Dual software on one device
Thanks to a handy set of scripts, you’ve long been able to install an instance of Linux on a Chromebook and switch…
Stable Channel software update
The latest Chrome OS Stable channel update is here and with it comes remote access to Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. Until now you…
All about orchestration
Docker’s suite of orchestration services that the container-management startup first detailed in December are now available in beta for the public to…
Containers and music at last
In late December, CoreOS CEO and container guru Alex Polvi proclaimed in a tweet that he believes 2015 will be the year…
Pushing beyond Windows
Continuing its quest to make Microsoft Azure comfy for the non-Windows world, Microsoft just launched a preview of its Hadoop-based cloud tool (HDInsight) that runs…
Apple ID creation opens up
Add another option to the freely available online productivity software suites: Anyone can sign up for and use Apple’s iWork for iCloud,…
We were promised convergence
Finally, after many delays, the first Ubuntu phone is about to hit the market. In Europe. And only through a series of…
When you hear from SAP these days, the software giant always leads with HANA, its in-memory database. HANA is to SAP what…
A serious vulnerability in a key Linux library could let attackers take complete control of systems, such as servers, that are based…
Great for tech support
Although Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are relatively limited compared to traditional desktop platforms, the devices always had a bit of workaround. Using the…
Better than PGP?
A Canadian outfit called Peerio has put its eponymous secure messaging and cloud storage app into public beta, promising a much more…
Teraflops under the hood
The next mobile chip from Nvidia is aimed at a really big mobile device: The automobile. Nvidia unveiled the Tegra X1, which…
Crouton to the rescue
This is cool: Chromebook users can now run their favorite Linux distribution within a window right on their Chrome OS desktop. Google’s…
Open-source platform Docker and its contributing community makes Linux container technology more accessible through simpler, more-powerful tools.
The Cloud Foundry Foundation, established in February, will get a new marquee name Tuesday with [company]Intel[/company] coming aboard as a Platinum member. Other companies, including [company]Akamai[/company],…
Nice try, AWS.
Amazon got creative with new Reserved Instances where discount depends on upfront payment, but Google retains low-cost crown.
The rocket's red glare
CoreOS’s announcement that it’s built a container engine that can potentially compete with Docker’s container technology caused quite a commotion within the tech community on Monday. Docker’s made a name for itself over the past year with its container-skills catching on with some of the biggest names in the industry—Google, Amazon and Microsoft to name a few—so seeing CoreOS detail its own container plans in light of Docker’s momentum is interesting, to say the least.
A new container in town
CoreOS, the Linux operating system specialist that’s been busy this past year making sure its technology powers Docker containers, detailed on Monday a new container technology called Rocket that’s essentially a competitor to Docker.
IBM said today that it will develop two new supercomputers for the U.S. Department of Energy that are based on IBM’s new Power servers and will contain NVIDIA GPU accelerators and Mellanox networking technology. The new supercomputers, to be named Summit and Sierra, will be ready to roll in 2017; IBM will end up scoring a cool $325 million in government contracts.
The Raspberry Pi Model A+ is cheaper and less power-hungry than its entry-level predecessor, and it also benefits from some of the enhancements introduced earlier this year in the Model B+.
Shippable’s Docker-based system can convert an organization’s codebase into testable containers to make sure an application runs right.
Google wants to show the enterprise world that it can trust it when it comes to container technology. But if you want to give its new container engine a test run, you won’t be able to use it on other public clouds.
They may still be nominal partners, but the bad blood is now on show for all to see. Red Hat claims Mirantis reneged on their deal by releasing its own product, but Mirantis responded by accusing Red Hat of an OpenStack lock-in ploy.
With your operating system expressed as a relational database, you can run SQL queries to see how your OS is performing, troubleshoot issues and even discover malicious activity lurking about.
With strong personalities at play and a lack of any legal recourse, companies involved with open-source projects may get more than they bargain for when harassment and even death threats occur. But in these situations, it may help to have an enforceable code of conduct to stop problems before they happen.
