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Corey
LinuxWorld.com is running an interesting article by Joe Barr regarding his 10 predictions for Linux in the next year. Some seem a little far fetched, but others offer up a bit more of a serious discussion. For example, #4 talks about Microsoft releasing a Linux client of Microsoft Office. At first, this seems crazy, but with the recent rumors of Microsoft possibly releasing Windows Media Player 9 (maybe codec) for the Linux platform, it makes it a little more believable. Now, as Joe says, they wouldn't be releasing the latest version for linux , it will most likely always be one version behind, which makes sense, however does this bring up a more broader question? Will Microsoft begin dabbling in the waters of Linux in this year? They spent many a times in the past spreading a lot of FUD about Linux, but are they finally getting the hint that no one is listening? Are they begining to notice all the users that have now moved to Linux (or are at least using it in a dual-boot configuration)?
I tend to agree with Joe, this may be the year where Microsoft will stop flexing their corporate musscles, and begin to treat the desktop as a competition again instead of a monopoly. Because the bottom line is, Linux is not going away, it is getting better each and every year, it's user base is growing exponentionally, and the fact of the matter is, its free. Along with Linux, Mac OSX is begining to make a jump back into the mainstream.
All things put together, this is going to be an interesting year in the desktop market. My predictions? Well, I don't like to make predictions, but let's see if I can make a stab at it:

1. Redhat will continue on with it's unified desktop theme (bluecurve), and draw in many more new users because of it. Linux guru's will eventually stop whining and accept it.

2. Lindows will last maybe until the fall, then things will die down, the subscriptions will expire, and they will close shop. Walmart may continue selling linux pc's, but under a different distribution most likely Mandrake which will help their financial difficulties.

3. KDE will continue to stay one step ahead of Gnome in the Desktop Environment world. Although, Evolution will become the most popular email client, KDE 3.1 will put them ahead for the majority of the year.

4. Computer manufactuers will increase the availability of Linux on their custom built PCs. Look for companies like Dell and IBM to really push this for cost purposes.

5. See an influx of commercial games for Linux as well as open source games. As more people move towards Linux, the more commercial game companies will look at it as a viable option for development.

6. See Linux replace NT in many government departments in the US, Canada and Overseas to help with cost-cutting.

7. Look for an increase in live filesystem distributions such as Knoppix. As more people try to convince others to move to Linux, the more need there will be for distributions like these.

8. More hardware companies will develop drivers for Linux due to customer demand.

9. The next version of SuSE will knock the socks off the Linux community. Look for them to move up in the top distribution ranks and look for "novalty" distributions to slowly die off.

10. I will get asked at least 20 times this year to install Linux on someone's computer. (2 down, 18 to go)

So there we go, my un-educated predictions for 2003. Anyone else have anything to add?
Corey
Updates:

#2. Aparently WalMart already sells PC's with Mandrake pre-installed, silly me, I honestly didn't know this before.

#3. This is already coming true with the recent collberation between Apple and KDE. They haven't pulled away fully from Gnome yet, but this is a great begining to the year.
Corey
More Updates: It's half way through the year now, so I thought I would have a check on my predictions:

#5. Over the past couple of months there have been reports of commercial games coming to linux. Some of these include Postal 2, Never Winter Nights, America's Army, UT2003, as well as a rumoured linux port to Half Life 2, which is scheduled to be released in September. Along with the growing mods for Quake 3, there have been an influx in high-quality non-commercial games for Linux.

#6. Read Slashdot.org, it seems that every other day there is a report on another government moving to Linux. I believe the latest was Australia.

#9. SuSE 8.2 was one of the best distributions released this year. I had it installed for a very long time (very long compared to how long i usually keep rpm-based distros installed). It seems to be making more then just a blip on the market.
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