Summary: Linux seems poised to replace Apple and Microsoft in different market segments, especially as things go awry for them
AS A reminder, Apple is attacking Linux-powered phones in all sorts of ways. There is nothing perfect about Apple’s own products, which are also very expensive and some say “dangerous”.
Yesterday, it was eight. Now the total of iPhones that have allegedly exploded – or at last suffered a catastrophic cracking of the screen – has risen to 11.
Computer Weekly (also UK-based) writes:
A French man claims he was injured by an exploding iPhone as he was texting a friend.
Yassine Bouhadi, a 26-year-old supermarket watchman, said he was hit in the eye with a glass shard when his iPhone exploded. He said he is planning to consult a doctor and sue for damages, the French news agency AFP reported yesterday
This is the second report that an iPhone has exploded in France. The French cases follow a report of an exploding iPod owned by an 11-year-old girl in Britain.
On a sarcastic note, Apple could do this deliberately. iPhones do have a kill switch. In theory, Apple could also apply to the battery what some apply to applications. Think about remote deletion of people, not just applications or eBooks like 1984.
“It’s far more impressive than the iPhone, which does enjoy a great deal of marketing though.”Apple obviously has some scandal its hands and Linux is in a good position to capitalise on it. Smartphones that are based on a Unix-type system are in a league of their own as Windows Mobile is lagging well behind.
Nokia has just officially unveiled the N900, which looks like a wonderful little tablet that makes use of Compiz, GNU, Linux, and a lot more. It’s far more impressive than the iPhone, which does enjoy a great deal of marketing though.
Here is a new video of the N900. The colours are a bit “lost in translation” to Ogg (how odd).
Coverage in the news includes:
Nokia today marked the next phase in the evolution of Maemo software with the new Nokia N900. Taking its cues from the world of desktop computing, the open source, Linux-based Maemo software delivers a PC-like experience on a handset-sized device
The world’s largest handset maker, Nokia unveiled on Thursday its first phone running on Linux software, aiming at improving its offering at the top end of the market.
The focus of cell phone business has shifted to services and software following Apple and Google’s entrances to the market in the last two years.
Nokia Oyj will try again to tackle Apple Inc’s iPhone in the top-end of the handset market with a bet on Linux software, several industry sources told Reuters.
Nokia is going to use open-source Linux software Maemo on a high end smart phone.
Nokia will abandon the Symbian OS on its high end smartphones and instead roll out new Linux-based devices in a fresh bid to take on the iPhone, according to advanced reports on next week’s Nokia World event in Germany.
Interestingly enough, based on other new reports, Nokia may soon announce sub-notebooks which run GNU/Linux only. Windows does not run on ARM after all.
Rumour: Nokia to launch ARM-based netbook
According to unnamed industry sources quoted by DigiTimes, the company is looking at releasing the device – which is likely to be manufactured by either Compal or Foxconn and released to Original Design Manufacturers for rebranding – some time towards the middle of next year.
Regardless of what Nokia does next, the Zaurus is sort of back in a big way under the name “Netwalker”. Sharp is bringing out sub-notebooks that are based on ARM processors and these run Ubuntu. Here is some new coverage:
Asus may not be so keen on ARM-based netbooks, but Sharp certainly is. Today, it launched the PC-Z1 Netwalker, a weeny netbook based around a 5in display and Ubuntu Linux and an ARM Cortex A8-derived CPU.
The Ubuntu Linux on the PC-Z1 is a based on the Ubuntu 9.0.4 for ARM port, and with Firefox and OpenOffice, still leaves around 2GB free on the internal flash storage.
While wer’re still waiting for Kei to come back from a Sharp press conference in order to shoot some live photos of the beast, he’s telling us this little baby is pretty snappy despite its Fressscale CPU. With its very compact size of only 161.4×108.7×19.7mm and 409g, the NetWalker is really worth the investment if you want to surf the Web on the go and check email. Compared with the average Netbook, the NetWalker will put to shame any EEE or other Atom wannabe compact Netbook due to its freaking small size and weight… But don’t ask much anyway, the CPU may not be able to handle heavy tasks like a ION Based Netbooks.
