Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Saturday, March 10, 2012

  • Mar 10 / 2012
  • 7

A Healthy Front Line of FLOSS: GNU/Linux

There are many areas of IT where FLOSS competes very well. As well as the obvious success of GNU/Linux on servers (at factory and on the web) and Android/Linux on smart thingies (3.7M over Christmas and 850K per day average) there is a lot to be proud about on the desktop front. Check out Distrowatch‘s Hits Per Day for the last 7 days: Hits Per Day for the last 7 days

Not only are there 12 distros getting 1K+ hits per day but in a year that represents millions of potential converts to GNU/Linux. I know some shop for distros and others compare distros so the number may be inflated but it’s still an indicator of huge growth and wide interest. It’s not as large as that other OS or Android/Linux but there is a lot of interest in GNU/Linux nevertheless.

According to some research I have done there are about 150 million more PCs each year so a few million of those getting GNU/Linux maintains the share and may grow it. The visitors to Distrowatch are likely the ones who install their own OS. That leaves millions who also buy PCs with GNU/Linux installed at the factory.

So, growth continues.

  • Mar 10 / 2012
  • 19

Direct Assault on Wintel

The most direct assault on the Wintel monopoly I have ever seen happened last week. Onlive is going after Wintel two ways, while using Wintel stuff:

  • Providing access to M$’s OS and applications without end-users remitting a licensing fee to M$, and
  • Providing access to M$’s OS on ARM independent of M$’s approval.

Normally, such a service would be completely legal for copyright and patent law but M$’s EULA is so restrictive… Apparently OnLive believes they have a way around the usual restrictions on M$’s stuff to a single simultaneous user, authentication and all that. It remains to be seen whether M$ will find a way to tax OnLive or whether M$ will take OnLive to court. They must be in negotiations for an injunction not to be in the works.

BTW, the performance quoted from various sources for this thin-client/terminal server setup is far superior to the usual random PC and single hard drive because of file-caching, better hardware on the server and a high-speed Internet connection, something I have been telling people about for years to great derision from the fanbois of thick clients… ;-).

I expect some new territory will be covered in the strong interaction between OnLive and M$. M$ cannot allow anyone to be better at delivering a desktop in the cloud than M$ does from retail shelves. That really threatens the monopoly. Intel may well have a dog in the fight as they don’t want ARM replacing “Intel Inside” machines. OnLive has patents, apparently… Sigh. Interestingly, OnLive runs GNU/Linux on their website.