We have been having the biggest debate of the mobile world for a few years now… Android, or iOS? Each of them have their own major perks. Android has its insane amount of customization possibilities, and iOS has its ease of use (just to name a few). However, a new report from the IDC shows us some irrefutable proof: Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world. Over the last three years, the Android operating system market share, in percentages of global unit shipments, has increased by roughly 29.6%, while iOS has dropped 3.6%. Windows Phone has surprisingly gained 1.5%, and BlackBerry has dropped 9.4%. As of May of last year, Samsung held the title of the first place, but that is to be expected.
Tizen has always been the presumed heavyweight among the new crop of mobile Linux operating systems, yet it has increasingly seemed more like a wispy shadow. Now, despite growing signs that Samsung’s first Tizen phones may not ship until late 2014, and doubts whether the company will put much effort behind the OS now that it has made peace with Google, the Tizen marketing push has cranked up for the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This week, the Tizen Association industry group that supports the Linux Foundation hosted Tizen project, announced 15 new members for its partner program.
The Genode Operating System Framework has been one of the more interesting and successful open-source OS research projects of recent times. Genode OS is becoming increasingly usable to enthusiasts and is also proving to be an interesting environment for developers. A lot of headway was made for Genode OS in 2013, but there's already a list of TODO items for the community-based operating system in 2014.
After patiently waiting for Ubuntu to officially announce their 12.04.4 update and once the number of seeders of LXLE grew to an adequate level to 'serve' it, LXLE 12.04.4 has been released.
This particular release builds on the idea that many 'at idle' processes can be replaced by 'on demand' solutions, such as weather, battery, updates, power management, etc. It also introduces microcode kernel updates for your processor and preload, a readahead daemon, by default.
MINIX 3.2.1 can successfully power-up on the BeagleBoard-xM with a working frame-buffer and is "off to discover the world." While there is a frame-buffer, networking support doesn't yet work on MINIX. MINIX 3.2.1 has been advertised as a great fit for ARM since its small, BSD licensed, and reliable.
Besides the BeagleBoard, the BeagleBone does work with MINIX 3 on ARM but there you get no working frame-buffer but do have networking support and USB support is forthcoming. MINIX 3 developers are planning to eventually support more Texas Instruments ARM hardware and the AllWinner ARM SoCs.
A real OS doesn’t limit what you can do with your hardware and it doesn’t charge you extra for doing what you want. GNU/Linux is a real OS. Just ask the hosting providers. On Netcraft’s list of 47, 1 uses F5-BIG-IP, 5 use *BSD, 5 have an unknown OS and only 4 use that other OS with the EULA from Hell. All the rest, 32, use GNU/Linux as they should.
What does this mean? Well, because that other OS is usually bundled with a PC, it means ~10% of legacy PCs in China were retired. The interesting bit is that ~2.5% were replaced with */Linux devices. That’s consistent with that other OS having no traction with small cheap computers and Android/Linux thriving there. I assume a good share of the XP machines are being converted to GNU/Linux and some GNU/Linux machines are being bought retail. It’s all good.
The smartphone is currently dominated by two big systems; Android and iOS. But there are others in the run. With Microsoft struggling to get anyone to voluntarily use Windows Phone, maybe Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch and/or Firefox OS will make a difference. It’s this last one I attended a talk about at FOSDEM. So here it goes; The current state of Firefox OS, and what we can expect for the future.
Facebook, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and other leading IT users think the open-source movement is ready to shake up the hardware industry the way Linux did in software.
The desktop is mostly the same as before, so I won't dwell on that for too much. The Axe Menu, which essentially brought the Linux Mint Menu to GNOME 3/Shell, is sadly gone, replaced by the slightly less nice GnoMenu. There is a Conky system monitor sitting on the top-right of the desktop background that also displays the date and time. Docky gives a dock on the bottom that has been expanded to full width, but for some reason it shows an opaque background until the desktop background changes (after which point the Docky background becomes fully transparent). On the whole, the desktop works decently well.