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What Happened in Mobile is Happening in Desktops

Filed under
Linux

Free software everywhere

Touchscreen computer
Photo by Barney Livingston from Brighton, UK

Summary: Tablets and smartphones, where Linux is the standard platform, are not the only form factors where freedom-respecting software is good enough for everyone

GNU/Linux is no underdog anymore. HP currently pre-installs GNU/Linux and it does not charge "Microsoft tax" [1]. As one who uses an HP laptop to write this, the feeling of saying it is pretty good, putting aside some of the negative sides of HP (no company is perfect). Almost any bit of hardware can run GNU/Linux [2], so excuses like technical difficulties (e.g. drivers) no longer pass muster and demand from the public is definitely growing (Google and its hardware partners sell many machines with GNU/Linux pre-installed). In this age of GNU/Linux with Steam and Android with Play, even gaming is hardly a valid excuse [3] (neither for game developers nor gamers). There are plenty of decent (user-friendly) desktop front ends, and even the notorious Unity is liked by some [4]. Some would go as far as saying that "Linux [became] too easy" [5,6] for the shrinking market which is desktops [7,8]. It is safe to say "shrinking" because even Intel, the company which cashed in on desktops, is feeling the pinch [9] as hardware becomes smaller and more efficient in the ours rooms and the back rooms also [10]. Tablets and smartphones, suffice to say, are an area dominated by Linux already. That is a growth area.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Workstation Computers From HP

    They do supply that other OS pre-installed but you can see the price difference between that and installing GNU/Linux.

  2. Create custom Linux-based systems regardless of the hardware

    Jeff Osier-Mixon is a community manager at Intel for The Yocto Project, an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. Basically: The Yocto Project allows development to happen without the worries of what hardware the code will run on.

  3. Windows 8.1, Linux, Android, and "The Next Big Thing"™

    Slightly off-topic from typical gaming related news, but I thought I would start a conversation since many devs and gamers I talk with often discuss this OS or that OS as “The Next Big Thing”™. The general consensus I get from the public is that Windows 8 got off to a rocky start given the changes they’ve made to the interface. From a gaming perspective Microsoft has only added incremental updates to DirectX 11 since the release of Windows 8.0. Microsoft today has released Windows 8.1 RTM and it comes with DX 11.2 (IMO nothing big, but some convenient updates). Despite public backlash against tiles and Windows apps, Microsoft decided to release the update via the Windows Store app (oh the irony). They also forgot to mention that you need a special update for Windows 8.0 in order to download 8.1. Not off to a good start. So I just finished the update and after waiting just a little over an whole hour for it to finish, I’m regretting it big time. My standard desktop account was replaced and I’m now logged in using my online Microsoft account. Seriously?

  4. The Linux Setup - Tynan, SETT Developer

    I just use the default Unity interface. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t do anything egregiously bad like Windows does. I don’t like the launcher (I rely on Synapse instead), but I love the top bar with the unified messaging/audio/etc. The indicators on the sidebar are great, too.

  5. "Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy?"
  6. Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

    It's hard to believe, looking at the modern computing world, but there is still more to life than Windows or Unix… and today, most of the alternatives run on vanilla x86 hardware and are free.

  7. The PC Industry Is Thriving

    Tablets and smartphones are PCs! The real problem, for some companies, is that they have been producing what Wintel wanted and not what consumers wanted, small cheap computers. Naturally, if you’re trying to sell these people big expensive computers, they won’t be buying. The market for personal computers is thriving, according Statista. Look at shipments per annum (millions):

  8. PC sales in spiralling death dive
  9. Intel to Play Fab for an ARM Chipmaker: Understanding What the Altera Deal Means

    Decision is puzzling given Intel's potential to catch up in the tablet market

  10. New supercomputer uses SSDs as alternative to DRAM, hard drives

    A new supercomputer being deployed this month in the U.S. is using solid-state drive storage as an alternative to DRAM and hard drives, which could help speed up internal data transfers.

More in Tux Machines

Microsoft Begs, Bugs, and Bug Doors

  • Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft
    Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year's biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that's because it may well bork your machine. It's been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it's ready.
  • Microsoft Word flaw took so long to fix that hackers used it to send fraud software to millions of computers
    A flaw in Microsoft Word took the tech giant so long to fix that hackers were able to use it to send fraud software to millions of computers, it has been revealed. The security flaw, officially known as CVE-2017-0199, could allow a hacker to seize control of a personal computer with little trace, and was fixed on April 11 in Microsoft's regular monthly security update - nine months after it was discovered.

FOSS Licensing (and Lack Thereof)

  • Portugal to harmonise usability of govt portals
    All of the code, information and tools are made available for reuse.
  • JRC: ‘Releasing code without a licence hinders reuse’
    Projects that publish source code without a licence weaken the reusability of their code, warns Stefano Gentile, a copyright and trademark specialist working for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Currently just 20 % of all projects published on GitHub, one of the most popular source code sharing platforms, have selected a licence for their work - down from about 60% in 2008, Gentile said, quoting numbers published in 2015 by GitHub.
  • React to React
    The Additional Grant of Patent Rights is a patent license grant that includes certain termination criteria. These termination criteria are not entirely unprecedented when you look at the history of patent license provisions in OSI-approved licenses, but they are certainly broader than the termination criteria [or the equivalent] in several familiar modern licenses (the Apache License 2.0, EPL, MPL 2.0, and GPLv3).
  • BetConstruct declares the source code for its front-end as open source
    The project is distributed under MIT license.

Automotive Grade Linux Adds New Members

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Bets on Innovation in the Channel
    Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Application Partner Initiative, working with partners to build a practice around core platforms for emerging use cases. IT solution providers tend to focus more on technologies that are just hitting the top of the bell curve in terms of mainstream adoption. But Red Hat is making a case for partners to place more focus on emerging technologies.
  • Huawei takes on servers, HPC and cloud with Red Hat, Intel and GE
    Company unveils plans to build high performance computing centres in in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, and in Munich, Germany. Chinese ICT company Huawei has unveiled a series of agreements and collaborations with some of the world’s largest companies to advance cloud and high performance computing (HPC). Firstly, Huawei has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Intel to cooperate in HPC.
  • Red Hat Unveils JBoss AMQ 7
    Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced Red Hat JBoss AMQ 7. The latest release of Red Hat's messaging platform combines the performance and efficiency of reactive programming with a more flexible architecture, giving customers a strong foundation for building distributed, reactive message-driven applications.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): What’s the Story?
  • FCAIC in the House, part III
    Ok, not that “Hello”. I’ve been writing quarterly updates on what I’m working on to help the Fedora Community. If you’re new to the party, welcome. I have the privilege of being the current Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator. I wrote last week on the Red Hat Community blog about what this role means and how it interacts with the world.