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Open Source - What is in store for 2009?

Open source has made a remarkable progress over the last decade, but there are few new developments underway that could have a huge effect in the world of free and open source software. The related technological hype started towards the end of 2008 but the commercial breakthrough shall be seen in 2009. Year 2008 has been a year of radical changes with Obama as U.S. President, Olympics in games and credit crisis in the global economy. 2009 might eventually turn out to be not just open in many different ways, but may mark the start of an entire era of openness. It is worth mentioning a few technological developments which would have a considerable positive impact on the netizens.

The theme of Java this year is “Open Source and possibilities”. Oracle’s acquisition of BEA Systems have successfully made them the biggest in Java application server market. The movement of Java towards open source stacks to grow in 2009. As awareness of Java’s new open source status spreads, more people shall start viewing the technology in a completely different way.

Businesses that are heading towards lower cost platforms avoiding the first year capital costs will be offered a way through global systems integrators as it will guarantee first-year cost savings for migrations to open source. Sun Microsystems, known as the tech giant behind everything from SPARC servers to Solaris is well known for having a solid portfolio of Open Source offerings under its belt. Year 2009 can also see the beginnings of the Big Cataclysm for Sun. JavaFX is interesting technology, but it’s too arcane to enter into competition with Adobe or Microsoft.

The next big thing is Web 2.0 - REST (Representational State Transfer), featuring loosely coupled applications and the notion that applications do not have to be hard-wired together. The path of Web 2.0 entering into business applications will be open source toolkits such as Dojo and the focus would be more on technologies such as AJAX, XML, and SOA.

But, the situation is not that hunky dory for Open Source applications as it seems. Linux does have a very strong competitor from time immemorial viz. Microsoft ( if at all you call it a competition). And, Microsoft has already gone overboard by issuing bold statements in the press about its supposed growth in the next year. They have also planned some major breakthroughs in technological developments which will help in the same cause too. The much hyped tech-news says;

As the 2008 recession extends into 2009, the prevailing economic conditions are bound to have a large impact on the change in landscape for developers and users. Open source software will no doubt drive down the total costs of new projects resulting in year-over-year revenue growth compared to the proprietary software sector. Continued economic pressures will help buyers look increasingly toward open source products and services as an option. Therefore, it is high time to adapt a new approach as we expect a plethora of new developments to appear in 2009.

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