[kwlug-disc] Linux is lagging behind

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Thu Apr 29 14:48:07 EDT 2010


On Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 2:34 PM, Insurance Squared Inc. <
gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

> With the proliferation of mobile OS's, how come basically everything is
> still closed source?  Rim, apple, sanyo, on and on, they've all got closed
> OS's for their phones and mobile devices.  And Google's doesn't count,
> that's still commercial.
>

Related:

According to the graph here
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-20003618-16.html

Android is growing, which is Linux. Growing at the expense of Apple, at
least in the USA, and Smartphones only.

>
> Am I wrong on being surprised that I can't download the latest copy of
> mobile linux and dump it on my phone?  I know that some of this is due to
> closed hardware limitations, but somehow, someway linux needs to be pushing
> forward on this front before consumers settle on a non-linux OS.
> I think all these closed OS's are stifling creativity, and they're
> certainly causing my inability to have any 'choice'.
> -- g.
>

Two reasons you can't do that:

1. Carriers are still in the "control the customer" mindset. A review I
watched of the Motorola Milestone (Droid) said that Motorola disabled the
Android Marketplace on that phone. Even companies that make phones and are
not carriers (e.g. HTC), have to pander to the carriers, and do all the
locking, selective brain damage, ...etc.

2. There are many many combinations of processors/chips/screens/...etc. One
can't expect a distro to work on all these combinations. A vendor will have
to put out a combination of distros for everything out there.

Android has a lot going for it, finding ways to install it on various phones
that ar not shipped with it (e.g. HTC). Each module has several "images"
floating around.

Examples

Downloading the Android source from Google
http://source.android.com/download

Site for Android on HTC
http://www.androidonhtc.com/

Alternate firmware
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyanogenMod
-- 
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
http://2bits.com
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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