The Mac vs PC viral video wars have been going on for sometime now and quite frankly it’s getting to be a little tedious IMO. Microsoft is trying it’s best to “re-image” itself as a cool and hip company with their recent wave of commercials including the latest “Hey Lauren” commercial “I guess I’m just not cool enough for a Mac” ad. Apparently Linux has also jumped into the mosh pit now with a slight twist to the “I’m a PC and I’m a Mac” message. The emphasis is on “We” as in “We are Linux”. The obvious point being of-course the fact that Linux is developed and maintained by the open source community.
So is Linux “worthy” of being mentioned in the same breath as Windows or Mac?
In a keynote on Wednesday morning, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin discussed some opportunities for the Linux platform and some areas where the community can come together to overcome challenges and mitigate risks. He spoke about the implications of Linux’s phenomenal growth rate and heightened potential for adoption in the current economic climate. He describes Linux as the “fastest growing platform in every aspect of computing,” and asserts that the operating system’s adoption rate is advancing two to three times faster than any other platform.
I’m in SFO this week on vacation with my family and I just happened to notice that the city is teeming with Linux geeks from all over the world who are attending the 3rd annual Linux Collaboration Summit. Some of them are even staying in the same hotel as I am and walking through the lobby in the evening and eavesdropping on some of the conversations there is no doubt these people are serious about Linux and more importantly the concept of open source development. Linux distro’s like Ubuntu are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance in the desktop market. I’m typing this blog on my netbook which runs Ubuntu and fact that I can flip it open and in litereally 10 - 15 seconds the OS is loaded and I’m ready to go is a huge deal.
He elaborated on this concept during his keynote when he tackled the issue of Linux on the desktop. The desktop is being redefined, he said, and the new model is one where Linux is emerging as a dominant force. The growing relevance of Web services and cloud computing could shift focus away from conventional desktop applications and towards the browser, which would serve as a window to remote Linux-powered Web applications. Similarly, he suggests that desktops could be displaced by a new class of mobile Internet devices. He points out that Linux has gained tremendous ground in the mobile and embedded computing space, where it is used by countless consumers in popular devices such as the TiVo and Amazon’s Kindle.
It’ll be interesting to see how Android holds up!