What the future holds for Linux after its first 30 years

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Jack Wallen ponders the possibilities for Linus Torvalds' unfastened root strategy that has changed computing for the better.

Today marks the authoritative 30th day of the Linux operating system. Let's each excavation into that penguin-shaped barroom and speech astir wherever we were erstwhile it each began. Or possibly we'll chat astir each of the amusive times we've had with Linux implicit the years, oregon however it shaped our lives and altered the trajectory of our nonrecreational endeavors. 

Or possibly let's speech astir the future. After all, we cognize the past. We've learned from our mistakes and celebrated our successes. The happening astir prognostication is that it's thing much than a guessing game. But sometimes pondering what the aboriginal holds tin beryllium an enjoyable mode of flexing the brain's muscles and positing a satellite of possibilities.

SEE: My beingness with Linux: A retrospective (TechRepublic)

With Linux, it's each astir possibility. It ever was and ever volition be. That's astir apt 1 of the top aspects of the open-source operating strategy Linus Torvalds created ... the intolerable becomes imaginable and the sky's the limit. No different operating strategy tin clasp to that claim. And successful my mind, the adjacent 30 years of Linux should beryllium perfectly incredible.

But with truthful overmuch occurrence nether its belt? Where does Linux spell now?

Obviously, successful the adjacent 30 years, immoderate earnestly singular exertion volition travel to light. Chances are, Linux volition beryllium astatine the halfway of those caller developments. But if I could constituent to 1 country that should beryllium the absorption for Linux successful the coming years, I would person to accidental it's each astir the desktop.

Hear maine retired earlier you groan and locomotion away. 

Yes, I've been harping connected this taxable for decades, but I judge it volition person a renewed relevance successful the future. Why? 

Understand, this is conscionable speculation, but it's speculation grounded successful (at least) immoderate level of reality.

Heads successful the cloud; feet connected the ground

Eventually, I judge the likes of Windows and macOS are going to germinate into cloud-first operating systems. I deliberation some volition instrumentality a fewer nods from Chrome OS to go babelike connected Microsoft and Apple unreality services. Yes, they volition inactive let the installation of regular desktop bundle ... astatine slightest successful the beginning. But eventually, I judge those OSes volition germinate into Microsoft's and Apple's versions of Google's fashionable ecosystem. 

And wherefore wouldn't they? Operating systems aren't the currency cattle they erstwhile were. In spot of the OS (within the institution bottommost line) is Software arsenic a Service (SaaS), and Google is the reigning champ of that space. Not contented to beryllium idly by portion Google continues to regularisation a precise important concern sector, Microsoft and Apple volition yet marque a tally astatine that crown.

SEE: Linux turns 30: Celebrating the unfastened root operating strategy (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

All the while, Linux volition support doing what it's doing. And due to the fact that the open-source operating strategy isn't beholden to a company, it doesn't request to placate shareholders oregon assistance bolster a paid service. Because of that, Linux tin support being Linux and proceed evolving into 1 of the astir user-friendly and usable operating systems connected the planet.

And that's precisely what I judge volition happen. While Windows and macOS caput for the clouds, Linux volition support its webbed feet connected the crushed and go thing accepted machine users volition beryllium on—a modular operating strategy that allows them to get their enactment done successful the mode successful which they've grown accustomed.

What astir third-party software?

This is wherever it could get interesting. Should Windows and macOS marque the last travel to the cloud, it volition enactment third-party bundle successful a presumption to person to travel suit. So we could perchance get the likes of Photoshop (and different industry-standard software) that runs wholly wrong a web browser. 

You spot wherever I'm going with this, don't you? That's right, Linux would basal to payment from this successful ways ne'er earlier possible. Imagine if each bundle rubric that would beryllium tally connected Windows and macOS could beryllium tally connected Linux, each from wrong a browser. No much having to usage tools similar Wine oregon beg companies (signing petition aft petition) for a autochthonal port. It would each conscionable work.

SEE: Linus Torvalds' top hits: A retrospective of the Linux kernel founder's interaction connected exertion (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

At that point, end-users would person nary crushed to not usage Linux. In fact, if some Windows and macOS bash marque a interruption for the cloud, Linux would beryllium the lone enactment users would person for a accepted operating system.

Sounds similar IT subject fiction, oregon possibly the fevered dreams of a long-time Linux advocate. But I deliberation it's a beauteous harmless stake that, implicit the adjacent 30 years, proprietary operating systems volition proceed to support their sights acceptable connected the cloud. I don't judge it's that overmuch of a agelong of the imaginativeness to deliberation this anticipation volition go reality.

Say what you volition astir Linux, but this has ever been an operating strategy filled with possibility. And arsenic the companies pulling the strings of proprietary platforms marque definite changes to amended their bottommost line, Linux developers volition support plugging distant and doing what they bash champion ... delivering what users request to get their enactment done.

Here's to 30 much fantastic years, Linux. As I've said before, it's the operating strategy that changed my life. I would ideate those changes volition proceed connected successful a similar, spectacular fashion.

To work much astir Linux's 30th anniversary, spot parts one,  two and three of this series.

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