Disruptive Technologies that Affect Desktop Linux: Page 2

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Flash 9 - Most people think of Adobe Flash as available for free, for all to use. What about living in a world where it’s not? For a healthy chunk of time, Linux users stuck with Flash v7 felt like Flash as they knew it on other platforms was unavailable, due to Flash v7's poor audio/video sync performance.

Today, desktop Linux users are enjoying Flash v9, which has made watching Flash video a much less frustrating experience. No longer are users subjected to out of sync video/audio when using Flash to view video content.

How is this disruptive? During the era of Flash 7 and before, Linux users were largely finding it difficult to take desktop Linux very seriously, especially with Flash becoming so important with so many Web pages. Once Flash 9 rolled out of beta, however, Linux users found that one of their big hurdles had suddenly disappeared.

Moonlight - Like its closed source counterpart, Silverlight, the Moonlight project will add another dimension to multimedia technologies.

At this stage, the Moonlight project might be best labeled pre-disruptive, as its need has yet to surface. The closed source implementation Silverlight technology is still gaining its land legs. Therefore it may be another six months to a year before we see Moonlight becoming something of a "must have." That said, you can quote me on this – Moonlight is going to be a “must have” here in the not too distant future.

How is this disruptive? Considering that the Silverlight team has zero intention of releasing Linux version, once Silverlight technology becomes a commonly used Web based and software standard, Linux users would be out in the cold overnight. Countless Web sites using Silverlight technology would be inaccessible without help from the Moonlight project, which provides Linux users a means of remaining in the loop as Silverlight technology increases usership.

Access to Moonlight on the Linux platform would disrupt any potential slowdown in desktop Linux adoption as Silverlight gains ground. As Web applications become more important, the Web is fast becoming a battle ground between Linux and proprietary-based companies like Microsoft, along with their proprietary technologies.

Proprietary software on the Linux platform - It has been said that software availability defines the success of a platform. So it makes sense that the same applies to software titles made available for the Linux platform in this instance.

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As select games and even a few applications such as the Opera browser make their way into the open source software universe of the Linux platform, mainstream users find themselves becoming more interested in desktop Linux as an alternative to expensive alternatives like OS X.

How is this disruptive? For many people, the remaining block to adopting a desktop Linux lifestyle is native applications that truly mirror the experience seen on proprietary platforms.

When the push becomes more valuable for software vendors to make a native Linux option available for users, the overall value of the Linux desktop becomes stronger for the end user needing the proprietary application in question.

Industries most affected by this need for proprietary applications on the Linux platform are mostly business users. Some of them might be able to use WINE or some sort of emulation option. Despite this, important progress is being made in creating native versions of these proprietary apps for users of desktop Linux.

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Tags: open source, Linux, desktop linux, VMware, moonlight

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