I attended Bob Suter's talk at Linux World in San Francisco today to hear how IBM positions Linux. Yesterday they announced they are shipping a M$FT free desktop system w/ Ubuntu, Lotus Symphony (based on OO.O) and other open source sw, so IBM must see quite a bit of value in Linux. Bob is a fine speaker and started with a history of how IBM got into the Linux business - he even had some humorous slides on the old e-business campaign from 2001. Here is the top 8 list from Bob's talk (my paraphrasing) and my commments.
1) Linux will drive green initiatives - lower costs / power and virtualization
2) No other open source OS will replace Linux in the next 10 years - considering it takes 10 years for an OS to get widely accepted and we see nothing comparable today, I would venture this is accurate
3) Linux mindshare will be less focussed on x86 hardware - sure, phones, embedded into devices, servers
4)Linux on the desktop will be significantly different - I agree with him here. As collaboration sw becomes ubiquitous, what we call / see as a desktop today will certainly evolve.
5)SMB large scale adoption is too close to call. He states that SMBs buy solutions (say Dentist office application) rather than piece together hardware. But I think most, if not all, new technology companies will startup w/ Linux
6)Open Source Licenses will stabilize. - Yes, licenses are soo 2007. However, I think we'll a bit of activity around SaaS and open source licenses to coral in the Googles of the world
7) Open Standards will grab more attention. He claims, and rightly so, that many of the exisiting standards bodies are just horrible and in need of an overhaul and I couldn't agree more.
8)It will be a do or die decade for open source industry applications. I don't believe its do or die, but certainly we'll see a shift to more open source / commercial applications where all the good capabilities that enterprises will want will be in the for pay enterprise bits. The open source sw business is the same as the old proprietary sw business - engineers still need to make a living (but now we get access to much more rapid innovation).