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What's the next big platform for Linux?

The H Open - Glyn Moody wonders whether the car – a currently undeveloped yet important platform with great potential – can provide the inspiration for the next generation of Linux coders.

Linux has a problem: it's running out of platforms to conquer. It's already the top operating system for smartphones and supercomputers, and is widely used in embedded and industrial systems. It's true the Year of the GNU/Linux desktop continues to be five years in the future, but the rise of tablets makes up for that in part.

That seems to suggest that there are no major, completely new areas where young Linux hackers can make their mark: instead, they seem doomed to mopping up minor problems left behind by the people who were fortunate enough to get to a platform first. To avoid disillusionment of the next generation of top coders, Linux desperately needs to colonise a major new product platform – one that is simultaneously hugely important and yet without any established digital leaders.

How about the car?