Microsoft’s anti-ARM FUD has already begun and the story about the vanishing Android is one that we last mentioned yesterday. The CEO of ASUS denies interest in ARM-based devices shortly after actually developing some but never releasing any. Since ASUS claims to have gotten “closely tied up with Microsoft,” this is not particularly surprising. See for example:
- ASUS Enters the Slog Business
- More Suspicious Moves from ASUS
- It’s Unofficial: Microsoft Pays ASUS (Kickbacks) to Block GNU/Linux. Will EU Commission Step in?
- ASUS: “Currently, We’re Closely Tied up With Microsoft”
- What is Going on with ASUS and GNU/Linux?
- ASUS Profits Fall 94% After Getting “Closely Tied Up with Microsoft” at the Expense of GNU/Linux
“Microsoft is losing the war,” claims Oiaohm. “They’re losing it too slowly,” replies MinceR, though Oiaohm insists that “the rate of their weakening is accelerating.”
“Microsoft has burned through 40 to 60 billion in cash savings over the last four or five years, they are losing at a tremendous rate,” remarks Twitter. “Right now, they are borrowing money and firing people. This really is the end game,” he adds.
“Windows 7 is repeating the same mistake. We have kind [of] crossed the threshold of how much faster business needs computers.”
–OiaohmTony Manco weighs in by saying: “as long as Microsoft pays people to use its OS, it’s no good.”
“It’s a facade,” claims Twitter, as “they selectively crush one company only to see two or three spring up. [...] what Microsoft does to companies is immoral and illegal. As Microsoft loses money, they lose influence and won’t be able to get away with their usual tricks. It’s a death spiral.”
“Vista was the start of major cracking up of Microsoft power base,” claims Oiaohm. He adds that “Windows 7 is repeating the same mistake. We have kind [of] crossed the threshold of how much faster business needs computers.”
Nevertheless, Microsoft wants to dictate for the market what computers can be put up for sale and how much the operating system will cost, not just which single operating system it will be. One reader wrote the following for us:
How Microsoft tries to crush the netbook concept ahead of Windows7 launch
I have noticed that DELL has recently removed their “Open Source Computers” section from the consumer products in its website (left menu).
I think Microsoft is waging a war against any OEM offering competing products ahead Vista7 (Including their own XP) launch in order to maximize profits and make sure consumers have no choice but to pay them once again.
This could also explain the recent disappearance of GNU/Linux from netbooks, (and the lack of new-generation models with new features), with ASUS as the most egregious case, but also ACER is not shipping GNU/Linux anymore in new products, and Dell has severely reduced its offer of consumer products with Ubuntu GNU/Linux installed.
It is shocking to realize how strong the chokehold of Microsoft is over the hardware market and how it comes to dictate not only what software you can or can’t use with windows, but what hardware and what not you can buy.
I wonder why no competition authority has investigated more deeply the Microsoft-Intel and Microsoft-Big-OEMs collusion and anticompetitive practices, forcing the unbundling of the monopolistic OS from computers, investigating the exclusionary deals and contracts Microsoft forces OEMs to sign. I wonder how many court exhibits are available out there (even if outdated) on this issue.
I recently came across this article (I don’t know if you have already referred or commented it) which explains how Microsoft tries to kill a whole market (netbooks), imposing conditions that seek to allow OEMs to manufacture only crippled, unattractive machines, in order to suffocate a range of products that has enabled a space for competing Operating Systems they have every interest in killing for good and never [make] available for consumers anymore: GNU/Linux and (to a lesser extent) Windows XP.
I have checked your articles under the “hardware” tag, they are an excellent record of how Microsoft is trying hard to kill netbooks and any GNU/Linux OEM preinstalled machine, but didn’t find any reference to the PC world article, which includes 5 more well documented examples.
Unbundling of Windows and OEM hardware is essential for competition, I don’t know why competition authorities have failed to see that this must be addressed since it is the main monopoly enabler for Microsoft in the computer market (even when Microsoft does NOT manufacture computers, unlike Apple or SUN)
There is a long time ongoing worldwide movement campaigning for consumer rights and unbundling Windows Licences and new computers that I think needs more visibility and coordination:
- Microsoft Embracing, Extending, and Extinguishing Sub-notebooks
- Does Microsoft Blackmail Sub-notebooks Vendors?
- What Microsoft’s Anti-Linux Taskforce in Wal-Mart Teaches Us About Sub-notebooks