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:
My first computer was a Commodore 64. I loved programming it, with my favorite program filling up the screen with “Amanda Amanda Amanda Amanda” when you hit the enter key. (A slight hint at future narcissism or just healthy self esteem? Hmm. You decide.) Anyway, this trip down memory lane was spurred by an announcement of an upcoming Linux Installfest at Bay Area schools. Sounds like kids today have quite a few more options.