Ubuntu users can now stream movies and TV shows from Netflix without any workarounds, as long as they have Google’s Chrome browser installed.
Chris Stone, formerly of Novell and the Object Management Group, is back in the software game, to help drive commercial Drupal products into the enterprise.
More OpenStack follies: Last year, Red Hat invested in Mirantis, then things went sideways and the two companies were more enemies than partners which made everything awkward.
Getting Netflix to work on Linux has always been a bit difficult. Now, Ubuntu could gain native Netflix playback capabilities, thanks to Netflix’s adoption of HTML5 video streaming.
Unable to use an off-the-shelf product, one man built a custom, connected audiobook reader for his 93-year old, nearly blind grandfather. It’s a perfect example of the personalized, hackable electronic product age we’re entering.
Currently crowdfunding, Sandstorm is a genuinely exciting opportunity for the creation of a viable, federation-friendly indie web-app ecosystem. It promises the benefits of running your own server, without having to actually do so — usability is the name of the game here.
Fresh funding will fuel expansion of customer support and service for Bright Computing’s Linux cluster management software.
Mårten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, argues that when companies lock in to their own design and customizations, it’s as harmful as when they lock in to a vendor. Mickos explains why he thinks using standardized open source products is the best way to avoid both types of lock-in.
Got a Linux box at home or at work? Now you can access it remotely through the Chrome browser or from a Chrome OS device. On this week’s podcast, we discuss the new beta support for Linux in the Chrome Remote Desktop app.
Docker-in-Chief Solomon Hykes reflects on dot.cloud’s transformation from open-source tool developer to a PaaS to the force behind Docker containers.
A new Acer Chromebook listing shows that the Bay Trail Chromebooks are coming. You’ll likely pay less for these new models and get better battery life as long as you’re willing to sacrifice a little performance.
Printing from a Chromebook isn’t like printing from any other computer: You need to use Google Cloud Print. Don’t have a printer that supports Cloud Print? Why not use a $35 Raspberry Pi as a low-powered Google Cloud Print Server?
The startup that specializes in large server deployments wants the common Joe to take to its scalable Linux OS that hums along nicely with Docker containers.
The move, reported in local media, could dent the business of x86 processor makers in Russia.
Once the only third-party apps on smartphones — remember the first iPhone in 2007? — web apps are in the spotlight again. Mozilla is showing how HTML5 apps for Firefox OS can easily run on Android phones.
Docker’s container technology, similar to a virtual machine, will supposedly make developing applications a less burdensome process for both systems administrators and coders.
Mirantis and Canonical pledge fully supported Linux-to-OpenStack configuration for enterprises. Which is exactly Red Hat’s sweet spot with RHEL and Red Hat OpenStack. And so it goes.
The German company has set what appears to be a new record for crowdfunding a million bucks. The cash will mostly go towards the launch of Protonet’s privacy-centric Maya server for individuals and small teams.
Linux Foundation-led group opens its checkbook to fund OpenSSL developers and an audit of that key security technology.
The week in cloud: If you’re a developer running workloads on Google Compute Engine, you can now use CoreOS scaleable Linux as well as other Linux variants.
Patents never guarantee products but this is one I’d like to see happen. A Google patent was granted for a phone that inserts into a laptop for connectivity. There could be more to it though: Why not an Android phone powering a Chromebook?
Two things we learned from the imbroglio: Support policies are up for interpretation and vertical integration hurts OpenStack’s anti-lock-in message.
On this week’s Structure Show hear from Tod Nielsen, now of Heroku but ex of Cloud Foundry, on why it really makes sense for Heroku and parent company Salesforce.com to field more than one development platform.
Locking in? Trying to replicate its Linux success in the cloud, Red Hat said it will not support Red Hat Linux customers who run a non-Red Hat OpenStack distribution.
