The Year of the Linux Everything Else

jzemlin's picture

The 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) just finished its annual flagship event in Las Vegas. Known as the biggest show in electronics, it’s covered by mainstream press and technology bloggers with relish. Keynotes, product announcements, parties, celebrities… CES has it all.
You’d think CES would be a good indicator of the major technology trends in electronics. But Linux at CES? That’s unlikely to show up in your RSS reader. Heard any your friends talk about how Linux is taking over CES? No? Me neither. But don’t get fooled. While Linux is nowhere at CES, Linux is everywhere at CES.

A little digging will pull up some good online information. Doc Searls, Senior Editor at the Linux Journal, does a list each year. This year’s version covers 35 different devices. There is also some specific information around product announcements that (may or may not) include Linux, like Palm’s new WebOS reported by Ars Technica and others. But that’s the point exactly. Linux is now so widely deployed and ubiquitious as a technology choice for running devices and powering applications, it’s now not even news. It’s in practically “everything else” other than servers.

Linux itself didn’t have a booth at CES this past week and didn’t organize a high-powered, star-studded evening reception for all the Linux users at CES. If it had, the booth would be have been full of a mountain of consumer electronic devices debuting this past week. Here are just a few, and I mean just a few, of the great devices based on Linux shown at CES:

1. Web based TV’s from LG, Sony, and others
2. Wifi enabled cameras from Sony
3. Palm’s new Linux based phone
4. HP’s new Mini 1000 netbook
5. Linux based IPTV’s power Netflix online, etc.
6. Devices based on the Moblin project from Intel.

It may soon be easier to list up the devices that don’t use Linux, rather than those that do. This the year of the Linux “everything else.”