MICROSOFT AND APPLE need to watch their backs, as Linux is no longer the challenger, the CEO of Red Hat, Jim Whitehurst said at Linuxcon 2011 in Vancouver, BC yesterday.
He said, "It's gone from catching up, to leading innovation. And everyone, or nearly everyone, is getting in on the act. When you're looking at innovation, you're looking at open source."
Whitehurst took the stage to talk about the challenge that Linux will face in the next 20 years in his keynote speech.
The coming years will be defined by unintended collaboration, according to Whitehurst. The US Navy was worried about people shooting missiles at it, he said, which led to real-time deterministic kernel features, and which he claimed ultimately led to the widespread use of Linux in financial companies.
Whitehurst claimed that because of the success of Linux development people are talking about using the principles of mass collaboration to solve problems. Pointing to historical instances of unintended collaboration, Whitehurst said that he has a "very unsatisfying answer" to the question of what will happen in the next 20 years of Linux. "I have no idea," he said.
He might not be sure about that, but he did say that Linux is leading the way in the field of large scale collaboration.
Facebook, Google, and the rest of the internet innovators "only work if you can get them going cheaply", he added.
Whitehurst said Facebook couldn't have made it using Sun SPARC servers running Solaris at $10 a user, adding that most of Web 2.0 "would not exist" if it wasn't for Linux. µ