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03.24.12

Despite Moles, Patents, and Lawsuits, Linux-based Platforms Rule Mobility

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, KDE, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android at Google

Original by Swampyank, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

Summary: News about the mobile market, and about Android

THE DAYS of Microsoft moles like Belluzo are long gone, but this doesn’t mean that new moles no longer emerge from the ground. One of several new examples is the current CEO of Nokia, whose job seems to be to jab. Microsoft’s machinations are not victimless because a lot of people lose their job and innovation is held back. One of our readers remarked on the effect on Qt, which is crucial for KDE:

One reason I had for awhile considered cmake so strongly in GNU Telephony is that I choose to experiment with using Qt to build applications, and at the time I thought it rather difficult to build QT applications under autconf/automake. A week ago I revisited this question on my own, and found I was actually wrong about this.

My interest in using Qt actually was from the period immediately prior to when Elop joined Nokia as CEO and then, much like Belluzo did to SGI, proceeded defraud the shareholders, employees, and customers of Nokia for the exclusive benefit of Microsoft and one presumes for his own personal gain. However, whatever his personal, and what I do happen to believe as being purely sociopathic, motives may be, it is very clear that Qt itself, with the help of the KDE foundation, and even MeeGO which I am less interested in, but even that, with the help of many others, would and do continue to survive and even thrive, and it matters not whether Nokia continues as part of that process or not in the future. This is just one real tangible benefit of freedom, that tools which you learn and use cannot be then taken away by either arbitrary or criminal actions. There are of course many other benefits to true software freedom as well.

There is actually quite a big debate right now about the future of KDE, in part due to Canonical’s decision to no longer pay some KDE developers like those who worked on Kubuntu (disclosure: my main workstations run Kubuntu, secondary run Debian). In Nokia’s case, similar question were raised with regards to Qt, which I worked with as a developer. Through Nokia, Microsoft not only gets a marketing/delivery arm; it also gets a patent troll-feeding operation (see MOSAID) and a vector through which to harm GNU/Linux, especially MeeGo and KDE.

As we showed some days ago, Nokia is descending into obscurity along with Microsoft. It didn’t have to go down this way; Nokia could choose another path, but its CEO is a mole. The decisions are ideaological, not technical. It’s a bit like Apple. It is worth mentioning that Apple annoys Motorola, Nokia, and RIM right now because it ignores standards again. This time it’s SIM:

Giesecke & Devrient’s nano-SIM design is fueling quite the standards battle over in Europe, with Apple sitting in one corner, and the troika of Motorola, Nokia and RIM looming in the other. That’s according to the Financial Times, which reports today that Cupertino is leading a charge to push its own nano-SIM proposal through Europe’s standards body, ETSI, much to the chagrin of its competitors. According to FT’s sources,

Apple is trying to distinguish itself because having copied ideas from many companies, all it has is an overpriced version of what’s already out there with Android. Apple counts on companies like Oracle making Android expensive, but it has not worked so far. Here is SJVN’s good breakdown of Oracle’s case (or lack thereof):

Instead of extracting billions from Google for violating its Java software patents in Android, Oracle will be lucky to get over a $100-million from its intellectual property (IP) lawsuit. That’s chump change by mega-company standards. Taking into consideration the legal costs, Oracle could have made more money if it had just offered Google an open-ended Java license in the first place. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s God-King and CEO, will have to wait another year before buying the sharks with lasers on their heads to guard his mega-yacht.

Remember that Steve Jobs was Ellison’s best friend. We said this right after the lawsuit was oddly enough announced, shocking a lot of people. Now we know that Jobs wanted a "thermonuclear" war on Android.

The embargoland of Apple is hoping that Android will just vanish, but it’s not going to happen. Apple finds that the law is not on its side after all:

In a ruling yesterday, US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner ordered that Apple should not be allowed to see the papers it had requested.

“The motion is vague and overbroad and Motorola’s objections are persuasive,” Bloomberg quoted Posner as stating. The mobile phone maker’s opposition to Apple’s March 16 demand was filed under seal.

As new polls show, half the people prefer an Android tablet, people who “buy everything Apple makes” are in the single-digit (percentage-wise) region, and many people choose to just joke about Apple. My father too is sick of Apple. He calls it a “new religion”.

In the device space, Linux is king. Nokia too is coming back to Linux, having realised that Microsoft is “death”:

A former Nokia executive is calling the Finnish cell phone maker’s Windows Phone strategy “a certain road to death,” according to his analysis of 18 months of UK market share data.

Tomi Ahonen, a very prominent voice in the mobile ecosystem, and former Segmentation Manager with Nokia, posted a scathing article decrying the Nokia and Microsoft partnership falling far short of expectations.

Eventually, open, Linux-based platforms are likely to command the lion’s share of this market.

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