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Open source doesn't make Gartner's "top-ten" list

Why doesn't open source make the list of Gartner's top-ten strategic technologies? Actually, it does, but has become part of everything else.

Perhaps the biggest news in Gartner's latest "Top 10 Technologies" report is the absence of open source. Or perhaps its omnipresence. The report offers essentially the same technologies as last year's list, with some curious additions:

  1. Multicore and hybrid processors
  2. Virtualization and fabric computing
  3. Social networks and social software
  4. Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms
  5. Web mashups
  6. User Interface
  7. Ubiquitous computing
  8. Contextual computing
  9. Augmented reality
  10. Semantics

Open source is nowhere to be seen. But perhaps that's of even more interest: Open source is powering virtually every technology in Gartner's top-10 list. Gartner called out last year that open source is cannibalizing proprietary software at an increasing pace. Open source is the behind-the-scenes director making all these other technologies tick.

Perhaps it's time to start thinking of open source as essential plumbing (in the way that Google does): Everyone has it, everyone uses it, but perhaps there's not as much need to overtly discuss it?