Much has been made of the recent decision by Wal-Mart to sell Linux based PC’s exclusively through their web site and to pull the computers from their store shelves. There is no spin here. It is disappointing that consumers didn’t run into Wal-Mart, pick up a jumbo sized bag of Doritos, a case of Coke, a three month supply of CheezWhiz and a Linux PC.
TechCrunch’s Duncan Riley published an interesting post on the emergence of a dual personality at Microsoft. He describes it as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The reason that this is important for open source and Linux is because Microsoft is starting to recognize the world is shifting to one where “open” is a criteria for success; re: Wikipedia, Google, Linux, Flickr, Second Life, MySpace, InnoCentive, Human Genome Project, YouTube and more.
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.