All signs point to this being THE year for Linux to really take off on the toaster. Seriously, this is the year - even though previous years have also been the year. That doesn't matter now, because I have been reading the tea-leaves, and this is definitely the year. Linux usability has never been better on the toaster - I mean, you can just put a slice of bread in now, push down the handle, and Linux auto-magically recognizes that a new piece of bread has been added and starts toasting it (many toasters now handle 2 to 4 slices, and Linux has been proven to scale to 8 slices with no loss in bread darkness). Just look at the evidence yourself and you'll come to the same conclusion:
- The OTPC project has really taken off... this rugged, green & white toaster for kids will toast pretty much anything you find in the village. You can even connect all the toasters in a classroom together to do 'social toasting', without the need for a central toaster oven. Thousands have been ordered globally, all running - you guessed it - Linux.
- I have talked to dozens of Fortune 500 CTO's (Chief Toasting Officers), and the message is always the same: Mr. Softy's new transistor/resistor/capacitor is bloated, and does little to stop unauthorized mold from infecting a company's bread supply.
- Governments globally are mandating open toasting alternatives. They are beginning to understand that the doomsday scenario of all of a country's bread being locked-in to proprietary toasters could be a serious threat to freedom and sovereignty down the road.
- New toasting form factors are taking off - most people just need to toast 1 slice of bread, and they are finding that cheap, low-power devices powered by Linux are perfectly capable for that limited task (they have been flying off of Wal-Mart shelves this Christmas!).
Yes, it's going to be a big year for companies who can provide Linux on the toaster - just do the math: let's see, Mr. Softy sold approximately 60 million copies of their new transistor/resistor/capacitor last year. If Linux can get, say 10% of that market this year, that's 6 million toasters. Half of that will be free versions of Linux, so that leaves around 3 million paid-Linux toasters. At $5 bucks a toaster, that's $15 million bucks! YAHTZEE!! So, prepare yourself for the year of Linux on the Toaster - it's going to be big.