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:
- Linux founder Linus Torvalds's receipt of the Millenium Technology Prize (which the Linux Foundation did not, it appears, deem as noteworthy as Torvalds's choice comments on Mitt Romney).
- Red Hat's (NYSE: RHT) report of $1 billion in revenue, the first time an open source vendor reached that milestone.
- The automotive industry's adoption of Linux-based solutions.
- Android's ascendancy to control more than 50 percent of the American mobile market--and Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) plummet toward 20 percent.
- The advent of Chromebooks.
- Dell's (NASDAQ: DELL) Sputnik Ubuntu-based laptop.
- The availability of the Steam distribution platform for Linux.
- The Linux Foundation's success in forging a lot of major corporate partnerships (on this point, the Foundation seems not to be above shameless self-promotion).
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.