Some commentators have postulated the theory that 2010 really is the year that desktop Linux has come out of the shadows and started to fully evolve.
The problem here is that Linux converts will say that we’re ten years too late to be thinking this and that the reality of Linux as a viable operating system has been with us for over a decade.
The truth behind the argument may be down to the fact that the desktop itself is in a state of flux. The smartphone, the tablet PC and the netbook are all in their ascendancy and the Linux kernel has had a significant impact on at least two of those three form factors i.e. think Android and Linux netbook distros.
Naysayers may still say that until drivers are Linux ubiquitous and there is a more consistent GUI that there will still be barriers to widespread Linux adoption – equally, many people like to choose between Ubuntu, SUSE, Debian, Fedora or Jollicloud etc…
In the end, it will all be down to money. Linux needs to experience the right financial backing to be able to build up the momentum to hit the distribution channel hard. Despite the “commercially licensed and supported” versions of many of the main distros, there is still a gap to be filled here. One can only hope that the industry views Google’s patronage of Android as an example to carry forward to the desktop — whatever shape or form factor that desktop looks like!
If you’re interested in the history of the community contribution model of software application development then please visit this blog tomorrow when I will host a special video, featuring interviews with Linus Torvals and the rest of the crew.