Some predictions for 2010

This will be the last post of the year 2009.  2010 will be an interesting year to come, for many reasons, and that’s why I have outlined a few predictions below for the year to come. Feel free to comment or add to this list, and happy new year 2010!

  •’s market share will ceased to be constantly looked down upon by analysts. I had recently explained why measuring its market share is complex, and why it is constantly underrated. But now it seems that Microsoft (and the press) are taking good notice of the fast-growing adoption of by, well, pretty much everyone out there.
  • Standardization of the most recent release of OpenDocument, the 1.2, will be painful, and might perhaps never see a happy ending. For one thing, Microsoft controls the ISO through seemingly fortuitous and massive participation in every national standards bodies forming the ISO, and the ISO’s JTC 1 seems to have decided that the world should be content with some sort of ODF 1.1 “plus plus”. Note that this ODF 1.1 is not a bad thing in itself, but it is very much the result of connivings against ODF and everything non-Microsoft. You never should bite the hand that feeds you, after all…
  • The lpOD project, already well underway, will be a success and might become one of the main references for the ODF ecosystem.
  • Second Life, the largest online virtual world or metaverse will have to innovate again, or will lose its customers progressively to the new show in town, “Blue Mars“.
  • It’s almost becoming a cliché, but cloud computing will again be part of the hype in 2010 and gain a strong momentum on the market. Among many challenges, there is the fundamental need for portability and openness of the users’ data, its control by these very users, and more generally the increasingly clear divide between centralized and decentralized data architecture. In the end, this will become political, and as important, if not more, than the freedome to code and its sharing.
  • In the aftermath of the Bilski case, there seems to be a consensus that the criteria for “software patentability” will be much more demanding in the U.S. Of course, a few illuminated curmudgeons inside the European sphere of power, influenced by pro-patent lobbieswill fight hard to implement software patents in its whole horror. But in the end, what we need to do is not being satisfied with raising the bar on patentability criteria, we need to get the message straight and clear that software patents are not acceptable anywhere. ACTA anyone?
  • Arch Linux will continue its growth among technical and power users (I’m one of them) while Ubuntu will stagnate (unless Canonical opens its online media store), OpenSuse somewhat loses users, Fedora will grow its userbase, Mandriva will make a strong comeback if they manage to secure their business. How do I know all this? I’ve been in the Linux distributions business, punditry and expertise for quite some time (since 2002, actually) and if there’s something you can count on over the long term, it’s… the Distrowatch billboard. This thing has never proved to be really wrong. I’ll cover more of these topics in 2010. Meanwhile, have a great New Year’s Eve and a happy new year to you!

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