December 27, 2012, 8:47 PM — The end of the year is always a good time to take stock of where things stand in any niche or field, and Linux is no exception.
There's no doubt that there have been challenges for the free and open source operating system over the course of 2012--the Secure Boot challenge comes immediately to mind--but so, too, have there been numerous successes.
All in all, I believe the good has outweighed the bad for Linux this past year. Here are five specific reasons.
1. One *billion* dollars
Perhaps most obvious among Linux's accomplishments this year was the fact that Red Hat finally and officially attained its long-anticipated status as the first billion-dollar open source company. That's a testament not just to Red Hat's own business acumen, but also the fact that Linux can be profitable--and that's a big deal for increasing future business interest in the platform.
2. The Digital Divide
Those of us in the tech industry can argue over the merits and penetration of desktop Linux until we're blue in the proverbial face, but meanwhile a momentous shift has quietly begun.
I'm talking about the wave of tiny, inexpensive, Linux-powered PCs that flooded the market this year, putting significant computing power within closer reach not just for enthusiasts but also for those who would not otherwise be able to afford it.
It's truly a revolution in computing, as I've said before, and it's expanding Linux's reach even beyond the countless Android-using masses. Not only that, but it's surely going a long way toward bridging the Digital Divide.
3. Gaming acceptance