Although I’ve previously published the slides for the talk I gave at LinuxWorld 2008 in San Francisco, I thought it might be useful to add some additional comments in the blog about each of the eight predictions I made. This is not the full text of what I said nor a full discussion of the slide, but just some ideas that flesh out what I meant. The full one hour video of the keynote talk is now available at the conference website.
I have a feeling that when most people think about GNU/Linux, they think of it running on an Intel or AMD “x86″ chip. Have a big problem? Get a few dozen, hundred, or thousand x86 boxes or blades, throw Linux on them, and away you go.
Actually, this does work for a lot of applications. But then so does putting Linux on a System z mainframe or a Power System box, to name a couple of IBM-specific hardware configurations that run Linux.
Want non-IBM examples? Sun provides Linux on Sparc and Canonical has instructions for installing Ubuntu on Sparc. You can run Linux on your SONY PlayStation 3. Amazon’s Kindle device runs Linux and evidently they use it to run the company’s operation as well.
Linux runs on a wristwatch, cell phones, and supercomputers. It’s all over the place. You and I probably don’t know how many times we use Linux each day. Many servers inside IBM use Linux. Google uses Linux.
As people learn more about how Linux runs on different kinds of machines, this strong association of Linux with x86 will diminish. On the other hand, because Linux will show up in more and more places but hidden by a service interface or custom UI, you’ll be using it more but won’t know it.
Perhaps the Linux Foundation or someone else should start a “Linux Inside” marketing campaign. You can find permutations of the “Intel Inside” logo around the web, but no organized “Linux Inside” program that I can see.
While we’re ripping off advertising campaigns, we might as well go for “Got Linux?” as well. CafePress even has the bumper sticker ready for you. (Indeed, they have a huge selection of Linux t-shirts.)