Whatever you do, 2009 is looking to be a big year. That no exception when it comes to Linux. Applications and large projects continue to develop and make major releases multiple times per year. And while every year people predict that the next might be “The Year” for Linux adoption, here’s a list of some major products and trends that will play a part in attracting new attention to Linux in 2009.
Now more than ever, the Linux desktop just looks awesome. KDE4 is an important part helping Linux develop that reputation. The release of KDE4 this year was maybe the biggest desktop focused release for Linux of the past 3 years, and besides being one of the most sharp and impressive looking environments out-of-the-box, it’s also created a whole new Linux desktop experience with it’s support for compositing and desktop effects, widgets (or “plasmoids”) including Google Gadgets. The applications that come with KDE4 have all been going through major updates as well making them all just as impressive; utility tools like Dolphin, and lifestyle applications including Amarok 2, DigiKam, Kopete, Konquerer, and Kontact.
KDE4 was released earlier in 2008, but neither KDE4.0, or KDE4.1 were ready for use by average computer users. But with the soon to be released KDE4.2, and KDE‘s future releases in 2009, new Linux users looking for a great desktop experience are in luck.
Netbook popularity continues to grow, and their sales show no sign of slowing for 2009. People who are either looking for a second computer, or a second laptop, or people who appreciate the smaller price tag that comes with netbooks, are best suited to take the dive into Linux. With less expensive hardware, and lack of critical information or applications on their netbooks, it’s a lot less risky for first time users to try Linux.
The best way to get the maximum cash value out of netbooks is only ever spend money on the one-time cost of the hardware. , soon to be renamed to Easy Peasy, leads the way for netbook targeted versions of Linux. Apart from giving users full value for their netbooks and providing them with all the software anybody will want to run on a netbook, Ubuntu-eee and other netbook targeted versions Linux like also include -eeecustomized user interfaces designed for use on the netbooks smaller screens.
Netbooks will continuously be best suited to run Linux as well. The new Windows 7 is said to be lighter than Vista, and able to run on netbooks, but even if that is the case, investing extra money for an operating system or for additional software for is a fast way to ruin any cost saving netbooks provide. Linux already provides netbook users with all the software and connectivity support required to make the system fully usable. The purchase of any software on top of the netbook itself is almost destroys the cost saving of the small computer.
The trend is growing of people whose work is being done more and more on the online. People are already figuring out that the smart way to get access to their data across multiple computers is by putting that data online onto the Cloud. Web office suites, communications tools, personal organization systems, and other quality applications are being created each month and all they demand from our computers is a good web browser and access to the Internet. The idea of computers being only an access point, and the applications and data we need and use being online lower the requirements of the equipment on our end substantially, and make the prospect of paying for a heavy front-end loaded machine will make less sense if the trend continues.
This is happening across all computing platforms and it was one of the original selling points for netbooks; that despite their lower processing power, they enable people more mobile access to their web applications.
Will It Drive Adoption?
There’s no way to tell if any of these items will actually switch people over in any higher numbers than Linux has been seeing over the past couple of years. But in the big picture, there’s an intersection being approached when the quality of the applications and experience present in Linux match the trends appearing in the way people work with computers, going more mobile than ever before, and the way the Internet and web applications are melding together with the desktop.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Yet again, desktop Linux won’t claim a year
- Amarok gets a facelift
- gOS Cloud Brings a Web-Based Operating System to Your Browser [Cloud Computing]
- Adobe AIR brings web/desktop apps to Linux