Linked by David Adams on Sun 20th Jun 2010 03:23 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Linux Hardware companies don't tend to have their own Linux distributions. IBM uses Linux everywhere, but they don't have their own Linux. Dell will be happy to sell you notebooks and netbooks with Ubuntu or a workstation or server with RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). But, no major OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has had a house-brand Linux... until now. HP has recently bought not one, but two Linux distributions. Surely HP is not getting into the Linux distribution business? Are they?
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Comment by cerbie
by cerbie on Sun 20th Jun 2010 03:42 UTC
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I doubt it. Both of those distros are aimed at certain types of uses. I could see them distributing Linux OSes with practically every product running x86 or ARM CPUs, though. Why not have a low-functionality, low-memory, ready-as-soon-as-it-POSTs OS? Flash space is cheap until you get into double-digit GBs, after all.

Then, expand that for thin clients, a small niche HP has been active in for many years. Tada--good use from owning the rights, without trying to compete against other OSes. Or, even have it running in business printers and such, instead of more finely customized and costly firmware.

While they will have to take care in managing their continued development and use of these things, I can see good options that could be wins for HP on all fronts, and at worst, not a loss to the buyers and/or end users.

Reply Score: 2

by Elv13 on Sun 20th Jun 2010 04:06 UTC
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My guess is that they will probably merge WebOS into HyperSpace to have it instant on while Windows boot. Then try to convince users to keep using it for their facebook session and browsing, even if Windows is ready.

Getting user => getting developers => getting apps in the WebOS app store => Getting a lot of money => user using less windows => Windows come as an option => giving no money at all to Microsoft

Most IT giant look at Apple and Oracle and (right now), want to be like them. Bottom to top integrated product line where every layer make profit, pushing the next layer to make more money.

Apple and Oracle+Sun look like:
Pieces : Hardware : Design : Store : Operating system : user interface : core application : popular applications : taxed third party applications : (apple) ad on top of 3td party apps : peripherals : ecosystem to improve experience.

Acer, Dell and HP need to acquire some more technologies or invest more into them (Linpus anyone?) to be a true Apple competitor. HP is doing exactly that.

Edited 2010-06-20 04:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

by Soulbender on Sun 20th Jun 2010 06:40 UTC
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maybe it'll turn out as "awesome" as HP-UX....

Reply Score: 3

Splashtop again
by vivainio on Sun 20th Jun 2010 06:48 UTC
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From TFA:

The other Linux distribution that HP just bought for its own use is BIOS vendor Phoenix Technologies' HyperSpace . HyperSpace is an instant-on, light-weight Linux distribtion, like Splashtop. These built-in to the chipset Linux distributions are now included by many OEMs on their notebooks. The idea is that by letting the user boot-up a fast, minimal Linux environment for e-mail and the Web, their laptops will be more attractive to buyers.

This is a very smart move. How do you differentiate on hardware which is essentially thoroughly commodized? Providing an instant-on Linux actually puts you ahead of the competition, and gives you an area where you can compete and differentiate (have better instant-on linux than the next guy, or have one in the first place). If you try to compete with pre-installed junkware on Windows, you just lose users.

Again, these are not targeted for home users - rather, these are for corporate laptops, with much clunkier Windows installations that what you have at home. Companies can easily pay premium if you provide something others don't.

If they can provide good support for Microsoft Exchange (it can be completely HP-proprietary), they can make a killing with this.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Splashtop again
by Moochman on Sun 20th Jun 2010 22:49 UTC in reply to "Splashtop again"
Moochman Member since:

How about an instant-on Linux, as the only OS on the machine? Now there's an idea I could see a market for.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Splashtop again
by Lennie on Mon 21st Jun 2010 07:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Splashtop again"
Lennie Member since:

I'm sure they will, on small devices.

Reply Score: 2

Knowing HP..
by WereCatf on Sun 20th Jun 2010 07:09 UTC
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If HP really does go out and roll a distro of their own, or even the afore-mentioned Splashtop-type one, expect the system to be full of trialware and enormous 500 megabyte apps even for just the tiniest and smallest of things.

