's cloud services continue to be more than a blemish on the company's reputation. They are a serious black hole. Google, meanwhile, was born in the cloud, and it shows: things like document and calendar synchronisation just work, and across a …
Matt Asay, 20 Jul 2012

PayPal is bleeding market share and it's all eBay's fault

Six years ago, PayPal could claim a 91 per cent market share in the US. Today it's struggling to claim long-term relevance in the surging online payments market, the market it helped to create. The problem isn't really a matter of functionality, it's a matter of focus and being able to sell its new services clearly and concisely …
Matt Asay, 18 Jul 2012
Microsoft Surface tablets

Seize your moment, Microsoft: iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise

Apple has given us much with its pleasing-on-the-eye iPad. But what it hasn't given us is a serious replacement for the lowly laptop or desktop. As much as magazines like MacWorld may hype it as "The New Business Machine", the reality is that the iPad is only enterprise-ready in iFantasyLand. Across the board, Apple's iPad apps …
Matt Asay, 13 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Beyond MapReduce: Hadoop hangs on

Hadoop is all the rage in enterprise computing, and has become the poster child for the big-data movement. But just as the enterprise consolidates around Hadoop, the web world, including Google – which originated the technology ideas behind Hadoop – is moving on to real-time, ad-hoc analytics that batch-oriented Hadoop can't …
Matt Asay, 10 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Tech biz today is WORSE than dot-com bubble days

Tech industry titans are fond of reminding us just how different 2012 is than the irrationally exuberant days of the dot-come bubble and crash, and they're right. According to some data, today is even worse. Worse than 1999? Is that possible? Definitely maybe. There's no question that the heyday of the dot-com boom was frothy …
Matt Asay, 06 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Total bankers: Twitter and LinkedIn's cynical API play

In tech today, it has become a truism that "if you're not paying for it, you're the product". Somehow we have applied this wisdom to consumers without recognising that the same principle applies to enterprises and their developers. Recently, however, Netflix and LinkedIn have reminded us just how precarious it is to build on …
Matt Asay, 05 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Gouged by cloud - but it's so convenient

Most everyone believes that cloud computing is taking off in a big way. Finding agreement on why it's booming is a bit more problematic. The issue becomes particularly nettlesome for private cloud adoption, which is either heavily driven by public cloud cost management... or the exact opposite, depending on whom you ask. There …
Matt Asay, 29 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Microsoft's Surface plan means the world belongs to Android now

Microsoft roared onto the mobile scene last week with the unveiling of its Surface tablet, but Acer is probably right to question why Microsoft would fight premium iPads with a premium Surface. After all, the next 10 million apps, and the next billion users, are not going to come from the developed, saturated markets of North …
Matt Asay, 26 Jun 2012
Broken CD with wrench

Microsoft's Surface proves software is dead

Did Microsoft finally get the memo on software licensing? While Microsoft's legal department continues to believe that software licensing is the industry's best business model, its mobile team now acknowledges that software is just one piece of an overall product, and not even the part that consumers buy. With the launch of its …
Matt Asay, 22 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Python wraps its coils around the enterprise

The enterprise, long the stodgy bastion of mainframes, Oracle databases, and Windows servers, is starting to look a lot more like the consumer technology companies that eschew it. As enterprises embrace the web as a way to conduct business and manage employees, they're embracing the very technology stacks originally made popular …
Matt Asay, 18 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Got no idea what Hadoop is, but think you need it? You're not alone

Hadoop is quickly becoming essential infrastructure for enterprises hoping to glean insights from the massive quantities of data they collect. The problem is that relatively few enterprises have the necessary competence to make effective use of the still-complex open-source project. While Hadoop vendors like Cloudera, …
Matt Asay, 14 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

For FORK'S sake: GitHub checks out Windows client

Just two years ago, Git barely eked out a mention in Forrester's analysis of the software configuration management (or source code management) market, despite a clear trend toward open-source SCM tools. Now Git owns 27.6 per cent of the SCM market, according to a recent Eclipse Foundation survey, with Subversion apparently in …
Matt Asay, 12 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Why MongoDB? It's the developers, stupid

Increasingly the third standard within enterprises for databases, MongoDB, has been claiming a lot of victories lately. In relative terms, it has become the second-hottest skill to have on one's resume, right after HTML5, according to Indeed.com job trend data. And despite plenty of hating on its technology, with one person …
Matt Asay, 11 Jun 2012

