The concept of a "PC stick" -- a processor and RAM embedded into a gum-pack-sized device that can connect to your HDTV via an HDMI connection -- is nothing new, but when a company like Intel embraces the concept, a lot more people start paying attention.
That was the case at CES back in January, when Intel showed off the Compute Stick, its version of a teeny-tiny PC that includes a quad-core Atom processor and -- depending on whether you want the Windows 8.1 or Linux edition -- comes with up to 2GB of RAM and up to 32GB of onboard storage. All of this fits onto something with dimensions of just 4.1x1.5x0.5 inches.
Why the high numbers for Linux? Linux is more stable. Linux servers have been known to run without failure for several years. That’s because Linux handles multitasking and process management better than Windows. That is debatable on the mobile area since many cheap Android (a Linux descendant) devices often freeze. Linux is also more secure since it’s built as a multiuser operating system from the ground up. It is better at sandboxing or containing applications and processes from the root system than Windows does. Linux servers are also minimal targets of hackers and malware, though not exactly a guarantee but it’s something to take advantage of. As for hardware requirements, Linux can be run on most computers. Depending on the distribution, Linux can run very smoothly on ten-year old computers. Lastly, all Linux distributions are free though some versions for the enterprise, like Red Hat, offer technical support for a fee.
XPQ4 is a funky open source theme that aims to provide Linux users with the look and feel of a Windows desktop. It might seem weird at first, but this is probably one of the most advanced solutions available right now.
Also: Evolving KDE
The power of the Linux platform doesn't reside in the fact that it's open source, although it does play an important part. It's all about the community of developers who want to make things better, and most of the time they don't want anything in return, other than recognition for their work. This is not something that you see in the Windows dev community that aims to make money.
Also, Linux is a great platform because there are hundreds of distros out there. Some might think this is a weakness, but it's not. Great ideas found and implemented in one project will eventually land in all the others. Innovation is encouraged and often recognized by most of the other developers.
It look a little longer than expected, but Intel’s Compute Stick PC is up for pre-order through some online stores.
The stick-sized computer is available from Newegg with Windows 8.1 on board. If you’re the type that always spells “Microsoft” with a dollar sign, Newegg is also selling the Linux version for $110. Liliputing reports that it comes with Ubuntu 14.04. The price for the Linux Compute Stick was supposed to be $89, but we’ve yet to see it anywhere for that cheap.