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Looking forward to 2010

Jan 17, 2010, 04:02 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"Your editor, not generally known for his good sense, has long made a tradition of putting together a set of Linux-related predictions at the beginning of each year and posting them for the world to see. There is no particular source of inside knowledge behind these predictions, and no real reason to give them more credence than is merited by much of the material found in one's spam folder. Still, it's a fun exercise in pondering how things could go and trying to guess what the important themes will be.

"On that note, here's your editor's thoughts for 2010. Any relation to reality is purely coincidental.

"Open hardware platforms will be seen as increasingly important by the general public. Anybody who saw Verizon's heavy advertising campaign for its Android-based "Droid" offering will have understood that openness is now seen as a selling point in the mobile phone market - something which was not true even a year or two ago. Apple has done us a favor by showing how painful a restricted platform can be - even if it is a relatively open one. Future offerings, including the much-hyped "tablet" machines, will be judged by many criteria, one of which will be "who decides which applications I can run on it?" Locked-down systems will suffer as a result of their closed nature.

"We'll see a number of Linux-based tablet computers offered to the market this year. What may take a bit longer to see is just what all of these machines will really be good for."

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