Welcome to the 10th installment of the Crystal Ball Sunday series. This is an exciting time to be involved with Linux because the temperature is right for some Linux vendor consolidation. In my August 22nd post, [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3012.html"]Microsoft and Novell: Buying In or Selling Out[/URL], I subtly predicted that [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Microsoft[/URL] would end up buying Novell due to its overwhelming and somewhat odd major investment in [URL="http://www.novell.com"]Novell[/URL]. My prediction hasn't come true quite yet but on the horizon for 2009 you'll see Linux company consolidation. I think several of the more popular distributions will be absorbed (assimilated) into the larger distributions. Why, …

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I wonder if the [URL="http://www.linuxfoundation.org"]Linux Foundation[/URL] is prepared to go to task for us, the Linux users, the Linux supporters, the Linux developers and the Linux Foundation members? I wonder if they are our [URL="http://www.nra.org"]National Rifle Association[/URL] (NRA)? I wonder if the Linux Foundation is prepared to meet the challenges of the future for Linux as it transforms and conforms into something totally new (GNU?). I wonder if any of us are up to the task? The NRA [URL="http://www.nra.org/benefits.aspx"]gives[/URL] its members a membership card (Ever hear of a card-carrying member of the NRA?), a newsletter and insurance. Insurance against accidents …

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I am proud to say that the Linux Community now has a place to land--a single place--and a great one at that: [URL="http://www.linuxfoundation.org"]The Linux Foundation[/URL]. You don't often read encouraging words from me about consolidations, mergers, buyouts and strategic partnerships but when they make sense for everyone, you do. As everyone knows by now, The Linux Foundation has [URL="http://linux-foundation.org/weblogs/press/2009/03/03/linux-foundation-to-build-new-linuxcom-community/"]scooped up[/URL] Linux.com and is taking over support for the site from [URL="http://www.sourceforge.net"]Sourceforge.net[/URL]. This is exactly what we, the Linux Community, needs--a single place to go for Linux-related training, Linux News, Linux Jobs, and Linux Technical Information. [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]microsoft.com[/URL] is the one-stop shop …

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Here's some good news for a change: Linux-related jobs are on the rise. According to the freelance marketplace, [URL="http://www.odesk.org"]Odesk[/URL], the number of Linux jobs has increased more than 1,400% since 2006. This sharp increase as raised some eyebrows over at [URL="http://www.linuxfoundation.org"]The Linux Foundation[/URL] and they're responding appropriately. The Linux Foundation is kicking off Linux training classes starting with: [INDENT]Essential Linux Device Driver Development Skills Creating Applications for Linux Kernel Debugging and Performance[/INDENT] Of course, this career boost comes at a price--a pretty high one too. The two-day training will set you back $1,099. You also receive a full pass for …

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Everyone is talking about how open source technology is the answer to budget cuts and belt tightening in the workplace. There's no denying its use is on the rise and, in fact, the Linux server market is predicted to extend into the tens of billions over the next few years. Clearly IT professionals with Linux skills will continue to be in high demand. If you want to learn new skills to stay competitive in the IT industry or simply hone the ones you have, take a look at the [URL="http://events.linuxfoundation.org/training"]Linux Foundation Training Program[/URL]. It's a new series of in-person courses …

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The [URL="http://www.linuxfoundation.org"]Linux Foundation [/URL]announced today that [URL="http://www.canonical.com"]Canonical, Inc.[/URL], commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux, joined its fold to become the latest supporter of the expansion of Linux into the business sector. Recently, many big commercial software companies have joined the Linux Foundation including [URL="http://www.adobe.com"]Adobe[/URL] and [URL="http://www.vmware.com"]VMware[/URL]. [INDENT][COLOR="Green"]“Canonical is an important new member for the Linux Foundation,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Matt [Matt Zimmerman - CTO of the Ubuntu project at Canonical] and his team have created an exciting distribution that has taken the world by storm. They have rallied the cause of cross-industry, cross-community collaboration for …

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The End.