Smartphones sold about as many units as the world shipped other personal computers in 2010Q4. One-third of those smartphones were shipped with Android/Linux. In 2011 this pattern will repeat and more Android/Linux systems will ship on ARMed smartphones than Wintel ships on PCs. M$ lost 50% of its share of this market. The monopoly will be dead in a year or two at this rate. Continue reading ‘Sound of Footsteps’
Archive for January 31st, 2011
While the exclusion of things non-free from the installation media of the “Official” release may be an obstacle for some, there are workarounds at CDimages with non-free firmware. That’s a relief to me because I love installations over the network and the non-free firmware blobs are essential unless I carry along some NICs just for installations or supply drivers on a separate medium. Many machines have e100 drivers for NICs and the firmware is distributable legally but closed source/non-free. Getting stuff from the web is not an option if the NIC is down. This is a problem that still needs work, not workarounds. A lot of controllers are ARMed. Perhaps the manufacturers could publish the source code that could be built in Debian GNU/Linux and other distros. Perhaps the manufacturers will rationalize their devices to eliminate this problem. As the proportion of GNU/Linux users rises this may evolve.
There’s lots of great software in Squeeze. I just touch the tip of the iceberg with 1630 packages on this notebook out of 28K+ in the repository. Some of my favourites are LyX, LibreOffice, GIMP, InkScape, vlc, Dia and mplayer on the desktop and Apache, MySQL and PHP on the server. For making my own software I use vim, FreePascal and BASH usually. So much software. So little time.
We have seen it all:
- astroturfing all over the web,
- trolls specializing in FLOSS, trying to make Freedom seem a flaw,
- pronouncements from high and low that FLOSS is patent-encumbered or is a copy of non-free software, and
- serious attacks on the infrastructure of FLOSS, and
- European Commission decides to renew M$’s contract for 36K PCs…
Some of this may be just the fringe loonies that inhabit the web. Some may be spammer/malware-artists wanting to get in on the action. Some may be M$ or its “partners” trying to mess with the competition.
A lot of the noise has been drowned out by the rapidly increasing strength in numbers of the FLOSS community. Proponents of non-free software are losing momentum in the market due to the obvious success of Android/Linux and the steady march of GNU/Linux on server, desktops and other infrastructure.
The last item in that list is about the EU Commission renewing its own IT with non-free software after deciding that FLOSS should be considered/given a chance in procurement. After years of study found FLOSS beneficial, the obvious calculation that non-free software licences offer no value ( $X * forever = $infinity), and a formal decision to include FLOSS, FLOSS is being excluded once again. They are actually considering making the contract without competitive bidding even though they have attacked member states for doing the same. I see no logical explanation except that some enemy of FLOSS has one or more moles in the EU Commission. Following the money, that may be M$.