Raymond: Opportunity? The utter failure of Vista to gain traction even among Microsoft's most loyal users, and Apple's decision to morph into a cellphone and consumer-electronics company that has taken "Computers" out of its name. These two developments have left a huge Linux-shaped hole in the center of the OS market.
UMPCs [ultramobile PCs] like the Asus Eee PC, running Linux, are flooding into that hole from below -- consumers are actually buying them, by the truckload. We've already seen one VP at Sony publicly worrying about what he calls a "race to the bottom" because these sub-$200 machines could knock the crap out of their bread-and-butter market for expensive home PCs in the very near term. And, of course, at the high end, Linux continues to clobber Windows in comparative numbers of Internet-facing servers.
Our challenge, basically, is to gain enough market share to break Microsoft's monopoly before it can recover -- if it can. If UMPC sales keep showing geometric growth, we'll take the consumer market by storm, and Linux might very well go over 50 percent share this Christmas. Don't laugh -- that Sony VP wouldn't be fretting in public if this weren't a real possibility.
I predicted seven years ago that what would eventually break Microsoft's monopoly is PC OEMs trying to claw back margin as hardware costs drop so low that a Windows license is the biggest single item in their cost to produce. UMPCs have reached that level, and I think the rest of the PC market is going to follow them down.
CEO and co-founder
Rosenberg: In the last five years we’ve seen open source go from geek tools to mainstream applications. The challenge for open source, as with any emerging technology force, is to continue to be innovative while delivering high-quality products.
I see the current tech climate as ripe with opportunity for open source. With the murky U.S. economy, companies are much less interested in spending huge amounts of their budgets on up-front license fees to proprietary vendors. IT shops are more interested than ever in controlling their fate -- and controlling their destiny.
The shaky economy means that traditional software companies with expensive sales models will become further relegated to the dustbin, as open source distribution puts software closer to customers