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2015: Open Source Has Won, But It Isn't Finished

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At the beginning of a new year, it's traditional to look back over the last 12 months. But as far as this column is concerned, it's easy to summarise what happened then: open source has won. Let's take it from the top:

Supercomputers. Linux is so dominant on the Top 500 Supercomputers lists it is almost embarrassing. The November 2014 figures show that 485 of the top 500 systems were running some form of Linux; Windows runs on just one. Things are even more impressive if you look at the numbers of cores involved. Here, Linux is to be found on 22,851,693 of them, while Windows is on just 30,720; what that means is that not only does Linux dominate, it is particularly strong on the bigger systems.

Cloud computing. The Linux Foundation produced an interesting report last year, which looked at the use of Linux in the cloud by large companies. It found that 75% of them use Linux as their primary platform there, against just 23% that use Windows. It's hard to translate that into market share, since the mix between cloud and non-cloud needs to be factored in; however, given the current popularity of cloud computing, it's safe to say that the use of Linux is high and increasing. Indeed, the same survey found Linux deployments in the cloud have increased from 65% to 79%, while those for Windows have fallen from 45% to 36%. Of course, some may not regard the Linux Foundation as totaly disinterested here, but even allowing for that, and for statistical uncertainties, it's pretty clear which direction things are moving in.

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