This may not be "the year of Linux on the desktop" -- and who knows, maybe it is -- but there's little to no question that this is a pivotal year for open source as a mainstream economic phenomenon in the tech world, as my colleague Charles Babcock has indicated. My big question is: what next?
For one, it seems that open source will become, if not the predominant mode for software development, then certainly the one that will win moral favor over closed source. "If your software isn't good enough to win recognition in the marketplace through free download, then it's not good enough," Charles asserts in his above-linked piece.
Does this mean that all the major closed source dealers -- Microsoft, Oracle, and so on -- will be magically transformed into open source shops? Probably not. In their case, I see two possible scenarios in the short run: