Mobile */Linux

Of course, */Linux is on the move everywhere but the latest triumph is mobile computing. China and India typify emerging markets where many are buying IT for the first time and the affordability, mobility and functionality of small cheap computers are irresistible. The Linux kernel which is supported by most hardware-makers to run on almost anything is a great base. The GNU system or the Android system are both advantageous: they are Free Software and come with few restrictions and all the right permissions to promote global proliferation, they cost about $0 so any OEM large or small can use them and they are made by users for users so millions like it.

The uptake of Android/Linux has been amazing. A bit of salesmanship by Google and a few front-runners setting a good example was all it took. Retailers everywhere are cluttering shelves with Android/Linux smartphones and tablets. Even ISPs and other businesses are getting in on the act by offering customers freebies or discounted products as inducements. Google’s business-plan is audacious: offer free services that promote their core business, advertising. It worked beautifully with e-mail and search and video. Now it’s working with mobile connectivity.

GNU/Linux is a little late to the show but OEMs know that clinging to a single source of supply can be dangerous. M$ taught them that. So, OEMs welcome a second mobile OS, GNU/Linux, in distributions like Tizen. They are showing a bit on a logarithmic graph but there is growth. That other OS is down there in the weeds, too, after years and $billions of trying. Given a choice, the world prefers Free Software like */Linux.

Data supplied by StatCounter: China, India, WorldWide.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

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