Some FOSS-Related Predictions for 2012

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The tech industry went through a lot of ups and downs last year, and our ever-expanding FOSS world too, wasn’t all that immune from these huge changes. From the introduction of Unity to the sudden rise of Mint, the Linux community went through a game-changing phase last year.

2012 too promises to be as tumultuous as last year, thanks to all the great things the Linux community has lined up for us. Though many of these changes would be welcomed with open arms, some of them are bound to get flak from the users. Whatever the response may be, the expectations from the FOSS community are higher than ever.

So, if you’re busy guessing what the FOSS world will bring in 2012; don’t rack your brain; just read on as we list some FOSS-related predictions for this year.

Distro wars will escalate

With the much-hyped transformation of GNOME and the birth of Unity, every distro has managed to get its own unique identity. Earlier, major desktops the likes of Ubuntu, Fedora or SUSE, all looked and worked pretty much the same way since most of them ran GNOME 2.x. Now, because that has changed, people have more choices, bringing along some tough competition amongst the distros.

Ubuntu’s fall from the top spot on DistroWatch shocked many people in the Linux community. And, even though Canonical congratulated Mint on its success, losing the coveted throne must have come across as a bitter shock for them. It is therefore quite imminent that Ubuntu will try to snatch back the spot from Mint. So, grab your popcorn and expect to see some tough neck-to-neck competition this year.

Ubuntu might bounce back

The competition might be tough, but Ubuntu is a seasoned player with a huge community backing it. Leaving behind the tepid response Unity got, Ubuntu will be hitting a milestone this year by presenting at CES for the first time. Oh, and don’t forget, we’ve two more releases lined up for this year. Precise Pangolin itself seems so promising, we can only guess how mature and stable Ubuntu will be by 12.10.

Mint will rise

While Ubuntu is busy polishing its not-so-nicely reviewed Unity interface, Linux Mint, which we talked a lot about last year, is basking in the verdant glory of its sudden rise. Though on top now, Mint doesn’t seem like a player who’ll get complacent. Expect some big things from the minty fresh distro this year.

Android may give the iPad and Kindle Fire a tough time

Rumor mill is abuzz with stories of a new $200 Nexus tablet that will compete directly with Kindle Fire. If that is true then the iPad will be facing its mortal enemy in another big battle. The Nexus tablet, if it comes out this year, will surely thwart Kindle Fire’s winning streak and maybe, put a dent in Apple’s tablet computer monopoly.

SOPA might play spoilsport

We’ve already told you why SOPA, the draconian anti-piracy bill sucks so bad. In that article, we also mentioned how the bill will affect FOSS projects. Now, FOSS may not be as affected as the whole Internet will be, it will still make a significant impact on the fledgling community that now consists of more contributors than ever before.

Linux Market Share Will Rise

According to a report by, Linux’s desktop market share saw a growth of almost 50% last year. This year too, if all goes well, we will see Linux growing more and more whilst taking on giants like Apple and Microsoft. This growth, as gradual as it may seem, is still a huge achievement for Linux, especially in a market that is locked in tight by giant corporations like Microsoft and Apple.

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