Our predictions for Linux and Open Source in 2020

(1)   2020 be the year of the Linux desktop

In January 2020 support will end for Windows 7 which means enterprises will be moving away from it soon after. They have three alternatives:
Get windows 10: But windows 10 runs very slowly on a older computerBuy Apple: Which is very expensiveSwitch to Linux: moderate amount of retraining might be needed but nothing very difficult. With a good teacher (aka the internet) you will soon (as in a fortnight) know enough about Linux to be able to use it and perform everyday tasks. After that it is mostly use and learn.

(2)  Open Source Partnerships, Larger Microservices, and Real-World Use Cases

Edge processing, close to the data sources/things and in order to reduce response latency and network bandwidth needs, is firmly established as an IOT ecosystem pattern.  We see more open source foundation partnerships, such as Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Eclipse Foundation jointly launching a work group or partnership

(3)       Software Deployment Evolves

Classically, software was packaged up and shipped, but we’re seeing more and more software that only supports shipping as container images (for better and worse). This mostly plays off the fact that developers generally want to use the latest and greatest barely released piece of software, while distros want to move slower and more purposefully. We think with containers more viable as of late, we are going to see more and more software distributed as containers. This is obviously an attempt to sidestep the painful and boring work of proper packaging as well as the distros’ more methodical pace.

(4)   Automation Grows in Importance

Gone are the days when anyone is dealing with few machines, and we are solidly in a world where you can be trivially interacting with thousands of machines simultaneously, and possibly even more as the code we write today may automatically scale well beyond what any of us would expect. Frameworks that help automate this scale and complexity are going to be increasingly important, and open source solutions are already leaders in this space. We expect that to only grow.

(5)   More Forking and Un-Forking Activity

Forks can be good in that they provide an opportunity for increased diversity in open source projects. It’s quick and easy to do. But un-forking can be even better as it can result in a recombination and reconciliation of differences, leading to next-generation, best-of-breed projects. This is much harder to do. We would say it is slower, but we are not sure there’s data to back up such an assertion, because un-forking is quite rare. Outside of open source, forking might be called market fragmentation and un-forking might be called consolidation.

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