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IBM sees no alternative to Linux

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Bob Sutor, Vice President of Standards and Open Source at IBM, has taken his company's commitment to promote free and open software over the past ten years as an opportunity to make predictions for the next ten years. He said that the use of the Linux operating system will continue to grow in his presentation at the LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco. Sutor thinks that there will be no open source alternative to Linux in the next ten years, and that there will be less focus on Linux on x86 processors as Linux is used more on other processors.

Linux is already available for many platforms today and Sutor predicted it will develop a stronger position in areas like Software as a Service and Cloud computing. However, the IBM executive thinks that open source software has reached a crossroads for certain types of corporate applications, calling it a "do or die decade", Sutor said that there will need to be significant progress in creating open source applications for the private sector's vertical industries. He said that without that happening, proprietary applications will maintain their dominance in those enterprises in the very long run. According to Sutor there is no middle way for those industries, although there will be more and more proprietary applications for Linux.

Sutor also believes that the open operating system will make important environmental contributions, for example by reducing energy consumption through server consolidation, virtualisation, load balancing and more efficient resource management. As Linux becomes more popular on traditional desktops it will need to look towards the Apple desktop for usability and attract more graphic designers to help with design, he said. Sutor said that developers should stop copying Windows.