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Linux turns 25: Containers, cloud and IoT present new opportunities

By Matthew Finnegan | Aug. 26, 2016
The open source OS still has room to grow

Ramji does not necessarily see Linux coming up against Google's operating system, should it grow.

"I suspect Google has enough smart engineers and resources to experiment in very large ways to advance their understanding of hard problems," he says. "Fuchsia will certainly do that."

"Whether that knowledge ends up coming back to Linux or remains a sustained effort is yet to be seen. The Fuchsia target of devices with tens of kilobytes of RAM looks like a very difficult place for Linux to flourish in; but Linux continues to evolve and surprise us thanks to the global community's constant hacking and exploration."

Microsoft continues to embrace Linux

Recent years have seen what was once a near-unthinkable proposition: Microsoft embracing Linux. SQL Server now runs on Linux, while the Azure cloud platform has supported most of the main distros for some time.

According to Quocirca's Longbottom, this trend is set to continue.

"Microsoft is going through a lot of changes, and without the large immovable object of Ballmer in place, Nadella is looking a lot more flexible and open to new ideas," he says.

"As a platform play, Microsoft is very fragile: Windows Server is losing ground to Linux, although not at the speed the early Linux Ivory-Towerists expected or wanted, and it has failed at the mobile device side of things, and it is not very strong in tablets either.

"Therefore, Microsoft has to decide where it will gain its revenues going forwards."

This will be the case for Microsoft's cloud services in particular.

"Azure is a very strong cloud, and it already supports most of the main Linux distros," Longbottom says.

"This is the future for Microsoft - the provision of an open platform that is interoperable with other cloud systems, supports the majority of applications and services available in the market and is a platform that scales and performs at least as well, if not better, than other public clouds.

"This means that Microsoft has to continue in its support of Linux."


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