HP joins Red Hat, Canonical, Suse, Cisco, Mirantis, Rackspace, Cloudscaling et al. in building its own OpenStack distribution and will indemnify HP Helion customers and service providers against IP claims.
Pundit Simon Wardley poo-poos any notion that Microsoft should buy Red Hat. Canonical, he writes, is a far more strategic choice.
The week in cloud: IBM & friends debut POWER-based white box server, Microsoft’s CEO reassures Wall Street; and more.
Canonical founder and space traveler Mark Shuttleworth came on the Structure Show this week to discuss Ubuntu’s role as the operating system of choice for cloud computing. As OpenStack takes precedence over the operating system, he argues, Red Hat’s licensing can’t last.
Motorola signed a patent license with Microsoft for Android and Chrome OS devices this month. Wait: Motorola doesn’t make any Chrome OS devices. But it could and one possibility is to use an Android phone with a Chrome OS partition for a modular laptop.
As Red Hat Summit gears up, Canonical drops news of a new Ubuntu Linux release — but with most of the focus on OpenStack.
Canonical wants to make Ubuntu a contender in the mobile space, and that means setting up an ecosystem. The entity at the center of that ecosystem wouldn’t necessarily be Canonical itself.
Alessandro Perilli will help Red Hat push its enterprise hybrid cloud plan. The company hopes to become to OpenStack cloud what its been for Linux.
Where are SDN and NFV today? And what influence will open systems and open source have on the future of SDN and NFV? Our survey and analysis provide key insights into the current activity and future direction of SDN and NFV advancements as well as the development and deployment of open systems and open source within SDN and NFV environments.
The week in cloud: Was the Cloud Foundry Foundation set up to promote the open-source PaaS or to thwart Red Hat OpenShift? Or a little bit of both? Discuss.
Microsoft’s ambitious Windows Azure cloud platform just turned four. Here’s how it’s doing, according to Gigaom Research analyst Janakiram MSV.
For a web-based computer, Chrome OS devices aren’t yet showing much overall web traffic. That’s the gist of Chitika’s latest report although the share of Chrome OS usage has doubled in five months.
Meizu and BQ, which you will be forgiven for not recognizing, will be the first manufacturers to release Ubuntu mobile devices, and Canonical claims bigger names will follow in 2015.
Red Hat and Hortonworks are integrating a number of technologies to give joint customers a more seamless experience running their Hadoop workloads on private cloud or virtualized infrastructure. In an upstart market worth billions, it helps to have friends like Red Hat.
The company, once known as dotCloud, will use its new money to build out managed services around the popular Docker open-source project and staff up sales and support.
Red Hat and CentOS, once at odds, say they are joining forces for the betterment of enterprise Linux and its ecosystem.
The CRM leader isn’t saying boo, but if it does adopt OpenStack it could help the open-source cloud gain enterprise credibility, which it still sorely needs.
Valve Software has been leaning toward Linux for some time. By joining the Linux Foundation it will contribute tools and expertise to make the open source OS more gamer friendly.
Two key contributors to the popular server-side language are disagreeing publicly over the use of gender-specific pronouns in the project.
If you liked Docker before you may love it now that it supports more Linux variants — no futzing necessary!
The vendor’s move raises an important question: how many OpenStack distributions is too many OpenStack distributions?
Canonical may not have raised enough money on Kickstarter for its Ubuntu Edge phone but Ubuntu Touch is alive and kicking. The company is pushing hard to test the software for phones and tablets to launch alongside Ubuntu 13.10 next month.
At LinuxCon, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell teased that the company’s long-awaited hardware endeavor, the Steam Box, could be revealed as early as next week. Will we finally see one in action?
The Ubuntu Edge may have broken a record for the most money pledged in a crowdfunding campaign, but ultimately it failed to reach its $32 million goal by a long shot. A focus on enterprise would be smart now.
The open-source operating system has pretty much wiped out Unix among top-tier supercomputers, says the Linux Foundation.
