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The next decade of innovation | Ubuntu at Le Web 2013, Paris


on 5 December 2013

This article was last updated 9 years ago.

Over the last decade, we’ve seen the arrival of the first smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and other connected devices; the Web completely transformed with the introduction of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia; cloud services, music and video streaming were all introduced; millions of apps were developed; and the combination of all of these things has enabled pervasive access to content.

Looking ahead, even faster innovation is possible – fuelled by a swathe of new start-ups, unprecedented crowd involvement and technologies being used to power even more devices leading to enormous data volumes and brand new services. Over the next 10 years, we’ll see some of these trends combine to form the backbone of daily life.

The Le Web event in Paris next week is focusing on predicting the major trends and developments we expect to see in the next 10 years, so here’s our thoughts:

  • Cloud computing will help drive the centralisation of data and applications so that delivery is everything as a service (XaaS).  As new, smarter, thinner form factors emerge devices will no longer be ‘client heavy’ or location dependent.  The complexity, intelligence and functionality will all be moved into the cloud, reducing costs and adding simplicity.

  • Open source hardware will deliver new hardware solutions where others have failed to innovate. It’s a similar idea to a kit car – it enables non-hardware based organisations to design and build their own products from open sources rather than relying on traditional hardware manufacturers. Good examples today are Raspberry Pi or the Open Compute project.

  • Mobile connectivity  will continue to develop from 4G to 5G to 6G, while near field communications will see alternatives such as low energy bluetooth shape up.  All this connectivity will mean people are connected anywhere they go and not only on mobile devices as we know them today. In future, we’ll see connected homes, machines, cars, clothes… almost everything we can think of.

  • Smarter living will be enabled by sensors in pretty much anything from machines to wearables, meters, healthcare and energy devices. Devices that can communicate with each other make our lives more organised, secure, comfortable.

  • The emergence of new lightweight devices, such as wearables, will generate exponentially more data to store and process. Hyperscale computing will be the answer to gigantic data volumes; dense scale-out servers can churn through gigantic amounts of data cost effectively, without needing huge reserves of power.

  • Advances in 3D printing will allow rapid prototyping of new devices and gadgets for faster time to market, much the same as cloud has enabled rapid development and deployment of software.

  • And finally, innovations will be driven by developers, rapidly propelled forward by open source platforms, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. Consumers rather than corporates will decide what flies and what fails; the business models we’ve seen in the past are becoming obsolete, they simply will not work any longer. The crowd model will also drive faster innovation and accelerate the adoption of new technologies and drive them into the mainstream. Similarly, in enterprises it will be employees that decide which software to use and deploy, rather than today’s IT departments. Innovations and new products will be heavily driven by communities, as open source software, hardware and development tools are accessible to everyone.

The ultimate winners will be those who can combine these most important themes into a complete offering.

A couple of facts about Ubuntu, and the role it has played so far:

  • Ubuntu is beautiful, fast, friendly on all form factors (desktop, tablet, phone and TV).

  • It is open source, built by and for the community, and it recently broke all records in  crowdfunding.

  • Ubuntu is the platform for emerging, light-weight, interconnected devices, such as Parallella, UDOO, etc. We hope there is more to come.

  • Ubuntu is the web scale platform; it has overtaken CentOS for large scale computing on the world’s top 10 million sites.

  • Ubuntu is the number one OS for OpenStack clouds, and the most popular cloud guest OS, with over 70% of images on public clouds being Ubuntu.

  • Our Juju orchestration tool is the perfect way to create and manage cloud applications quickly and effectively. It already works with most big data platforms, with more services added every day.

We excel in bringing all these innovations together, and making technology easy to use and consume.  We believe that innovation comes from the diversity of the community and not from walled gardens or closely guarded roadmaps.  In our world, developers are the new ‘king-makers’, they are the innovators guiding how businesses develop in future.  ‘Let a thousand flowers bloom!’

Ubuntu. Diverse. Disruptive. Technology for humans.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, will be talking at Le Web 2013 in Paris,10th to 12th December. We’ll be demonstrating Ubuntu on smartphones and Juju cloud deployment in the Eiffel Building, Eurosites Les Docks, 50 Avenue du President Wilson, 93200 La Plaine Saint Denis, France. Come and see us.

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