01.19.12

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Linux Has Advantage in Mobile Devices

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PDA phone

Summary: The versatile kernel which makes several mobile platforms rapidly changes the competitive landscape

SEVERAL years ago people were occasionally laughed at for suggesting that Linux would become dominant and desktops would lose share to mobile devices. Now that mobile devices are very sophisticated they manage to challenge miniature desktops/laptops such as Microsoft’s Origami. They are also far cheaper.

The “year of Linux on the desktop” might be some time around 5 years ago when it became viable for many reasons (regardless of market share/installed base) and this goal has become somewhat irrelevant now that mobile devices are a lucrative market. Apple becomes a cash-rich company, a big foe of Linux (with lawsuits), and in some ways the main player to compete against.

When it comes to mobile devices, Microsoft is not an imminent threat and as this new article puts it, price and weight keep Microsoft out of the game:

A rumor site claims that Intel tablets running Windows 8 will start at $600 and cost as much as $900, putting Apple and Android at a pricing advantage.

Have you ever wondered why your PC is so expensive? Well, a good portion of that cash goes straight into the pockets of Intel for its processors and Microsoft for Windows. Unfortunately, while the market has seen that the days of expensive PCs are over, executives at Microsoft and Intel may fight to retain high PC prices as we move into the next era of the PC: tablets.

Microsoft just tries cheating now.

Techrights will spend time concentrating not only on Linux’s real competitors in this area but also Microsoft’s patent attacks on Android. We used to focus on Novell, but now we need to identify the remaining barriers to software freedom. Readers reaffirmed this strategy.

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4 Comments

  1. Andrew said,

    January 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

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    Concerning UEFI; Is Microsoft and iNTEL confident enough to bring an atom based tablet (x86) and not try to break what is already established, working well on ARM. ARMed based netbooks & tablets with Android-GNU/Linux do not need ms-secure-boot to function properly. Let intel and Microsoft manufacture its own x86 tablet and they can plaster it with all the “w8″ stickers they want.

  2. Michael said,

    January 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

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    FUD:

    SEVERAL years ago people were occasionally laughed at for suggesting that Linux would become dominant and desktops would lose share to mobile devices.

    When? Where? Quote this, please!

    The “year of Linux on the desktop” might be some time around 5 years ago when it became viable for many reasons (regardless of market share/installed base) and this goal has become somewhat irrelevant now that mobile devices are a lucrative market.

    First, it is true Linux desktop has improved a lot over the last half-dozen years are so. It is *usable* now, and there are rare times when it is even a good choice for the desktop (mostly based on price), so, yes, I think your word “viable” is reasonably fair. But for there to be a “year of Linux on the desktop” it needs to be more than viable, it needs to be competitive with the alternatives. And, at least for now, it is far, far from that. I am heartened to see desktop Linux improve and to see its user base / percentage grow, but let us keep in perspective that it has a long way to go to be truly competitive.

    FUD:

    Apple becomes a cash-rich company, a big foe of Linux (with lawsuits), and in some ways the main player to compete against.

    Apple is in no way a foe of Linux, other than that they offer competing products (OS X and iOS). The core of those are open source and in many ways Apple and the OSS work together.

  3. NotZed said,

    January 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

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    I dunno, it’s pretty hard to argue that desktops are ‘expensive’ any-more. You get a lot of flops for your dough, particularly since you don’t get much bread for your chips any more.

    But It’s purely economics as to why Linux is so successful. Marginal cost of 0, mass produced commodity. Anything that doesn’t cost $0 in that scenario is just overpriced. It’s only the rewriting and/or breaking of laws that has prevented this commoditisation of all software years ago.

    I just got a kobo touch to play with, it runs linux and telnet/ftp can trivially be enabled on it. For such a tiny device it has plenty of cpu grunt (800mhz arm, about 1/6 the single-core speed of my i7 x980 on a Java benchmark i ran), and running linux makes it easy as to work on and develop for. The software it comes with is a bit crap – it makes it feel like a much shittier device than it actually is. It most certainly is a `full computer’ and not just an application and i’m pleased as punch that what was an impulse buy turned out to be so easy to use to it’s full capabilities.

  4. twitter said,

    January 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm

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    I agree with this strategy, thank you.

    We used to focus on Novell, but now we need to identify the remaining barriers to software freedom. Readers reaffirmed this strategy.

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