If Google Chrome is the company’s long-term strategy to capture engagement, Chrome apps need more native-like features. Several new APIs add just that to Chrome Packaged Apps, which run outside of the browser.
Concerned about proprietary and expensive forks of Hadoop, T-Systems’ Juergen Urbanski explains how to tell if you are buying an open version of Hadoop or something you might later regret.
Networking is about to enter the modern era, where vendors no longer control the ecosystem says JR Rivers, the CEO and founder of Cumulus Networks.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux gets a free tier of its own on Amazon Web Services, perhaps in a bid to unseat Ubuntu which runs more than half of all EC2 instances.
Nine years ago, the Linux distribution Ubuntu came out with the mission of challenging Windows’ status as the default preinstalled PC operating system. But, since then, the whole game changed.
David (Dave) S. Linthicum is an Analyst for Gigaom Research and is with Cloud Technology Partners. Dave is an internationally recognized industry…
The Finnish handset firm, which is reviving the Linux-based MeeGo operating system as the Sailfish OS, has just announced its first new CEO in a whole seven months.
Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth has really big, plans to put Ubuntu on your smartphone, on your tablet and (via OpenStack). What he doesn’t offer is details on revenue.
Developers can now sink their teeth into the smartphone OS that picks up where MeeGo left off. However, the operating system will struggle to make its voice heard in a turbulent year for mobile.
While the Chrome browser takes full advantage of the Chromebook Pixel’s hardware, I thought it would interesting to see how video gaming works on the device. Quite well, with just a few small issues, it turns out.
The British company behind the widely-used SCST target software stack is now part of Fusion-io’s ION Data Accelerator team. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Strongloop, founded by a group of Node.js heavy weights, aims to bring a supported version of the popular server-side language to Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as Ubuntu, Mac OSX and Windows.
Google’s Chromebook Pixel is quite versatile after all. Here’s a video look of it running Chrome OS and Linux at the same time, allowing me to use Skype and other third-party apps.
Forking of open-source projects can be good or bad. Developers love freedom of choice but big customers fear lack of compatilbility. In either case the prospect of a Cloud Foundry fork is worth examining.
Paying $1,299 or more for “just a browser” is a common theme against buying Google’s Chromebook Pixel. There are ways to use a full desktop operating system on this impressive laptop, however.
Canonical has shown off the tablet UI for the touch-friendly Ubuntu, with many of the features pitched squarely at the corporate market. Whether it succeeds there depends on how Windows 8 fares in the enterprise.
As chips for smartphones and tablets improve, there’s a growing market for small computers running on this silicon. Take a look at the $89 Odroid 2 and what it can do.
The company behind the popular Steam online gaming platform is definitely not impressed by the latest Windows version and is instead pushing Windows developers to Ubuntu Linux.
Startup Cloud9 IDE says its new enterprise development environment will let far-flung developers collaborate in real-time on their projects. Given the demand for quality developers, companies need to hire where they can and find ways to enable collaboration.
No, it doesn’t seem plausible, but the Citrix-owned collaboration company Podio says 10 percent of its users access it from Ubuntu. That’s one reason the platform now offers Ubuntu One integration.
Open-source principles have helped create a host of useful software, including the Linux operating system and the crowd-powered resource that is Wikipedia — but could the same approach be used to open up the process of producing government legislation? Clay Shirky argues that it could.
Mark Shuttleworth, a superstar in the open-source world and the force behind Ubuntu Linux, is funding Inktank to the tune of $1 million. DreamHost spun out Inktank last year to help get customers up and running on Ceph open-source storage technology.
Well into the cloud computing era, the definitions of what constitutes an “open cloud,” and how to select the right technology are still a mystery to potential users. And, consumers are still in the dark when it comes to the concept of cloud.
The company behind the enterprise Linux market leader has now made preview code of its OpenStack cloud platform available for download. The final release is due next year. Rackspace, Internap, HP and others already have OpenStack deployed. Is IBM next?
