It's the end of yet another year. I'm not going to go on record to say that 2015 will finally, finally, finally be the year of Linux! It may, but it may not. What I will go on the record for is to say what my personal Linux and open-source wishes for Linux are in the coming year. They aren't many, and they aren't tilting at any given windmill ... they just are.
I've already made my "predictions" for Linux in my post "2015 will be the year Linux takes over the enterprise (and other predictions)". This time, however, I want to take a look at what might be necessary for some of those predictions to actually come true.
Personally, I've grown quite disillusioned by Canonical and their drive to release a Linux-based phone. It's so long over due that it's become almost irrelevant. So, here's what I wish for the Ubuntu Phone:
Either the Ubuntu Phone is released in 2015, or the project is scrapped.
It sounds harsh, but I believe all of that time and effort could easily be re-focused on the Ubuntu desktop, where it belongs. Don't get me wrong, should the Ubuntu Phone finally materialize, I will seriously consider having one. But at the moment, the phone is only "officially rumored" for a released in February of 2015 — but only in the European market. To me, that means that Canonical knows the Ubuntu Phone will have a hard time gaining any traction in the US market.
In the immortal words of Yoda, "Do, or do not. There is no try."
SuSE gains ground
If there's one enterprise-level company that better embodies open source than SuSE, I'd love to meet them. Don't bother trying to find one, because you won't. That is how dedicated SuSE is to open source. Because of that (and their fine product), I would wish for SuSE to gain some major ground in the US market in 2015. They deserve it, and US enterprise business deserves it. SuSE's work in live kernel patching and in-memory databases is remarkable and will take them very far. Hold fast, SuSE, 2015 will be your year.
To the US enterprise businesses, my wish is that you realize how much SuSE has to offer and embrace their products.
Linux desktop developer mindset
If there's one thing I wish more than anything for the Linux platform, it's for developers of the desktop environments to stop preaching only to their respective choirs. It's time for the designers, developers, thinkers, plotters, and planners to understand one thing — the average user should be their one and only target for 2015.
Currently, the Linux desktop seems to have two mindsets: one firmly entrenched in the past, and one stuck in the future. Both of those mindsets seem to ignore the largest cross-section of computer users on the planet — the average user. They need to come together so that they can better direct the present state of the Linux desktop. Don't get me wrong, there are some fantastic Linux desktops out there, all of which only need moderate tweaking to be ready for first-time and average users. But that's not really happening at the moment... and the average user is, once again, being ignored.
To that end, my wish for Linux desktop developers is that they make 2015 the year of the average user.
Linux gaming continues its momentum
If there's one thing that drives a platform, it's gaming. If Linux wants to pin its desktop hopes on one thing, it should probably be gaming. In the last couple of years, the platform has made some serious headway in this arena — and if the growth continues, Linux should find similar growth in desktop acceptance. Google "linux games," and you'll see what I mean. Instead of users crying "Where are our games?" you'll find hit after hit of quality, playable games.
It is, however, crucial that the momentum doesn't slow down. This is one of those turning points that could seriously tip the platform into the favor of the fates. So, with that in mind, my 2015 wish for Linux and gaming is that Linux becomes one of the premier gaming platforms on the market.
Yes, that's a big ask, but I wouldn't be even remotely surprised if someone (like Steam) made it happen.
Linux users enjoy even more freedom
Finally, I wish that more Linux users are able to find greater freedom to enjoy their operating system of choice in all arenas. It's time for businesses (small, medium, and large) to accept that Linux is a viable, cost-effective alternative and that, should an employee wish to make the switch, they be allowed.
I've been there, working in a Windows-centric environment, and I know how frustrating it can be. To those who don't work well within Windows, the daily tasks can be frustrating — especially when you know Linux could handle them with more efficiency and reliability. To all of you who have fought, year after year, to get your platform of choice into your daily work flow, it is my 2015 wish that businesses accept Linux as a viable desktop alternative and allow employees the option to switch.
More than anything, I wish to each and every person who has spent their precious time reading my words a prosperous, productive, and penguintastic year.
What are your wishes for 2015? Do any of those wishes include Linux and/or open source? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.