The next application platform will run Linux

Summary:Linux is a robust, scalable, modular operating system, which is extensible by anyone, and can interoperate with nearly anything. This is the power of open source.

Linux is a robust, scalable, modular operating system, which is extensible by anyone, and can interoperate with nearly anything. This is the power of open source.

But there are other equally powerful, equally open technologies out there.

The Internet is a robust, scaled transport protocol. Wi-Fi offers inexpensive local networking. Link sensors with software under these standards and you have what I call Always On applications.

Always On applications can monitor your health and movements, keeping you alive and independent as you age. They can check your air and water, giving you maximum use of limited resources. They can keep you secure. They can know where you are and pump entertainment directly to you, from anywhere in the home. They can keep track of your stuff and tell you where it is.

All of today's sensors can be built with tiny radios, running for years on watch-sized batteries, sharing the Wi-Fi spectrum.  There are many types of sensors, some as small as dust. There will be new wireless standards offering even faster networking. The client devices may run simpler operating systems.

But Linux will be at the heart of it. Linux is the glue that will turn these parts into a true application platform.

And this will be the next Big Boom, wireless network applications that live in the air, using data you create in your daily life, pre-programmed for minimal user intervention. I've got a book proposal out on this, but today I want to pass the question on to you.

Does this make sense? Do these possibilities excite you? Is this worth working on?

Let me know at TalkBack.

Topics: Operating Systems

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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