What were the Linux community's biggests achievements in 2013? The answer may depend on your perspective. In a demonstration of what one of the most important organizations in the open source ecosystem thinks, however, the Linux Foundation's director has issued an informal report summing up everything Linux has done in the past year in the cloud, cars, Android, high-performance computing and more.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin highlighted many of the areas in which Linux, and open source software more broadly, have enjoyed strong momentum in 2013. Among the most notable:
- Android. It's no secret that the Linux-based operating system for mobile devices is one of the biggest ways in which Linux affects millions of people every day (even if they don't know it). But Zemlin noted that Android continues to grow, with users activating 1.5 million new Android phones each day—and, perhaps more interestingly, with embedded versions of Android playing an increasingly large role on devices such as TVs and thermostats.
- Cars, another niche where Linux is growing more and more common. Linux powers both the Cadillac CTS sedan and the Tesla Model S, for instance, Motor Trend Magazine's cars of the year for 2014 and 2013, respectively. And manufacturers across the automative industry increasingly adopt it for building software for their vehicles.
- The cloud and high-performance computing. Zemlin didn't elaborate too much on Linux growth in these areas, probably because they're pretty self-explanatory: Linux plays a natural role alongside other open source technologies, including OpenStack and Hadoop, that dominate the cloud and Big Data worlds.
- Gaming, which (surprisingly enough) has become a Linux-friendlier niche this year thanks to Valve's engagement of the open source community by releasing Steam for Linux and building a Linux-based operating system, SteamOS, for its forthcoming line of Steam Machine gaming consoles.
Zemlin's list is not exhaustive, but it provides some insight into what the Linux Foundation, a nonprofit consortium that helps shape Linux's future directions and build stronger Linux engagement within the channel, sees as the most important areas of Linux innovation going in 2014.
And for a summary of what else Linux and the open source community achieved in the past year according to The VAR Guy—or, failing that, yours truly—stay tuned ...