LinuxWorld: Community roots bolster Linux growth

Windows still the one to beat but Linux influence continues to grow

Bill Weinberg, an analyst and consultant with LinuxPundit, and the chair of the LinuxWorld Mobile conference, says the discussion goes beyond just Linux as a platform. "We've had a lot of hand-wringing around fragmentation in the past," he says.

This year, Weinberg has added a track on applications, which has been an historical weak spot for the operating system. "How do you create applications for mobile and embedded Linux, how do you to go to market with Linux systems, how are they received by the eco-system, how do ISVs actually make money with apps, and how do operators roll out new services and deploy apps to support their business models," said Weinberg.

Motorola will talk about the LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation, which began 18 months ago, and Intel will detail its mobile Atom Processor and Moblin.org, which is focused on creating Internet-centric mobile applications. A panel will convene to discuss how the two can interact and interoperate.

Weinberg also is augmenting the discussion with a track to cover cross-over topics such as virtualization in embedded systems. He says virtualization provides the functional separator that allows embedded application developers choice of platform depending on what they are trying to accomplish.

"There is no single platform that has a single code base that covers as many different kinds of applications and niches as Linux does," says Weinberg.

Some analysts say Linux has without a doubt become a more mainstream solution.

"Linux is expanding its presence in other workloads as it continues to hold down key success areas in Web and infrastructure roles," says Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC.

"Customers are increasingly using it for business-critical workloads."

Disclosure: This publication's parent company, IDG, operates LinuxWorld.

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