Open Source Trends to Watch in 2011

From open source mobile platform development to the continued rise of public open source companies like Red Hat, 2010 was a banner year for the open source industry. To be sure, there are plenty of trends to watch in 2011. Let's take a look at a few:

    • Mashable's Jolie O'Dell predicts Ruby will get some new tools this year. "The Ruby language is becoming extremely popular in developing consumer-facing web apps, and we’re sure to see some big-name companies release open-source tools and even improvements to the Ruby core - think along the lines of what Facebook did last year with HipHop or Google’s Unladen Swallow project," writes O'Dell. Ruby's popularity among developers has been steadily growing over the last couple of years, as the recent purchase of Ruby application Platform-as-a-service Heroku by suggests, it's well-respected among businesses as well.

    • Katherine Noyes over at PCWorld thinks we'll see an uptick in dual-boot computing devices that include a Linux operating system in the coming year. "[W]e've already seen tablets from the likes of Acer and Augen offering the dual-boot option... Choice is always a good thing, and I believe manufacturers will increasingly recognize that in their operating system decisions," she says. Since Chrome OS will ship on Acer and Samsung netbooks later this year, it's a safe bet some hardware vendors will make the leap to dual-boot devices in order to keep market share.

    • Blogger extraordinare Matt Asay says 2011 will be the year more businesses finally realize the value of the public cloud. "In 2011 many more CIOs will jump into private clouds…and will quickly discover that they're going about it all wrong, as Forrester's James Staten speculates. But this is a good thing, he reasons, because " through this failure [CIOs] will learn what it really takes to operate a cloud environment." This, in turn, should lead them toward public cloud providers like Amazon or hosted private cloud providers. Either way, open source wins, because both sets of clouds are largely open source-driven." For companies that can't or won't jump into a public cloud, there's always the community cloud option.

    • CMSWire columnist Dee-Ann LeBlanc went straight to the source to learn about what to expect from open source content management systems (CMS) projects -- the vendors themselves. Alfresco says CMSs will support "a greater diversity of content distribution channels, such as consumer-oriented social networks, as more and more businesses express a desire to gain better visibility and 'control' over their respective brand and messaging," while DotNetNuke anticipates a tighter focus on cloud deployments and social media application integration. Check out the post for details on what 23 popular CMS vendors expect to see in 2011.

Have a prediction of your own about the future of open source? Share it in the comments.

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