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ShadowRAM: June 12, 2006

Venture capitalists continue to seek opportunities on the LAMP stack. Many, including some ex-Microsofties, see more opportunity to make dough on that than on Microsoft's beloved integrated stack. Even Paul Maritz, one of Microsoft's past highest fliers, seems to have flown the Windows coop.


His company, PiCorp, plans to provide products that will help users create, store, repurpose and access personal information "in novel ways." The OS of choice? Linux.

According to PiCorp's FAQ, that's because "Linux on the desktop is where Linux on the server was five years ago. Its use is more widespread than most people realize. More importantly, it is reaching critical mass where there are enough users for a positive feedback cycle to take hold."

What about Windows? "Our current focus is on the Linux operating system. Over time, and based on customer demand, [PiCorp] might release its platform in Windows," the company said. Ouch.

Another former Microsoft-exec-turned-VC says venture dough is sniffing out Linux startups like a dog. When a reporter expresses skepticism that any of these concerns actually makes a profit, the VC notes Red Hat's $350 million payout for JBoss. "They paid too much!" protests the ink-stained wretch. "Who cares?" the VC responds. "Money's money."

Speaking of which, a great, unconfirmed rumor surrounding the reported stillborn Oracle/JBoss buyout has it that JBoss' Marc Fleury and Oracle chieftain Larry Ellison actually had a handshake deal. Only, wags say, Fleury celebrated too early, remarking to his adjutant on the way to the elevator that he'd had his way with Larry (his language was much cruder).

The deal was off.

Rumors resurfaced, though, of a potential buyout by Oracle (who else?) of Red Hat. Or was it Novell?

An announced 50 percent discount on's Team Edition whacked the company's shares 7 percent last week. Maybe Marc Benioff will need to knock a few rooms off his 7,000-plus-square-foot compound on the Big Island. So sad!

Word has it Opsware wants a storage company. Opsware's the big-iron, big-client, big-brained, big-bucks Sunnyvale, Calif., network management software vendor with OEM agreements with Cisco and Nortel. Storage capacity management startups should post their for-sale signs now.

Is it the apocalypse? A recent AP report chronicled a Silicon Valley "Fight Club" modeled after the Brad Pitt movie.

The only vision more disturbing than pasty-faced geeks pasting each other in the face is that of same geeks playing Segway polo, another favored Valley pastime.

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