ACM Queue (Bart Decrem of OSAF) “takes stock of where the Linux desktop stands and looks at remaining obstacles to broader adoption of Linux on the desktop, how Linux can meet the new challenges created by Microsoft’s plans for Longhorn, and opportunities to get ahead of the curve around collaboration-centric computing.” What’s the future?
What do Chandler, the Dashboard, and Mozilla have in common? They share a focus on integrating the Internet into a rich client environment in innovative ways. They are breaking information out of its traditional silos. They are working to build applications that adapt to the user’s needs, rather than the other way around. They bring information closer to the user and peer-to-peer communication and collaboration. In sum, these projects tap into the power of the desktop while also understanding that a network application framework, which opens up new possibilities for users and offers important cost advantages for developing, deploying, and maintaining software, is a key to success.
Most importantly, they move beyond trying to copy what Microsoft did a few years ago. Each of these projects is breaking new ground and is seeing some of its ideas copied by Microsoft, putting to shame the claim by Microsoft’s operating system chief Jim Allchin that open source is a threat to innovation.14
What’s next? These ideas feeding off each other and linking up with Web innovations such as wikis, RSS (rich site summary) and blogs, and social networks. Stay tuned. The open source community is bringing innovation back to the desktop.