By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-09-20 Print this article Print

: No New Unix Apps Likely After 2009"> LAS VEGAS—There are unlikely to be any new applications developed solely for Unix after 2009, George Weiss, a Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, told attendees at Gartners annual Open Source Summit here Sept. 20. "I expect that, around 2009, we will have seen the last application developed specifically for Unix, after which no applications will be developed just for that operating system, though updates to existing applications will continue for some time to come," Weiss said in an address titled "Planning a Third-Generation Linux Enterprise."
There will also be a gradual decline in the use and market share of the Unix operating system, but that decline could well have a long tail, he said, pointing to the fact that while IBM has its own Unix-based operating system, AIX, it is still active in the open-source community.
"IBM is involved in Linux development and working on improving that operating system. Why would they be doing that if Unix was their bread and butter?" he questioned. Also, as the gap between Linux and Unix narrows, hardware can make the difference, he said, adding that Linux is now "good enough" for some 80 percent of the applications and environments that exist today. IBM has released the AIX 6 beta to the masses. Click here to read more. Linux adoption and usage has evolved over three generations: from the first generation at the network edge to the Web server and compute cluster generation; to the second generation of application and departmental servers; to the third generation of enterprise, mission-critical roles, which is expected to account for 20 percent of server revenue in 2009 versus 15 percent in 2006-2007, Weiss said. Third-generation Linux enhancements targeted over the next 24 months include an optimizing scheduler, real-time pre-emption and interrupt handling, a high-performance file system, large block size support, full kernel virtualization, and hypervisor kernel integration, he said. Also targeted are containers and aggregated virtualization; dynamic trace and debugging; security and integrity measurement and management with TPM; power consumption; savings and management; common virtualization management APIs; and device driver development, management and maintenance, he said. With regard to Sun Microsystems strategy of transforming Solaris into a look-alike, but better, Linux, Weiss said that move brings with it corporate expertise, binary compatibility, innovations like DTrace and ZFS (Zettabyte File System) as well as a subscription supported, multi-operating-system environment. Click here to read more about what Linux guru Ian Murdock is doing at Sun. But there are a number of caveats to that, including the defection of Solaris loyalists and getting ISV and developer turnaround, he said. Regarding the competitive landscape, Weiss noted that Windows remains a factor in the market, as does Solaris as it tries to become more like Linux. While Red Hat has market leadership, traction with ISVs and OEMs, and is improving its support offerings, on the downside is the impact on its revenue from virtualization, its need to transcend the operating system business model and the depth of its resources, he said. Page 2: Gartner: No New Unix Apps Likely After 2009

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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