Facebook's ONLY failure: Expectations management

As I type this, Facebook stock is trending toward a $26.84 per share price, valuing the company at $57bn, or roughly half the value Facebook held on its first day of trading two weeks ago. While the market plays a round of "You're to Blame!", Facebook is suffering from inflated expectations. Facebook's net profit margin and …
Matt Asay, 06 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Big Data is now TOO BIG - and we're drowning in toxic information

Unless you have found a clever way of avoiding the internet completely, you no doubt have been warned that THERE IS A BIG DATA EXPLOSION! By many accounts, we are currently drowning in information - from log files to stock charts to customer profiles - and face a host of new products cropping up to help us manage the onslaught. …
Matt Asay, 04 Jun 2012
The Register breaking news

Open API lessons for LinkedIn and Facebook

One of the cardinal rules of open source is reciprocity: you can use my open-source code under the same terms that it was given to me. But as open source shifts to open APIs, "open" is increasingly a one-way street. As one major case in point, LinkedIn likes to tout its open API to developers, but apparently only developers of a …
Matt Asay, 31 May 2012
The Register breaking news

MySQL's growing NoSQL problem

Just a few short years ago, MySQL was the undisputed king of the open-source database hill. But with the NoSQL market emerging at an 82 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), it's looking like MySQL may get bulldozed by its NoSQL peers. While this shift toward NoSQL provides an interesting commentary on where the industry …
Matt Asay, 25 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Red Hat could cash in with open-source cloud juggling act

The good open source lord giveth, and it taketh away, and no one knows this better than Red Hat. As Red Hat chief executive Jim Whitehurst declared at this week's Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco, California, open source and its children – including cloud computing – are laying waste to the economics of how …
Matt Asay, 23 May 2012
The Register breaking news

GM snatchback of $10m Facebook ad cash = amateur move

Talk about bad timing. Right before Wall Street set up to open the curtain on Facebook's $100bn IPO, General Motors (GM), which spends $40m on its Facebook presence, announced that it's pulling the plug on Facebook advertising. The reason? Advertising on Facebook apparently hasn't worked. My question: how would GM possibly know …
Matt Asay, 18 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Bubble 2.0 startups will crash out before they cash out

It's possible your next startup idea will earn you $1bn, but don't count on it. While there are some stand-out success stories in Silicon Valley, there is also a raft of startups pushing product features masquerading as companies. Some of these will be acquired by the likes of Zynga and Amazon, and some will go public. But most …
Matt Asay, 15 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Ubuntu will hit the big time on Amazon: Here's how

The cloud is the new operating system, and Amazon owns the cloud. Big iron vendors like IBM and HP are feeling the heat as workloads itch to move off expensive mainframes into Amazon's public cloud. Even Microsoft, the once undisputed king of the operating system, is under siege as its Seattle neighbor embraces and extends .NET …
Matt Asay, 11 May 2012

Apple's HTML5 bet against Android extermination

Harvard professor Clayton Christensen has more than 500 billion reasons to think he's wrong to suggest Apple is in for rough sailing, but he's not backing down. The father of disruption theory - a theory that Apple's former chief executive Steve Jobs claimed had a huge impact on his thinking - believes that Apple's end-to-end, …
Matt Asay, 09 May 2012
Garbage dump (pic from US National archive)

Microsoft's dumpster-diver partner strategy is rubbish

Microsoft is not the worst corporate investor on the planet. But it's clearly not the best either, and threatens to undermine its own attempts to be relevant in growth markets like mobile and internet by continuing to buy buy stakes in or partner with also-rans like Barnes & Noble, Yahoo! and Nokia. Of course, it may be that …
Matt Asay, 04 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Are Valley VCs playing hide-the-money?

Nick Bilton has written a hard-hitting expose of an alleged trend in venture capital, accusing venture capitalists of encouraging portfolio companies to forgo sales to allow them to fabricate inflated valuations based on hype and a prayer. The only problem with the article is that it doesn't appear to be true. While it is true …
Matt Asay, 01 May 2012
The Register breaking news

Betting on Box in a SkyDrive and Google Drive world

As the desktop is consumed by the rising tablet market, the file system as we know it is doomed. No, we won't suddenly lose the need to keep track of files and folders. But how we do so is undergoing a dramatic shift. As Funambol founder Fabrizio Capobianco explains, our files increasingly live within apps. But not really. More …
Matt Asay, 27 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Tech sector X Factor: The customer isn't always right