Cloud computing is shaking up the worlds of computer design and microprocessor-chip design, and its related concepts and business models have changed both industries, possibly forever. In the near future we will see a division between the traditional players (typified by Intel and AMD) that stick with their existing product lines and a separate group of nontraditional players (Tilera and others) that start fresh in order to make the world’s microprocessor chips as efficient as possible. This report examines some of the most important trends and technologies influencing this space right now.
After buying a Chromebook four weeks ago, I quickly became a full-time user of the device. Along the way I picked up some tips and tricks that make my Chromebook more productive and fun. Here are ten of those tips for owners of Google’s new Chromebook.
Cloud computing continues to change and shape the technology industry, and these days discussions are about more than simply reorganizing the IT department. New developments in chip and hardware architectures, finding greener data centers, regulatory concerns and simplifying data analytics are all discussions currently circling through the industry. For this report, GigaOM Pro has gathered six of its analysts to discuss these topics and others in current cloud market. Here we present several areas to consider when thinking about your business in the cloud.
The move to devops is on. The philosophy holds that software developers and IT operations people at a company work better in concert rather than separately, and devops devotees say the process cuts deployment time from months to hours. And with such a high demand for speedy updates and fixes, even more traditional companies that might have endured long release cycles in the past are making the devops leap now. So whether you’re a smaller Web 2.0 company or an existing big business, here are some things you should know.
Red Hat is changing its support price model in a way that opens the door to rival operating systems — including Windows –at least in the cloud service provider market and perhaps more broadly. One service provider said his support costs will more than double.
With its Project Sputnik laptop, Dell hopes to lure Linux-loving developers back into its camp and perhaps even get some who defected to Mac OSX to return to the open source fold. The laptop bundles Ubuntu, tools and an on-ramp to github repositories.
Customers can now get early access to Rackspace’s OpenStack-based public cloud, slated to come online May 1. The news comes as the OpenStack Spring Conference kicks off in San Francisco. The company also unveiled OpenStack-based Cloud Block Storage and MySQL-based database services.
Two major tech players — IBM and Red Hat — are ready to sign on the dotted line to join OpenStack, sources said. That should go a long way to ease the pain of Citrix’s decision to set up CloudStack as an OpenStack rival.
OwnCloud 2012 service lets IT pros move and manage corporate data in their cloud of choice while giving end users a “Dropbox-like” experience, according to OwnCloud CEO Markus Rex. The software supports WIndows, Linux and Mac desktops and iOS and Android mobile devices.
The big hosting provider that, along with NASA, launched the open-source cloud infrastructure project two years ago, will start beta testing the software, running tens of thousands of computing instances as opposed to the hundreds under test now, said John Engates, Rackspace’s CTO.
Canonical will turn Android phones into Ubuntu desktops, which could eliminate the need to carry a laptop. The idea of using a docked phone as a full-fledged desktop computer isn’t new — remember Motorola’s lapdock? — but Canonical is better suited to make the concept work.
The most striking thing about Amazon’s Q4 filing was that head count was up a whopping 67 percent to 56,200 full- and part-time employees, compared with 33,700 from a year ago, according to Amazon’s 8-K filing; 67 percent is a very big number — even for Amazon.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the latest example of a growing trend to move traditional computer activities to tablets and smartphones. AlwaysOnPC, a $25 mobile app, connects the Kindle Fire to a cloud instance of Fedora Linux with Open Office, Firefox, Chrome and integrated Dropbox support.
For anyone thinking the big data trend is a flash in the pan, there’s some new evidence to the contrary. A hefty 75 percent of IT pros and developers responding to a new Linux Foundation survey have their eyes firmly on this big data phenomenon.
The coming wave of open-source hardware, 3-D printing and other breakthroughs will open the floodgates to tech innovation, just as open-source software sparked the last tech boom by fueling the Google, Facebook software empires, said Joi Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab.
