Sure, unlike me, you’re probably not reading this on a Linux desktop– Mint 10 for those who care about such things–but do you use Google, Facebook or Twitter? If so, you’re using Linux. That Android phone in your pocket? Linux. DVRs, network attached storage (NAS), trade stocks? Linux, Linux, Linux.
I think one of the most telling stories about Linux this year came from a friend of mine, Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier , who told me of a friend who said “Linux was too hard.” When Zonker asked him about his Android phone, he replied something like, “Oh, but Android is easy. It’s not Linux!”
Oh my. Android is indeed Linux, as is so many other devices and Web services and sites. Open-source developers have just gotten very good at hiding the dirty technical details from you. It just took them a lot longer than it did for the Mac OS X designers to hide its Mach, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD Unix roots from users. In the last few years though, they finally got the hang of it.
We’re going to see this trend grow only stronger in 2011 with the rise of Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS . That’s why Chrome OS is my first big story of 2010.
1. Chrome OS Finally Arrives
Google took its own sweet time about getting Chrome OS out the door, but Chrome OS is finally, sort of, here . Is Chrome OS, with all its applications based on the Web, for people like you, who read ZDNet, or me, who cut his Unix/Linux teeth on Version 7 ? No, of course not. But, would it make a great operating system for office-workers, non-tech savvy people , and students . Yes, yes it would. I predict that, by early 2012, Chrome OS, while not a traditional, fat-client desktop operating system , will become a major desktop contender.
2. Red Hat: The First Billion-Dollar, Open-Source Company
I predicted earlier this year that Red Hat would be the first billion-dollar open-source company . I think I blew my prediction though. I thought it would take more than a year–it looks more like Red Hat will become the first billion-dollar Linux company in 2011 . Indeed, when it comes to servers, Red Hat is getting ready to take on Microsoft .
Page 2: [Oracle/Sun, Attachmate/Novell, Ubuntu and Unity]
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