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Old 11-26-2010, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheelie View Post
Linux never reached success in the desktop PC market because of a lack of a strong movement among hardware and soft vendors. The surge never came and vendors never really followed. No momentum. Not mention it was never well received by end users for numerous reasons. Techies? Yes. End-user consumers? No.

Bob Sutor, vice president for open source and Linux in IBM's software group, outlined what he sees as possible scenarios for desktop Linux in the years to come. One is that it just dies. "Or, we stop using desktops, so who cares," he said.

Enter Android:
Android is based on modified version of the Linux kernel. The difference in the potential of Android (vs. what has happened to Linux?) The surge is happening and it is happening big. Just look at the member list in the Open Handset Alliance that support Android: Texas Instruments, Acer, Broadcom Corporation, Dell, Google, HTC, Intel, LG, T-Mobile, Marvell Technology Group, Motorola, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sprint Nextel, PacketVideo, ARM Holdings, Atheros Communications, Asustek Computer Inc, China Mobile, Garmin Ltd, Softbank, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba Corp, and Vodafone Group Plc, Wind River Systems. We see a broad cross section of hardware, software, and mobile broadband providers. These companies are investing heavily into the mobile handset and tablet marketplace. The software and hardware is being pumped out in record time and most of it is very good.

Note that Microsoft is not participating. Pretty interesting for a company with less than 4% market share in the smartphone market. They are not expected to break the 7% threshold for at least 5 years (never if the above corporate titans have anything to do with it).

Android is in its infancy and it has 44% market share in smartphone handsets sold. Not bad for an OS that has been out for about 2 years. Gingerbread version is going to be released soon and has many new and important features.

It is certainly going to be a battle and the battle has begun. Companies are throwing everything they have at it:
Verizon Says Smartphones Can Replace PCs "... smartphones could replace PCs in the future. more specifically, they could be hooked up to a docking station with a keyboard, camera and monitor, transforming the smartphone into a full-fledged PC replacement. With gigahertz processors, the divide between the smartphone and PC has narrowed," said Chen. "That's Microsoft's worst nightmare because there is no Windows or Office revenue, but there's a big Google Apps and Verizon cloud computing opportunity there."

I have to disagree. The hardware supported in Linux is mind blowing. Most Linux distros support more hardware out of the box then Windows even. New technology's come out all the time that make it even better. Like OpenSUSE 11.3 and there fabulous printer support. Did you know that in OpenSUSE all you have to do is plug your printer in and print. There are no drivers to install and no hassle. Its a long way from the console days. With the look and feel of KDE4 and Gnome 3 right around the corner the Linux desktop looks better then ever. I agree that Linux has a reputation for being difficult but this has not been the case for many years. For those of you that listen to Linux for the rest of us (a podnutz production) they had a guy on there a week or so ago from frostbite systems. A company that builds Linux PC's. According to them Linux has far superior support for the visually impaired. All I am saying is that if blind people can use it am sure grandma can to.

I can totally see where your coming from but I still don't think that smart phones will take over the desktop market. Also by android leading the smart phone market all it does it make Linux better. Remember android is open source to. By definition all the work being done in android can benefit the Linux community. So by saying all these manufacturers that back android all you are really saying is they are backing Linux.

I have been a Linux user for many years. I remember when it was a pain in the A$$ to get something to work. However, things have changed. Better even is with the latest versions of crossover software is not a problem ether. I use Office 2003 on all my Linux boxes. Yes games are still a problem but many game company's are seeing the market and creating cross platform games. However, I see gaming moving to more a console market so I don't think the lack of gaming support will hurt Linux in the long run.

I think the single biggest mistake that Linux has suffered though lately is the affordable PC market. It made Linux look cheap and low end. It was nice to knock MS off there rocker but it was not good for the Linux image. However, you know it scared MS because it made them leave XP on the market for almost a year longer then they wanted to.

Recently I loaded OpenSUSE 11.3 on to a 3Gh Quad core AMD with 4Gb of ram. The system was amazing. It would put Windows 7 to shame. I think there will be a move in the desktop market and I think that the strength of android will carry Linux to the desktop market. However I don't see the death of the desktop as we know it any time soon.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:48 PM
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I agree with all you've said for the most part. And I also do not want to believe or see the day that the desktop Windows-based PC dies or is severely reduced in numbers. This would have an enormous negative impact on my current lifestyle.

However, our society has trended toward the direction we are witnessing in smartphone technology (faster, smaller, much more convenience). Nearly every US citizen over the age of 12 now carries a cell phone. You couple those trends with a large alliance of major corporations pushing this technology and you begin to raise eyebrows big time. These corporations are making fantastic hardware, Android is rising to the challenge (and is being largely embraced), programmers are making a mint writing apps, and the mobile broadband network has become faster than DSL.

Now manufacturers are trying to figure out how to use Blue Tooth and/or Near Field Communication to quickly connect a given smartphone easily to a printer, full-sized LCD, keyboard, and mouse. When that happens (not if) a large number of our customers will no longer need a desktop or laptop PC. It could also reduce the urgency to phone us for our repair services which could cause our repair fees to decline. Declining demand for computer repair techs would make you and me have to compete harder for a smaller slice of the pie thus driving our prices down.

Will smartphones and TVs join forces to replace PCs?

"I clicked on the blue thingy in the little window and now it won't show the screen ... can you fix it?"
"Absolutely. Is today at 3 o'clock good?"
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