There's no doubt that there have been challenges for the free and open source operating system over the course of 2012--the Secure Boot challenge comes immediately to mind--but so, too, have there been numerous successes.
All in all, I believe the good has outweighed the bad for Linux this past year. Here are five specific reasons.
1. One *billion* dollars
Perhaps most obvious among Linux's accomplishments this year was the fact that Red Hat finally and officially attained its long-anticipated status as the first billion-dollar open source company. That's a testament not just to Red Hat's own business acumen, but also the fact that Linux can be profitable--and that's a big deal for increasing future business interest in the platform.
2. The Digital Divide