Community Notes

THE YEAR WAS 2005

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Linux and Free Software enjoyed continuing success throughout 2005. We saw a growing number of government initiatives aimed at making the switch to Open Source, a very public adoption of Open Document formats by the US State of Massachusetts, and a defeat for software patents in the European Union (for now at least). We’ve also seen the continued trend for major corporations to throw their weight behind the Linux community. IBM were just one of several companies that announced they would be releasing parts of their massive patent portfolio under Open Source friendly terms. This subsequently fed into an OSDL clearing house, appropriately named the Patent Commons http://www.patentcommons.org/. In the wider world, the US$ 100 Laptop project has begun to make some real progress. The MIT Media Lab announced that they will be running Linux on the windup laptops, due in part to its minimal requirements and the ability to customize parts of a Linux operating system for the low-powered, technically challenging devices. The US$ 100 Laptop project was not the only group to see the power of Linux on small embedded devices. Nokia announced and later launched their 770 Internet Tablet device, which has been a success beyond even Nokia’s expectations – especially now that the tablets have hit the gadget-obsessed US market (check them out in CompUSA). This author does not leave home without his 770 and has found it invaluable on those long haul flights – especially when using inflight wifi connectivity somewhere over the Atlantic.

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