"The Year of Open Source" -- who needs it?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. I remember back in the late 1980s, as PCs were becoming wildly popular, the
    whole Local Area Network market was just getting started. Vendors of LAN
    hardware and software (of which there was a wide variety back then) kept
    proclaiming that the coming year would be the "Year of the LAN", when
    networking products would *really* take off. Would 1987 be the Year of the
    LAN? Nope. OK, maybe 1988? Nope...

    So the "Year of the LAN" never happened--there was no sudden explosion of
    interest. Yet today, LAN support is ubiquitous--every PC you buy has
    built-in Ethernet, and every self-respecting OS includes full networking
    support, not just on a LAN but right across the Internet. What happened
    was, the products continued to sell at a steady pace, below everyone's
    trend-detecting radar, until they became commonplace and no longer worthy
    of special comment.

    Now I think the same sort of thing is happening with Open-Source. People
    continue to express scepticism about whether Linux is "ready for the
    desktop", even as it continues to grow at a steady, undramatic, even
    boring, rate. Then one day you wake up and realize it's everywhere.

    Here's an example
    <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/21/opensource_government/> of how
    that sort of thing is already happening: large numbers of folks are already
    depending heavily on Open-Source software, without even realizing it. They
    didn't notice it because it just went in and did the job without any
    fuss--it "just worked".
     
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 21, 2005
    #1
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