In a turn of irony Microsoft is starting to feel the pain of Moore’s Law that Sun has felt for years. A pain that largely led to the departure of Scott McNealy and to Jonathan Schwartz efforts to open up the company.
Within the past few weeks we have seen a announcements from every major commercial Linux provider about a systems management initiative. Yesterday Canonical announced Landscape, their systems management and monitoring tool for Ubuntu. Red Hat and Hyperic announced RHQ, an open-source project for developing a core set of IT infrastructure management capabilities.
The term “community” is getting more sophisticated every day. The world of open source and Linux development is a mix of full time corporate developers, volunteer hackers, non-profit .orgs, standards bodies, and more. Together these entities need to work together to create the “plumbing of Linux”
Joining the array of low cost Linux offerings such as the Asus Eee PC, the Everex Cloudbook , Elonux announced the Elonux One a sub 200 dollar Linux laptop targeted to go on sale in the UK starting in June.
Today IDC announced their market sizing numbers showing revenues for servers running Linux or Windows outpaced the sales of the rest of the market in the final quarter of 2007. Linux grew at the fastest pace clocking double digit growth 11.6 percent in the quarter. Windows came in second at 6.9 percent growth. Everything else grew at rates of 1.5% or less. This is even more impressive for Linux since IDC and the other firms only count paid Linux server shipments.
Every year people in Linux predict the “year of the desktop.” I think this is a big year for desktop Linux, but last week there was an amazing announcement from IBM that people may have missed. IBM rolled out their new z10 mainframe running Linux and it does not disappoint. As the son of a software developer who worked on mainframes at Control Data Corporation and the grandson of one of the founders of Cray Research, I feel like I am reliving my childhood when I hear all the great things about centralized computing and mainframe technology.
Last year (2007) saw over 20 million Linux-based phones ship to end-users in Asia, Europe and also North America. In 2008, Motorola, NEC, Panasonic, Samsung and other handset OEMs will handily outpace that number by 50% or more (Informa); Linux phones will account for at least a quarter of “smart phone” sales by 2010 (Informa, Diffusion) and will participate strongly in even higher volume feature phone and entry-level segments.
Driving this adoption has been a mix of factors unique to Linux as an embedded/mobile operating system:
I attended the Adobe Engage conference this week in San Francisco and got a good look at the latest from Adobe. In his opening remarks the CEO of Adobe Shantanu Narayen described broad tends in the software industry that I agree with completely. First, in the Internet connected world web applications that leverage user created content are ruling the day. Call it Web 2.0 or whatever you like, but the value of applications these days are in their connectivity to other users and not their isolation on a desktop.
It has been a tough week for Microsoft. This morning the E.U. announced it is imposing a 1.3 billion dollar fine on the company because Microsoft had “charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers” and that it had abused its dominant position under Article 82 of the EC Treaty. That is not something any company wants to hear the week after announcing, “new interoperability principles and actions will increase openness of key products” and on the day of Windows Server 2008’s “Heroes Happen Here” launch event.