The line between car and home entertainment center is getting blurrier by the minute as electronics makers and car companies take to the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 and concurrent Detroit Auto show to strut their stuff. Here’s a sampling of the news.
Everyone likes to share their predictions for what the future will bring in technology as a new year dawns. But some things seem to manage to stay the same, despite anticipation to the contrary. Here’s where I think the boat won’t rock in 2012.
Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth thinks Ubuntu Linux has a shot to be a contending operating system for future phones and tablets. It will be a tough go: Apple iOS and Google Android dominate the field now, with new Windows Phone 7 also making a play.
John S. Wilson of Policy Diary sees some strong similarities between Google’s mobile operating system Android: They’re both open, free (aside from patent issues), and just a utility. Android means different things to different companies, and ultimately, this could be Android’s downfall into irrelevance.
Now that Amazon’s highest-end Compute Clusters support Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft-centric customers can use Amazon’s “compute intensive beasts” to run heavy-duty media processing, rendering or computational finance work loads. the move also brings Microsoft more parity with Linux on the Amazon platform.
Open-source software is an important part of many web workers’ toolkits. Whether you just use an open-source browser like Firefox or you’re…
Wow.. just like that Linux is 20-years-old. The Linux Foundation as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations has come up with this infographic that includes stats that illustrate the changes in Linux over the years. There are some great nuggets of information in here.
Cell phones can teach us a lot about saving energy: Over the years, they’ve been uniquely designed to operate as efficiently as possible, quickly moving in and out of states of power — from sleep to low power to full power — and utilizing the latest battery innovations. Because of this, new energy technologies that have commonly been introduced first in cell phones are now being mimicked across other industries, leading to information technology and transportation that is more energy efficient.
Red Hat just announced another solid fiscal quarter, continuing a trend of increased operating system and middleware market share that carried on even through the worst of the current recession. According to CEO Jim Whitehurst, customers know that buying Red Hat means “future-proofing” their IT investments.
The best hardware acceleration for Microsoft’s Silverlight… runs on Linux? Developers of the open source Moonlight adaptation of Silverlight have just brought the ability to utilize GPU processing for 3-D rendering and video playback to the platform, and it apparently performs better than the original version.
Attachmate, a privately held software vendor, bought Novell, the once-powerful enterprise networking player, for $2.2 billion. The interesting part of this story, however, is not who bought Novell, but who didn’t – namely, VMware. In fact, bitter VMware rival Microsoft might end up with some valuable assets.
For years, Linux has grown at the expense of expensive Unix like Solaris, but a new study shows Linux gaining at Windows expense for the first time, and not because Linux is cheaper. Rather, survey respondents cite Linux’s “technical superiority,” which may be a hard argument for Microsoft to counter.
There are a few key reasons why businesses choose open source in the enterprise: control, better quality code, responsiveness and security. But as we discovered in the most recent GigaOM Bunker Sessions event, innovators are embracing new solutions that make the battle for open source as the norm far from won.
Novell has put itself on the auction block, but a deal has been slow in closing. According to sources close to the company, this likely stems from the difficulty of accurately assessing the value of Novell’s patent portfolio in conjunction with its legacy product portfolio and associated business.
According to web metric firm Net Applications, iOS has passed Linux for third place in worldwide OS market share as measured by web browsing. Today, iOS trumps Linux. Tomorrow, it will be Android over iOS, with Adobe Flash along for the ride.
Given Apple’s increasingly evident distractedness from Mac OS development as it concentrates more on the mobile space with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, some are suggesting that Ubuntu captures the traditional “Mac” spirit and vision better than the actual Mac OS does these days.
On Wednesday, March 31, a group of more than 60 cloud computing and open source experts gathered at the GigaOM offices in San Francisco to discuss the relationship between cloud computing and open source. The conversation was moderated by Bernard Golden, a GigaOM Pro member analyst and CEO of HyperStratus. The event itself was invite-only, but archive footage of the event, and further coverage are available to GigaOM Pro subscribers.
