Linux Magazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2008

Who knows what the future will hold? Well, heaven knows we don't or we'd have already won the lottery a few times and retired to a private island somewhere. However, we can look at the past to make a few reasonable predictions-- such as the companies in the free and open source software community that are going to have a major impact on the market in 2008.


Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, is almost undoubtably going to have a major impact on the open source marketplace in 2008. With its success getting Ubuntu onto consumer laptops and desktops with Dell in 2007, we expect to see even more banner deals in 2008.

The Ubuntu project is poised to release its second Long Term Support (LTS) release in April, which will be crucial to its acceptance in corporate environments. We don’t know a lot about the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS release(” Hardy Heron”) but the server release better support virtualization in a big way if the company is going to push into data centers with any success.

In 2007 the Ubuntu distro has not only pushed the ball forward on the server and desktop front, but has also moved into the mobile arena with a mobile/embedded edition, and JeOS (Just enough OS) for virtual appliances.

Ubuntu’s frontrunner status on the desktop doesn’t mean that 2008 will be a cakewalk for Canonical. The company has to scale up to handle corporate support and continue to walk a fine line between commercial and community. It’s going to be challenging, but so far it looks like Canonical is up to the task.

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