FOSS -> Virtual Desktop -> World

Wm. Stewart mailinglists at
Tue Sep 14 19:21:41 UTC 2010

Hi, I'm the owner of the FreeOpenSourceSoftware.* domains, donated to the 
community as the Wiki .  I'm also the 
leader of, a team of software developers that have 
integrated a comprehensive FOSS solution including Intranet, desktops, and 
applications.  We put the solution in the cloud to make it maximally 
convenient to those that don't want local installations.  Then we make it 
available on virtual desktops to make full functionality FOSS available 
anywhere there is an Internet connection.

Our goal is to help greatly increase use of FOSS by small and medium sized 
organizations, enlarging the community with a stake in FOSS to help ensure 
its long-term vibrancy.  This email describes the power of our architecture 
to make FOSS more widely available to the world, and respectfully requests 
assistance from the community to help us get off the ground.

Our starting observation was that three elements can greatly help increase 
FOSS use by small and medium sized organizations: integrated solutions, 
hosting in the cloud, and most importantly virtual desktops.

1.  Integrated FOSS

Our solution is built from more than 75 of the world's best FOSS 
components.  It is founded on a "hosted Intranet", with everything you 
would need in a physical installation, including secure networks, a user 
directory, servers, databases, shared folders, and all related system 
software.  Then we added Ubuntu, the world's third most popular desktop. 
Then we integrated a complete suite of the world's best FOSS productivity 
and collaboration applications.  This combination of hosted Intranet, 
desktops, and comprehensive application suite provides small and medium 
sized organizations with a complete turn-key FOSS system to meet all of 
their IT needs, no proprietary software required whatsoever.

In an effort to help fill the world's terrible acronym shortage, we call 
our solution the world's first example of Organization as a Service (OaaS).

2.  The Cloud

Putting the integrated solution in the cloud is the second key to 
increasing FOSS use, greatly reducing the barriers and eliminating most 
local hardware, setup, configuration, backup, maintenance, and associated 
time and cost.  This provides small and medium sized organizations with the 
same enterprise data center capability, convenience, and security that has 
long been available to larger organizations.

3.  Virtual Desktops

Third, we provide access to the solution on virtual desktops to make it 
available anywhere you can access the Internet.  The virtual desktop 
innovation is truly revolutionary, the most important key to widening 
general use of FOSS.  Basically, the Internet and NX virtual desktop 
protocol are now fast enough to "extend the monitor cord" across the 
Internet.  Unlike the better known VNC, the NX protocol uses no more than 
100 kbps in normal operation, which opens up the world of FOSS to anyone 
with an Internet connection.

With the development of NX, there is absolutely no need to rearchitect 30 
years of excellent FOSS development, and create limited proprietary 
software running over a web browser.  Notwithstanding advances with Ajax 
and related technologies, web based applications do not give users the 
advantages of a fully interactive, powerful desktop user interface, or the 
basic advantage of the secure space provided by the tried and true desktop 
paradigm itself.  In other words, it is much better to use full 
functionality OpenOffice on a secure, portable virtual desktop than to use 
a limited usability office suite over a browser on whatever possibly 
insecure machine you happen to be using at the moment.

(Note: The only proprietary component in our solution is our virtual 
desktop software from NoMachine, because the FOSS solutions FreeNX, NeatX, 
and Spice are not yet scalable to thousands of users.  But they are close - 
stay tuned.)

4.  Solution to Cloud Lockin

The architecture described above also addresses the main customer concern 
about the cloud - extreme vendor lockin.  When an organization uses online 
proprietary software, they are more vulnerable than ever before.  Should 
they ever wish to leave the proprietary service, their data may be largely 
in non-standard formats, and they have no fallback ability to set up an 
equivalent local solution without, at a minimum, large capital outlays for 
local proprietary software. With an all FOSS solution, of course they 
always have the option to obtain their data in open formats and the exact 
same applications at no cost if they wish or need to setup a local solution.

5.  Request For Assistance

We've spent three years working nights and weekends to integrate a 
complete, virtual desktop solution that proves FOSS can meet all of an 
organization's needs.  The more business success we achieve, i.e. providing 
enough value to enough customers to take in more money than we spend, the 
more we will be be able to provide a continual financial support stream to 
develop and enhance all the FOSS software that we incorporate.  In other 
words, our goal is to build a large and mutually reinforcing ecosystem to 
help support FOSS development.

We are just launching, and could really use some help from the larger FOSS 
community.  If you see value in our approach, we respectfully ask for your 
assistance in two ways.  First, we need publicity, so appreciate any help 
you can provide in spreading the word about this solution in the FOSS 
community.  And second, we need customers, so appreciate any assistance you 
can provide in sending any organizations that could benefit from our 
solution to our web site or the undersigned.

Thanks very much for listening,

Bill Stewart
Eseri CEO
wstewart ahhtt eseri daught calm

Other Questions

Q.  Do you have any FOSS software of your own to release yet?

A.  All our work is in integration, with no software or FOSS modifications 
to release at present.

Q.  If and when you do modify or enhance any of the FOSS software you 
incorporate, are you going to hide behind the hosting model to claim you 
are not "distributing" and so do not have to release?

A.  No.  While we are aware of the updates to several FOSS licenses to 
ensure that hosting is treated as distribution, and are fine with that, we 
believe the distinction is unnecessary - hosted software that is provided 
to third parties over the Internet is clearly distribution in our minds, 
and we will release any modifications or enhancements we make to any FOSS 

Q.  Will you only provide development and financial support only to the 
FOSS in your solution, or will you broaden out to support other FOSS 
projects and initiatives as well?

A.  We will primarily provide support to the FOSS in our solution, 
including internal work we release, and financial support to feature 
bounties and bug fixes performed by others.  However we also plan to 
support the larger FOSS community where we can, so for example may provide 
financial support to FOSS organizations and foundations that do not 
directly contribute to our solution but benefit the community as a whole.

Q.  What FOSS is in your solution?

A.  At the hosted Intranet level, most of the usual suspects, from Dovecot 
to Kerberos to PostgreSQL.  The desktop is the latest Ubuntu Lucid.  The 24 
individual application components include those we have carefully selected 
be the best FOSS available with the largest communities and longest term 
investment protection, with the largest components including BigBlueButton 
(being integrated now), Evolution, Nuxeo, OpenHRM, OpenOffice, vTiger, 
WikiMedia, and Drupal.

Q.  Is any of your software Commercial Open Source Software (COSS), 
requiring license fees for advanced functionality once an organization gets 

A.  No, all our software is pure FOSS, as per the philosophy outlined at  We believe COSS is bait-and-switch, basically 
little different than straight proprietary software, and not worth the 
support of the real FOSS community.

Q.  Are you interested in distribution partners, and do you have a referral 
fee program?

A.  Yes, we are very interested in establishing partnerships with 
individuals and organizations that may have contact with small and medium 
sized organizations that can benefit from our solution.  We have programs 
that can either provide a referral fee, or special pricing for which local 
companies can add value to our solution by providing onsite support for 
those organizations that wish a local arm to take care of networks, 
printers, and any other local IT outside our solution.


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