Nokia and Intel have joined to merge the Maemo and Moblin platforms. The merged OS will be known as Meego, and is intended to power pocketable computers, smartphones, tablets and netbooks. It will be hosted by the Linux Foundation, and is an open source platform.
Intel and Nokia are merging their respective mobile Linux Operating Systems — Mobilin and Maemo — to form a new OS called MeeGo. It will be hosted by the Linux Foundation and target connected devices. And it will be fighting for increasingly limited developer attention.
Citrix’s announcement that its Receiver software will allow iPad users to run Windows 7 sessions via virtualization has caused predictions that the iPad may have much promise as a business tool. But why stop at Windows? The iPad will reach beyond Apple’s iPhone OS and Windows.
While the recession has battered many U.S. software companies, Red Hat–which has staked its future on open-source Linux software, virtualization and cloud computing — has flourished. The company has a number of secrets behind its success, some of them unique.
Nokia has extended support for the Ovi Store to the N900, its impressive — but pricey — Maemo-baed flagship device. Could that help score a much-needed subsidy deal with T-Mobile USA?
Microsoft (s MSFT) officially announced the availability of an open-source Linux implementation of Silverlight 2 this week. The release of the runtime…
A new class of mobile devices that melds the smartphone and netbook will provide all-day battery life and instant-on connectivity, but their dependence on Linux and pricey data plans could be their Achilles heel.
In the computer operating system game, you don’t have to dominate to succeed–just ask Apple about that. With that in mind, emerging, open source-based netbook software platforms could have surprisingly bright futures as secondary OSes, including Google’s. Here are several reasons why they’ll bring changes.
Speculation is building as to what sort of response Google’s Chrome OS may draw from the competition — especially Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft is unlikely to go on the attack at all. Here’s why.
Digg and Slashdot were abuzz earlier this morning with the news that Skype was going to go open source. The buzz was…
The netbook business, new as it is, is entering a period of significant change. New enabling technologies, devices and services that are coming to market in the coming months will bolster the capabilities of the now-constrained devices, expanding the market and introducing a period of experimentation in the sector. New pricing schemes and service options will emerge as wireless operators, leveraging their network services to create new relationships with their customers, begin pursuing this market more aggressively.
A new ecosystem of businesses seeking to help build out this sector and benefit from it is already forming. In the center of this ecosystem is the customer base, whose experiences with these products are based so far on first-generation technology options. The industry has yet to learn what products customers will prefer, who they want to buy them from, and how much they will be willing to pay as newer, more capable products emerge. Their responses will become apparent in the upcoming holiday season when a spate of new and differentiated products will hit the market.
Participants in this industry will be closely watching consumer netbook shopping behaviors during the season and awaiting 2009 fourth-quarter sales figures as they shape their strategies for 2010.
For the better part of eight years, the most popular Microsoft operating system hasn’t been its newest. Windows XP, introduced in October 2001, became the de-facto standard of Windows, even after the January 2007 introduction of Windows Vista. Consumers and enterprises alike struggled to justify a move from XP to Vista due to several issues — poor performance, driver support issues and cut features were all a factor. At launch time, computer users struggled to get their hardware working with Vista.
What has all of this meant for Vista adoption rates? The numbers speak for themselves: looking at a proxy measurement of operating systems used to browse web sites, StatCounter shows that the week before Windows 7 launched, the most used operating system is still Windows XP. Even at the ripe old age of eight, XP is still used by roughly three out of every four Windows users. The same challenges have hurt Vista in the enterprise too. A February 2009 Forrester survey alluded that Vista is only powering 10 percent of corporate computers.
Windows 7 is Microsoft’s chance to change these adoption rates, as the anti-Vista. But will it work? In this report, we outline some of the promising signs, but find evidence that netbooks could end up being the Redmond giant’s Achilles heel.
