Red Herring (media

company covering innovation, technology and finance) recently carried a fascinating

interview of Eric Raymond—self confessed gun nut, freedom fighter and of course

champion of open

source.  The basic thought being

pushed is a simple one—if Linux is to stand any chance of dominating the next

OS war then it must change and time is running out.  The battle for a hold on 64bit desktop users

will revolve around ease of use, interoperability and multimedia

compatability.  Raymond predicts that the

major transition to 64bit will start closing in 2008 which doesn’t leave much

time for the big players to establish a solid presence.  “We need to be prepared to go to the rights

holders for these proprietary codecs and say, we’ll give you money, give us a

license,” Raymond said. “This is something that the Linux community has a huge

antipathy to doing because we’ve got all this idealism about open source.”  The approach towards end users must also

change, “what it requires is really so much in change in technical approach,

there’s a change in attitude; the community has to really believe that user

interface is important, and it has to really believe that certain non-technical

end users who are ignorant and want to remain ignorant, is important.”

I’ll be interested to see if easier to use distributions

aimed at an average user will start to appear. 

Can Linux evolve?