Measuring Linux's Success in 2012

With barely two weeks left in 2012, the inundation of "year-in-review" blog posts, podcasts, videos and--if we're really lucky--songs has begun. This week, the Linux Foundation did its part by releasing a video celebrating major accomplishments over the last year in the Linux channel. What did the Foundation think were the most important developments? Read on for a look.

First, here's the video, titled "What a Year for Linux":

And for those readers who couldn't spare the 2 minutes and 38 seconds to watch the whole thing, here's a roundup of the successes in the open source channel that it celebrates:
These were all noteworthy feats for the open source channel. But what's perhaps most interesting about the video (besides the few seconds near the end where Linus Torvalds pecks away at a keyboard--apparently one of the world's most accomplished programmers still has something to learn from Mavis Beacon) is what it doesn't mention much at all: Traditional Linux on desktops and servers.

Instead, with the exception of the Sputnik laptop and the Steam news, all of the achievements that made the Linux Foundation's list involve Linux on mobile hardware or embedded devices, including in situations where it can be difficult to call it Linux at all. Android, for instance, is certainly based on Linux, but it arguably does not exemplify the values of collaboration and openness around which most traditional desktop and server Linux distributions are built. Similarly, Google's implementation of Linux on Chromebooks doesn't offer the extensive customizability associated with many traditional Linux platforms.

This isn't to suggest in any way that Linux's success beyond traditional hardware is bad. But it does show that times are changing, and forward-thinking organizations in the open source channel are focusing on new applications for the operating system.

Discuss this Video 2

YellowApple (not verified)
on Dec 15, 2012
Correction: "The availability of the Steam gaming engine for Linux" Steam isn't an engine, but a distribution platform. "Source", on the other hand, is the name of Valve's current game engine, which has also been ported to Linux.
on Dec 15, 2012
YellowApple: thanks. Post clarified.
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