Curing cancer is probably worth a few billion dollars to whoever figures it out. But so is helping enterprises search machine data to find patterns and problems, as Splunk has learned in its 1999-style IPO last week. Splunk, which now bills itself as "Google search for the data centre," originally intended to cure cancer. It's …
Matt Asay, 24 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Behind Facebook's $1bn Instagram antitrust dodge

Apparently it's wrong to dominate the market for free search and free web browsers, but it's perfectly fine to dominate the market for photo sharing. That seems to be the lesson from the curious silence from antitrust authorities on Facebook's proposed $1bn acquisition of Instagram. Pundits applaud Facebook's strategic coup, …
Matt Asay, 20 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Microsoft bigs up open source, then stuffs it under the sofa

Microsoft's new Open Technologies subsidiary may be many things, but one thing it's not is "further demonstration of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to interoperability, greater openness, and to working with open source communities", as Microsoft has positioned it. While it's true that Microsoft's self-interest has increasingly …
Matt Asay, 18 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Cloud WAR! Open season on Amazon for cloudy rivals

The industry's most promising cloud platforms have one thing in common: none of them are winning. At least, not if we equate "winning" with "lots of users" and "lots of revenue" or, more simply put, with "displacing Amazon Web Services." Even so, competition between the big contenders - OpenStack (Rackspace), CloudFoundry ( …
Matt Asay, 13 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Teens break up with Facebook

In May 2012 Facebook is set to launch one of the top-25 IPOs in history. By May 2013 it may well be scrambling to keep investors happy, given the apparent flight of teenagers to Twitter, Pinterest, and flavor-of-the-month social media. It's not that Facebook has lost its mojo. It's that it may be becoming cool with the wrong …
Matt Asay, 12 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Citrix kicks down door, breaks up OpenStack cloud party

Two years ago, Rackspace went after Amazon in a big way, launching an open-source cloud initiative called OpenStack. Since that time, more than 150 companies have signed up to the anti-Amazon party. Last week, however, one big participant decided to leave OpenStack to create an after-party that by many accounts fixes a slew of …
Matt Asay, 10 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Red Hat, VMware and Eucalyptus in cloud boast bluff-off

No matter how you define it, cloud computing is big. The 451 Group forecasts the cloud computing market to hit $16.7bn in revenue by 2013, while Forrester more aggressively projects it to top $241bn by 2020. A variety of vendors are angling to own a significant chunk of that revenue, with "open" displacing "cheap" as the …
Matt Asay, 04 Apr 2012
Suitcase bulging with cash

Success-hungry Valley needs code, not cash

When someone makes the bold claim that 90 per cent of the startups TechCrunch hypes are dead and buried within six months, you'd expect Silicon Valley to be in uproar. Surprisingly, though, the collective response seems to be, "Sounds about right." While I don't think the data support the claim, it is true that a large …
Matt Asay, 03 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

'Ugly' MongoDB defies NoSQL death rumour

Someone clearly forgot to tell the MongoDB crowd that they lost. Ever since an anonymous poster on HackerNews called the MongoDB baby "ugly", I've been watching to see if MongoDB's early rise would taper off and fall. After all, my own company, Nodeable, has had to switch from MongoDB to Cassandra due to some significant …
Matt Asay, 27 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Wave, Buzz... Android? What Apple teaches Google

For developers looking to avoid the Dementor's Kiss of Apple's all-consuming iOS ecosystem, Google has long played the knight in shining open-source armour. Indeed, latest data from IDC and Appcelerator suggest developers are still betting big on Google, expecting its broad range of social products to mint them money. But given …
Matt Asay, 23 Mar 2012
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Big data enters open-source hype cycle

As breathless projections go, IDC's big data market forecast may be in for a serious asthma attack. The venerable analyst firm pegs the brave new world of big data at $16.9bn by 2015. Yet it's unclear just how new this market is and whether anyone but big data start-ups are really cashing in on the gold rush. Is it the open …
Matt Asay, 20 Mar 2012
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Yahoo! Facebook! litigation! trips! patent! trigger!

There's no such thing as a "defensive patent." No matter how good the intentions of the companies amassing these patents, as the recent Yahoo! broadside against Facebook shows, desperate times make for desperate patent-holders. And a desperate patent-holder will struggle against the temptation to become a troll. Just ask Andy …
Matt Asay, 16 Mar 2012