I’m convinced that what the Linux community needs is its own Steve Jobs.
We need someone who can envision something so insanely great that everyone who sees it will want it. They also need to be able to lead the development team that creates it.
But is Linux ready for insanely great products? I think so. In fact, I’m sure of it.
Some say that Linux is too hard to use - but look at Motorola’s new Linux-based phones (PDF link). Look at Tivo. Look at Google, for that matter. All these are based on Linux and none of them are hard to use.
And what about hardware compatibility? Well, if you’re building custom hardware, then compatibility’s easy.
Think of Jobs’ beloved Macintosh — hardware compatibility was easy since you could only buy the machines from a single vendor (who also happened to write all the software).
Given the advances in embedded Linux development toolkits and all the very small Linux machines that people are selling now, it seems like it would be pretty easy to mass-produce customized, single-purpose devices.
All we need is someone who can look at what’s happening today with embedded Linux and see custom hardware and super-cool consumer products.
Steve Jobs did that for the Mac. Who will do it for Linux?