Linux happenings in 2007

From Linuxworld
This year promises to be a big one for Linux
This year promises to be a big one for Linux, at least according to predictions by analysts and pundits in the early part of this decade. Some examples:

  • Linux will be installed on 45% of new servers shipped by 2007 (Meta Group, 2002).
  • Linux will run on 6% of desktops by 2007 (IDC, 2004).
  • Linux will account for 7% of the worldwide cell phone operating¬†market by 2007 (ARC Group, 2004).

Whether or not these predictions pan out ("no" on servers, "close" on desktop, "maybe" on cell phone, I say), here's a rundown of Linux and open source happenings you can reasonably expect to see in 2007:

  • Early 2007
    • OpenOffice + Microsoft Office
      Novell says its Linux-based suite will be compatible with Microsoft's Open Office XML format by the end of January. This development stems out of the wide-ranging partnership between the two companies made in November 2006. Novell, the first translation code between and Microsoft Office, will allow Microsoft Word and OpenOffice's WRITER to share documents freely under the Office Open XML standard for multiplatform document creation.
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
      The long-awaited RHEL5 is slated to ship in early 2007, and should be one of the most significant Linux products introduced this year. Virtualization will be at the core of the distribution, with the Xen virtualization stack built into the code. Advances in security, with enhancements in SELinux and IPSec, and improved Microsoft Active Directory integration are among the myriad upgrades in the product.
    • Flash Player 9
      Flash Player 9 for Linux is expected to ship in "early 2007." Beta 2 for Flash Player 9 for Linux was released in November, and Adobe hopes to get the final kinks out of the code before the end of winter.
    • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
      Diversion time: the game "Enemy Territory: Quake Wars" is expected to be released by February 27 for Linux machines.
    • Novell BrainShare 2007
      Once the NetWare administrators' show of shows, this event has taken a Linux angle since Novell's shift to SUSE and open source. It runs from March 18-23 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Mid-year
    • GPLv3
      The Software Freedom Foundation is expected to release the first major update to the GNU General Public License (GPO). Now in its second-draft release, proposed GPLv3 provisions are causing controversy on how digital rights management (DRM) and software is handled under the license, among other issues. Software with DRM relies on secretive source code and software keys, which unlock the rights to play digital content on a piece of software, as prescribed by content creators. GPLv3 basically wants any player apps licensed under GPL to also include the source code for its DRM mechanisms, which some argue, defeats the purpose. Expect much debate and rancor over this right up until GPLv3's release.
    • LAMP lovers unite
      LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server admins have a lot to get amped-up about this spring:
      • MySQL Conference - April 23-26, Santa Clara
      • ApacheCon Europe 2007 - May 1-4, Amsterdam
      • PHP Tek - May 16-18, Chicago
    • Bon Chance, Tux
      The French parliament is expected to swap over 1,150 Windows desktops for Linux PCs by June. Firefox browsers and OpenOffice software will be the programs French government officials use on a daily basis by this time.
    • Longhorn stampede
      Microsoft's Windows Server "Longhorn" is expected to hit mid-year. While not a directly-related Linux event, this launch will sure be on the minds of admins who manage mixed Windows/Linux server rooms.
    • LinuxWorld Expo 2007
      LinuxWorld is down to a single major annual show, so expect the San Francisco event to be more packed with the things that made this event great in the past. It runs from August 6-9.
  • Late 2007
    • Sun's Niagara II
      Sun's next-generation UltraSparc T1 server chip is expected to launch, promising the appearance of up to 64 processors on a chip, and advanced power-usage for lower wattage consumption. In early 2006, Sun technologists got Linux running on the first iteration of Niagara - its 32-chips-on-a-chip processor. Sun also made ties to the Ubuntu Linux distribution in 2006. These are developments high-end server admins might want to see converge.
    • Intel shrinks
      Not to be outdone, Intel is expected to launch 45-nanometer versions of its Core Duo 2 processors, offering 20% more performance and lower power consumption than the larger 65-nanometer chips shipping currently.
    • Teraflopping
      The massive, Linux-based parallel supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could become the largest Opteron-based supercomputer in the world, with 250 teraflops of processing power. The current supercomputer champ is supposedly IBM's BlueGene/L, with 367 teraflops of power (and also a Linux system). But Cray, which is delivering Oak Ridge's supercomputer, says it can go up to 1 petaflop - a goal for early 2008.