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2010′s Four Biggest Open Source Stories

December 22, 2010 No Comments

This year marked many milestones for open source, and among the four biggest stories of all, as Datamation notes, one of them was not the rise of the Linux desktop. That goal, in fact, may be a permanent pipe dream, because Linux-based open source offerings are gaining much success off the computing desktop–a trend that could continue for quite a long time–even as Microsoft’s dominance on computing desktops continues. In the open source arena, four stories in particular towered over everything else in terms of significance. Here they are.

The Rise of Android. Originally released at the very end of 2007 and gaining some mention as 2008 began, Android qualified as little more than an experiment from Google in 2008, although there was an early hardware commitment from HTC, which continues to make many Android handsets. As 2009 started to unfold, as late as March of that year, Android still had very little momentum. We wrote this story then, which pondered why Android was stalled after so much initial hype.

Of course, fast-forward to today, and Android is one of the biggest hits in the history of operating systems. Based on Linux, it is also a home run for Linux and the open source concept. Research firm IDC forecasts a coming surge in smartphone sales, and singles out Android as one of the big expected winners.   A lot can happen in a year, and did for Android.

Open Source Browsers Redefine Browser Competition. As 2010 draws to a close, one of the biggest open source stories of the year continues to be the ongoing decline in market share of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, as Google Chrome and Firefox take share from it. According to new data from Net Applications, Internet Explorer, which once had over 80 percent share among browsers, dropped to 58.44 percent share in the month of November, compared to over 63 percent share at the same time last year. Meanwhile, Google Chrome and Firefox have healthy share in one of the most vital application spaces. Chrome is grabbing market share faster than Firefox is, and may qualify on its own as one of open source’s star-studded stories of 2010.

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