Sunday, February 20, 2005

Technology Crossover Ventures: Define "Crossover"

According to Ben Edelman (, self proclaimed afficionado of controversial online schemes, the same venture companies that have financed Internet advertising vendors that provide spyware and pop-up ads have also recently placed a $100M+ bet on a vendor that eliminates these unwanted programs.

Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) recently was involved in a $108M investment in Webroot Software (see Cotton Green Blog - "The Bigger the Bet . . . "). Edelman discovers that the same $3B+ venture capital stalwart has also invested in Claria (fka Gator) , the market leading online marketing company that utilizes pop-up ads and legitimate spyware to target consumers (,

Hmmm . . so that's what the "Crossover" means :-)

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Lightning Strikes in the Blogosphere

Read the papers, and you'll think there's a menace growing in American society: the blogosphere. This fast-growing force consists of some 7 million people, all of them writing in online journals called Web logs, or blogs. When these bloggers latch onto a controversy, they can light up the Internet with angry rants -- and bring down powerful people. They did so with Dan Rather last year and now CNN's chief news executive.

Their latest victim: Eason Jordan, CNN's chief news executive. He resigned on Feb. 13 after conservative bloggers feasted on a controversial statement he made in late January at the annual World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, about the U.S. military. His allegation -- that coalition soldiers in Iraq mistook journalists for enemies and killed them -- brought down a storm of criticism on him and his network.

Even as Jordan struggled to clarify his statement and affirm his support for the U.S.-led military in Iraq, conservative bloggers labeled him a traitor. The upshot? One observation uttered by a public figure in Davos' supposedly closed setting, and within two weeks the guy was toast.

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

RSA Keynotes: Security Software Shootout!!

Not only is Symantec ready for Microsoft's looming invasion of its (security) turf, its feisty CEO John Thompson is positively spoiling for a fight (Business Week Online, 2/15/04)

Bill Gates, CEO Microsoft - Keynote Excerpts:

On Spyare: "Spyware [is] something we've got to nip now before it gets worse than it is today," Gates said. "And I'm very excited that we've got this technology, and it really addresses what is a burning need for our users."

On Security for Win & IE: "That is the top priority for Microsoft, the top priority in terms of our R&D, the top priority in terms of our communications with customers," Gates said. "And I can see that that will remain our top priority, because it's the one thing we need to make sure we get absolutely right."
John Thompson, CEO Symantec - Keynote Excerpts:
On Microsoft: "I could try to be like Bill and show you product demos or talk about our product road map, but I thought our time together would be better spent if we took a more strategic view of what we do," Thompson said.

On Microsoft: Thompson says he wants to fight Microsoft in the marketplace. "We know we can whip 'em," he said in a meeting with press and analysts after his keynote. "Whining in Washington? What value is that?"

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Friday, February 11, 2005

Trojan Attacks MSFT Anti-Spyware

Below is a reprint of my earlier prediction from "Security Wars - Bellwether Banter"

  • Hackers are already working on discovering vulnerabilities in the newly announced MSFT security products and within the next quarter these will be exploited - DaCeG.a!!
Result: This week MSFT announced that a Trojan (BankAsh-A) has exploited a security vulnerability in the beta version of their GIANT anti-spyware :) :)

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

MSFT Security Acq. #4

Microsoft announced plans to buy Sybari for an undisclosed sum ('twas $150M). Sybari accelerates third-party e-mail gateway AV products. Sybari does not have AV products of its own. Sybari enables customers to run multiple AV engines at the e-mail gateway.

Microsoft . . . Security.
Expect MSFT to launch its own AV product and Sybari offers the company a vehicle for slipstreaming it into the enterprise. Highly doubt many customers would put MSFT at the e-mail gateway on a stand-alone basis (at least in the near term) but can definitely see MSFT entering the market as part of an AV suite.

Modest implications for McAfee and Symantec.
The purchase is another move from MSFT for getting into enterprise AV but Sybari only plays in a 20% subset of the enterprise AV market. MSFT has a much longer uphill battle ahead of it to repair its reputation in security circles.

Another MSFT Security Acquisition.
MSFT has acquired FOUR security companies in the last 2 years and Sybari at estimated $150M cash is the largest; however, MSFT products continue to be successfully hacked and this continues to be increasingly benevicial for McAfee, Symanted, CheckPoint and the other pure-play vendors.

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Bigger the Bet . . . .

Three Silicon Valley venture funds (TCV, Accel Partners and Mayfield) are betting $108 million that Boulder-based software company Webroot can take on Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee and the other major players in systems security.

The investment - announced today - equals nearly a quarter of all venture capital received by Colorado companies last year. It's also the second-largest venture funding of a software company nationally since 2001 (the first is eHarmony - raised $110M in Nov. '04).

Webroot's products battle spyware, the unwanted software code that ranges from cookies to keystroke loggers that secretly transmit bank account numbers to cybercriminals.,1413,36~32540~2696451,00.html

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Fox on Fire!!!

Momentum (21M downloads in 3 months -

Opensource Assault:

For more info. see cover story in current issue of Wired.

" . . two people in particular are most responsible for the browser's success: Blake Ross, an angular, hyperkinetic 19-year-old Stanford sophomore with spiky black hair, and Ben Goodger, a stout, soft-spoken 24-year-old New Zealander. At age 14, Ross, logging on to his family's AOL account, started fixing bugs for the Mozilla Group, a cadre of programmers responsible for maintaining the source code of Netscape's browsers. Ross quickly became disenchanted with Netscape's feature creep and in 2002 brashly decided to splinter off and develop a pared-down, fast, easy-to-use browser. Goodger, who plays the David Filo or Larry Page to Ross' frontman, took the reins when Ross became a full-time college student in 2003. "

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Threat of Tux!!!

Universally acknowledged (even by Redmond) as the No. 1 threat to Microsoft dominance in the OS market.

BW has taken a lengthy look at how Linux was developed and the potential impact on the incumbent player in the market.

Put it all together, and Linux has become the strongest rival that Microsoft has ever faced. In servers, researcher IDC predicts Linux' market share based on unit sales will rise from 24% today to 33% in 2007, compared with 59% for Windows -- essentially keeping Microsoft at its current market share for the next three years and squeezing its profit margins. That's because, for the first time, Linux is taking a bite out of Windows, not just the other alternatives, and is forcing Microsoft to offer discounts to avoid losing sales. In a survey of business users by Forrester Research Inc., 52% said they are now replacing Windows servers with Linux. On the desktop side, IDC sees Linux' share more than doubling, from 3% today to 6% in 2007, while Windows loses a bit of ground. IDC expects the total market for Linux devices and software to jump from $11 billion last year to $35.7 billion by 2008.
"Tux" (pictured above) is the group's mascot - a friendly pint-sized penguin :)

For a complete list of Cotton Green blogs see