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Open Source Predictions For 2008

CMP Information Week
InformationWeek Daily - Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008


Editor's Note

Top 10 Open-Source Software Stories of 2007

The past year was the most tumultuous in recent memory for the field of open-source software. Instead of mere sniping, such as the "Truth About Linux" campaign, open source has come under more direct assault.

It's almost axiomatic at this point: the more open source succeeds in the enterprise, the more threatening it is to entrenched interests.

IT managers are asking the questions that are making many commercial software suppliers set for battle. "If commercial software is so good, how come it can be matched by a group working for free?" "If free is bad, show me the value your company has added to its commercial code that makes it worth more?" "I'm plugged into this project. What have you got that's better?"

The dominant software suppliers have yet to answer, not to a bunch of wild-eyed, wobbly coders, nor to the IT managers with the purchasing power. And that's a different ball game.

If you want to slow down open source code's onslaught, subtlety isn't going to work. It's time to bring out the heavy artillery. And, alongside the actual deals and advances in open source, that's what we saw in 2007.

Indeed, there were important advances in GPL, Apache, Web services, and Java, which made commercial software suppliers more worried than ever. For my complete list, with perspective on each of the important developments of the just-ended year, read Top 10 Open-Source Software Stories of 2007.

Charles Babcock
cbabcock@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com

Quote of The Day

A happy and healthy New Year to all our readers, from the entire InformationWeek staff.

Top Stories

5 Things Open Source Needs In 2008
More hardware support and better communication from Microsoft are just two of the things the open-source community must get in 2008 to continue its momentum.

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Global Semiconductor Sales Up 2.3% In November

Products embedded with chips, such as flat-screen televisions and digital music players helped push sales to $23.1 billion, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

Judge Rules Qualcomm Can Use Rival Chip Patents Until 2009

The patents cover video compression for mobile phones, walkie-talkie-style technology, and simultaneous communications between different types of networks.

Record Number Of Data Breaches Reported In 2007

Researchers with the Identity Theft Resource Center cited 443 breaches in the U.S. in 2007 in their annual report, compared to the 315 they identified in 2006.

Lithium Batteries Banned From Checked Bags

The international rule is intended to lessen the risk of lithium battery fires on airplanes.

52-Inch Multi-Touch Display Unveiled

The maker, LG.Philips, will also show an 84-inch LCD screen at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

IPTV To Spread In 2008

Interest in the Beijing Olympics and user-generated content are predicted to boost IPTV adoption worldwide.

Windows Home Server Bug Could Lead To Data Loss

The issue was acknowledged in October, when Microsoft warned "not to copy data files that contain alternate data streams to Windows Home Server shared folders."

Online Holiday Shopping Celebrates 21% Growth

Still, price cuts and coupons produce mixed results as shopping spending overall was lackluster, according to analysts with ComScore.

NYC Taxi Commission Defends Touch-Screens In Cabs

Stringent security protocols protect riders, officials say, despite recent claims that hackers can access information, including credit card numbers.

Mobile Video, Open Platforms To Shape Future Cell Phones

Analysts with MultiMedia Intelligence see a rise of new class of mobile devices -- those that are application-centric and also contain voice functionality.

Vonage Settles Patent Fights With Nortel, AT&T

The agreement, which also involved Digital Packet Licensing patents acquired by Nortel, centered on the use of 411 and emergency calls.

Generation Y Looks To The Web For Answers

A Pew Internet study found 58% of Americans go online first when seeking information on common issues, such as an illness, finances, taxes, and careers.

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Top Five Open Source Stories Of 2007
It's been a landmark year for open source, and in so many different ways that even a casual survey of the year's events will range far and wide.  Here's a quick rundown of what to me were the top five open source events of the year -- not an exhaustive list, of course, but the things that best reflected how important and widely entrenched open source software (especially Linux) has become.

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