Ultra-low prices on portable computers are nothing new, and in fact have increasingly become the norm since the debut of netbooks —…
Because the first netbooks ran under the Linux banner, mainstream consumers, who were used to the look and feel of Windows, were largely put off by an OS that was unfamiliar to them. Thus, the switch to Windows on netbooks triggered widespread adoption of the devices. Netbook sales grew sevenfold year-over-year in the first quarter of 2009. Windows XP is now the main OS used on netbooks, and Windows 7 is expected to be a promising successor for the machines when it launches in October. (Vista proved to be less optimized for netbooks.) But Google’s Chrome OS could fall prey to the same consumer hesitation that Linux experienced with netbooks, and the company needs to combat that from the beginning. The first thing that Google can do to overcome consumer hesitation is to make the Chrome OS interface better than Windows. It must be easier to use — and while Google is famous for the simple graphical design of its web programs, it must make Chrome attractive.
After one year in existence, Google’s open-source browser has only 2.84 percent market share, while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has 66.97 percent and Mozilla Firefox (also open source) has 22.98 percent share and growing, according to NetApplications. Those numbers have caused many analysts to question whether Google has done enough to market its browser. The questions echo earlier concerns that many people had about whether Google was doing enough to promote its Android mobile operating system. Since those concerns were aired, though, the OS has shown signs of much more momentum, with almost 20 Android handsets due by the end of the year. There are some good reasons to believe that Chrome is about to do a similar zero-to-60 acceleration, and the three biggest ones are the company’s newfound willingness to spend money on high-profile deals with hardware makers; viable versions of Chrome for the Mac and Linux; and an upcoming open ecosystem of extensions for the browser.
It’s hard to deny how handy it is to plug an iPod into a Mac, fire up iTunes, and watch your device…
With positive Release Candidate reviews, it looks like the Windows 7 launch in October will go smoothly. However, its impending arrival is creating challenges for Microsoft at the bottom of the hardware spectrum. Netbooks are a category too successful to ignore, and Microsoft has been working to beat out Linux as the netbook OS of choice. Ultimately, Microsoft wants to see its products on everything from netbooks to servers. But the company’s tiered pricing and multi-edition strategy is wearing thin in a world expecting 99-cent mobile apps, free or cheap cloud productivity solutions, and free Wi-Fi connectivity on the road. The story with Windows 7 will not be if it outshines Vista (it will), but rather if it’s the beginning of the end for the artificially tiered, restricted and priced operating systems.
Updated: Homeowners may soon be managing their energy consumption via Cisco’s Linksys broadband gear. The networking giant unveiled a deal this week…
Google (s goog) yesterday made “developer channel releases” (alpha versions) of my current favorite browser, Chrome, available for Mac (s aapl) and…
I’ve been using netbooks since before they were called netbooks. My first one was the original ASUS Eee PC 701, which I bought back in the fall of 2007. Since then, I’ve had hands-on time with dozens of netbook models, and I’ve retired the original Eee PC (which I was able to use to cover the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show) for an MSI Wind. These devices work for me because I’m web-centric and not dependent on applications.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably not your everyday, average mainstream consumer. I suppose that’s why I’m in the minority when I get excited at hearing netbook developments that don’t include Intel and Microsoft, developments like ASUS and other vendors creating netbooks that run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor or use Google’s Android mobile operating system, for example. But there’s a reason: Today’s netbooks are overkill for a web-centric consumer like me.
The promise of a great open source platform or application is always that armies of developers and people with new ideas can take a malleable core and extend it into new technology territory. That’s what drove Firefox to more than 20 percent of the browser market, and it’s driving the success of open source databases such as MySQL. The Android naysayers jumped the gun on pronouncing it a failure in this regard. With many new handsets suddenly on the horizon, applications proliferating, promising e-ink devices coming, and a foothold in the raging netbook space, it now looks like we’re just starting to see how influential this open source operating system will become in the long run.
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