Jack Wallen believes that the new year holds a great deal of promise for the Linux OS and open source software — from an explosion in the mobile arena to large-enterprise scalability to widespread adoption of OpenOffice 3. See if you agree with his outlook.
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#1: AndroidI think 2009 is going to see the Android mobile operating system finally showing Apple and the iPhone that there is, indeed, another game in town. So far, we really only have the T-Mobile G1. But waiting in the wings are the Motorola Android phone, the Asus Eee Phone, the OpenMoko GTA02, and an LG Android phone. These are all rumored to be arriving some time in 2009. When they do hit the shelves, things are going to be interesting for the iPhone.
Think about it — an iPhone-like piece of hardware with open source software that anyone can develop for. No more App Store headaches. No more wondering if anyone might ever develop that killer app you need (or waiting for Apple to approve that killer app you need). Add to that the fact that the operating system itself is open, which means when problems arise they will be fixed. Oh, and need I say "copy/paste"? I didn't think so. 2009 will bring an end to the idea that the iPhone is the only smart phone to own.
#2: GNOME vs. KDEI think 2009 will finally see GNOME rise above KDE as the better Linux desktop. For a long time, GNOME has been suffocated by the presence of KDE 3.x and with good reason — KDE 3.x was an outstanding desktop. KDE 3.x had everything a good Linux desktop should have: user friendliness, stability, flexibility, eye candy. GNOME was trying too hard to be a bad copy of OS X. With the advent of KDE 4 the tables have turned.
This is not just a situation where KDE 4.x is so bad that GNOME, as bad as it is, is better. GNOME 2.24 is good, really good. GNOME has gone a little ways to restoring its roots and allowing a bit more flexibility with the desktop. But more important, GNOME 2.24 has finally found some solid footing. GNOME is now as stable as KDE 3.x ever was. And now that KDE has obviously decided to go down a much less popular route with KDE 4, it is going to have a hard year. More and more people and distributions will drop KDE in favor of GNOME. I realize there is no going back for KDE, but going forward better bring much more promise than this Linux desktop has shown thus far.