Eclipse Foundation Survey: Android, the Cloud and Mobile Rule the Roost
The Eclipse Foundation is out with the results of its Eclipse Community Survey and Open Source Developer Report, which contains lots of data about open source trends. In this year's survey, as has been seen in similar surveys recently, mobile applications and cloud computing are clearly on users' and developers' minds. In the Eclipse Community, "Sixty percent [of survey respondents] have already developed or plan to develop mobile applications, 35 percent have already deployed an application to an external customers and/or an internal user. Android is the most popular platform (85.3 percent) followed by Apple iOS (66.3 percent)."
The results showing Android's popularity, er, "eclipsing" the popularity of the Apple iOS platform parallel recent results from a Business Insider survey. That survey found that smartphone users are overwhelmingly favoring Android. As we've noted, though, it's worth taking these results for Android with a grain of salt.
Android phones are not even sanctioned as business devices in many organizations for security reasons, and internal app development is often done only for the iPhone, BlackBerry, and non-Android devices. Android is, no doubt, emerging as a consumer success story, but the iPhone and the BlackBerry are favored by businesses over Android. Android is also favored by open source-friendly users, and the respondents in the Eclipse survey fall heavily into the open source camp.
The Eclipse Foundation also noted that there is strong interest from its respondents in cloud deployments. The survey reported that:
"In 2011, 36 percent have plans compared to 29.5 percent in 2010. The fastest growing platform appears to be private cloud infrastructure, growing from 16.2 percent (2010) to 23.1 percent [in 2011]."
Years ago, as interest in cloud deployments began to rise, we noted that strong interest in private cloud deployments would arise in tandem with public deployments. Going forward, many businesses will have redundant ways of managing and storing data--doing so both locally and on hosted services and storage platforms. It's also true that businesses will have redundant "faces" that they present in the cloud, with both private and public cloud services that they use and offer. That bodes well for the many emerging open source-based cloud platforms, which allow flexibility in architecting public and private cloud infrastructure.
Finally, the Eclipse Foundation noted in this year's survey that it is the first survey ever that shows an increase in Windows usage among respondents and a decrease in Linux usage. Linux users dropped from 32.7 percent a year ago to 28 percent this year. That's an incremental reduction, but notable since many of the Eclipse respondents come from the open source community.