Why does reports now coming out that Vista is not going to be deployable in governmental setups not surprising? It is still not a given but I feel that these are not just some random events but a harbinger of better times ahead for Linux and FOSS. It has been self evident that the entire notion of rolling out new famgled operating systems for the sake of new revenue is not sustainable in the long term. Even the rollout of new and improved versions of RHEL will increasingly be non events – and rightfully so. The reasoning is simple – as devices become smaller, lighter and ubiquitous (such as the OLPC), the impact of a web delivered experience and work regiment necessarily negates any need to continue with the, what should really be a quaint and archaic business of shipping closed source software.
FOSS’ spread into the non-techie intellegentia with an increased – well it is about time! – awareness of the subtle values and economic realities cannot but gain momentum. We have long gone past the tipping point to greater FOSS adoption. It is time to look back to 1995 and how Gates turned his organization to embrace the Internet – that was the tipping point for FOSS. The 10-15 year run in trying to lock-in customers has helped educate the very customers Gates hoped will continue to cough up money. The silicon-based ecosystem pushed forward by the carbon-based ecosystem driven by the FOSS-injected brain power has gotten enough of a staying power for success through amazing innovation. My sense is that there will be a few, very high profile corproate failures in the proprietary software space leaving in it’s aftermath a fortified, and robust FOSS-driven economic system. Twelve to twenty-four months tops!