Apple’s UNIX (who knows what it’ll be called by then) will overtake commercial Linux in rate of revenue growth by the end of 2007. By mid-2008, Apple’s sales of systems with factory-installed Apple UNIX will exceed the total combined sales of x86 systems factory-shipped with commercial Linux. At the end of the decade, we’ll find that Apple UNIX has overtaken commercial Linux as the second most popular general client and server computing platform behind Windows.
Now before anybody goes nuts, understand what I’m saying: Apple isn’t going to win or even wage a religious war with Linux. The market will bring about the adjustments to which I’m referring. There will be more money than ever to be made with Linux, but sales won’t derive from a model fashioned to compete with Windows and OS X. Microsoft and Apple will be the top-seeded fighters in general client and server computing platforms. Linux doesn’t need or want to be the third man in that ring.