Two disappointments for me have been the licensing of Android and the kernel split. We seem to be stuck with the former situation but the kernel is coming home. A project of 15 developers has begun to prepare Android to merge back with Linux. There is a lot of water under the bridge and the diff is nearly the size of the Bible. The idea is to share the load and to share the benefits of a single global kernel. I don’t see a timeline but if more developers join the effort, the happy reunion could happen in 2012. If that abyss is bridged there’s still hope for the licensing.
Linux is one of the most successful projects mankind has ever attempted. Reuniting these two branches will preserve and strengthen the whole thing and make the world a better place. It certainly makes the Linux ecosystem more attractive to more people and organizations. What was a great deal, getting more for less, now becomes getting it all for less. Getting this done sooner rather than later will unite old industries around servers and networking with desktops and mobile gadgets. It’s a huge step in the evolution of IT. It makes it possible to have the same GUI on a smart thingy and an HPC cluster should the need arise and the smart thingies will get smarter, no doubt. Look for new touch interfaces on everything… planes, trains, automobiles, normal PCs and multimedia systems.