2011 Open Source Predictions

Posted: December 29, 2010 in linaro, open_source

Bob Sutor over at his blog made a number of open source predictions. He’s not an engineer. I am. Here’s my take on the same questions.

  • Will ChromeOS from Google be an interesting player, will it merge with Android, and will it replace Windows on hundreds of millions of desktops? No / Yes / No
  • Will Android devices surpass those from Apple? Probably, but it’s a bad question. The better question is will Android surpass Apple’s quality and usability to make it a better product. No.
  • Will one tablet maker emerge that will clobber the iPad in market share? No
  • Will some flavor of Windows be more significant than Android on tablets? No, nor will windows on a tablet surpass iOS
  • Will we see more open source apps on the most popular smartphone platforms? No. This is another poorly worded question. Who wants to use emacs on a smartphone? Developers want to make money. That’s the whole point and that’s why iOS and to a limited extent Android apps are successful. What’s the motivation, whats the ITCH for open source apps on smartphones? There isn’t any save for the hobby of bringing the familiar into the platform. Linux is about making a great operating system, not about making great apps.
  • Will Linux gain further market share as people continue to flee from Solaris and install new servers for new applications? Sure, but in the end it’s just a trade of Unix for Unix. Yawn.
  • Will there be more lawsuits around the use of open source in smartphones? Yes, but it’s not the open source developers that are driving the conversation here nor do they hold the poker chips. It’s the big name companies, Linux is just a pawn and that’s problematic.
  • Will Windows Phone 7 beat out Android phones or iPhones? Doubtful
  • Will LibreOffice pass OpenOffice in downloads? The better question is, Will LibreOffice be a major source of innovation in the word processor, desktop office suite space in 2011? No.
  • Will open source virtualization via KVM start to gain market share against VMWare and Microsoft HyperV? Yes.
  • Will the “open cloud” become more significant and more widely implemented? No. The cloud has been defined by the amazons, googles and such. It’s not a question of open. It’s a question of what those leaders in the market will do. There is no open cloud.
  • Will Windows Internet Explorer continue to lose market share to Firefox, Chrome, and Safari? Yes.
  • Will Diaspora replace FaceBook? No.
  • Will any open source system replace WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla in the top three of open source content management systems? No.
  • Will 2011 be the Year of the Linux Desktop? The better question is Will Linux gain market share in the Desktop market? The answer continues to be No. I disagree completely with Bob Sutor that the question is indeed VERY relevant. Because Linux continues to gain no ground here, if not indeed lose ground it’s a very significant ding to Linux. Desktop Linux was driving what little usability there is in the open source ecosystem. I predict Desktop Linux use will fall in 2011 and that Android will drive open source usability in so much that the Meegos, kwin, gnome-mobiles will follow but not drive open source innovation. I believe there is a slight chance that a new mobile operating system which will be a blend of Linaro, Meego and other bits could happen and find success.
  • Will Linaro become a major factor in arm Linux in 2011. Yes. Further I believe that Android will start to utilize parts of Linaro and I believe the Meego project that runs on arm hardware will evolve if not fracture completely away from Meego to use Linaro. (If not Meego will be a complete flop and die by EOY since Linaro cares about ARM, Intel does not)
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