My condolences goes out to anyone who some day in the future might have to use a HP-owned distro.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Knowing HP..
by vivainio on Sun 20th Jun 2010 08:21 UTC in reply to "Knowing HP.."
vivainio Member since:

If HP really does go out and roll a distro of their own, or even the afore-mentioned Splashtop-type one, expect the system to be full of trialware and enormous 500 megabyte apps even for just the tiniest and smallest of things.

The only way to provide added value on windows is to bloat it, because you don't own the base system (and therefore can't slim it down).

Since HP owns the HyperSpace layer, they can innovate by making it slicker. It already seems pretty cool - Windows will start up in the background, wlan will be brought on and can be reused by windows session (iiuc), etc. If I was to use Windows on my main machine, I'd definitely want it to have functionality like this. It'd be easily worth ~100EUR extra (company money, not my own ;-).

I think this will be a big battery saver as well. Booting up a full Windows system takes tons of battery, because you have to initialize quite a bit of stuff. Not worth it if you only need to check something on the net quickly.

HP are not idiots, they are not going to screw this up.

Edited 2010-06-20 08:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Splashtop/HyperSpace comparisons
by jaklumen on Sun 20th Jun 2010 12:31 UTC
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I really do think HP could use HyperSpace (possibly with an integration to webOS) in much the same way that ASUS employed Splashtop on its Eee series of machines.

I researched Splashtop when I was talking with my father-in-law. He was eager to see an OS embedded on a microchip. As many of you may know, it was not uncommon to embed programming on chips in early personal computers; the one I assume everyone is most familiar with was how Apple embedded its version of BASIC in a chip on the Apple II motherboards.

Splashtop isn't the same thing, of course, and BIOS chips can be rewritten under certain circumstances. My father-in-law was interested in an OS that couldn't be rewritten, so hard drives could be wiped periodically to erase malware, data corruptions, etc. I explained the Splashtop technology to him as best I could and said this was the closest thing that was being done as far as his idea presently.

So I think HyperSpace as a possible alternative is a very good thing that should be developed, deployed, and marketed further, and not just for performance, but for the security implications. Vast swaths of users are still with Windows (very much so in the business sector) and moving certain applications to something more inherently secure can only be a good thing. Furthermore, many of the applications mentioned are ones where malware is spreading the fastest right now *cough*like Facebook*cough*

Edited 2010-06-20 12:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jaklumen Member since:

*scribbed and purged* It's early in the morning here and I overlooked the "edit" button

Edited 2010-06-20 12:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Hp, the Linux Distributor? Yes.
by shotsman on Sun 20th Jun 2010 18:19 UTC
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Now that Oracle has spiked their Solaris OEM License turning to Linux is the obvious place to go if they want to keep their options open (with Microsoft the other one).

My problem with this is (As others have noted) their tendency to add all sorts of bloatware stuff to everything that is not aimed at the server space. If they can resist this then fine but somehow, I doubt it.

Reply Score: 2

A correction
by Windlord on Sun 20th Jun 2010 19:47 UTC
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IBM does not use Linux everywhere, I´ve worked with & for IBM and their use of Linux is largely minor -even though since 2nd half of 2009 it has started to promote it internally- and is not very OSS friendly.

Reply Score: 3

I don't agree!!!!
by sergio on Sun 20th Jun 2010 20:39 UTC in reply to "A correction"
sergio Member since:

Linux is used extensively on infrastructure servers and now even on employees' desktops (thanks to OpenClient). Lotus Notes, Symphony and Sametime runs 100% natively on Linux.

It's very difficult to find a product or bussiness solution without Linux support. From System Z to Websphere... everything has something to do with Linux.

Hey... I think that SuSE Linux is better supported by IBM than by Novell itself. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I don't agree!!!!
by Windlord on Sun 20th Jun 2010 21:15 UTC in reply to "I don't agree!!!!"
Windlord Member since:

SuSE is not supported inside IBM by OpenClient, the effort was let to rot -the only officially supported ones are RHEL & Ubuntu-. As I said, from june 2009 they´ve started to promote it more actively inside the company, but is recent and very slow (in many instances you´ve to clear with your manager to install linux).

Also, the use of OSS is quite discouraged since they fear it might pollute their IP -hell I even had to clear to use OpenOffice instead of Symphony!-. IBM is playing both sides with Linux & OSS

Reply Score: 3

HP: The Linux distributor ? No.
by _QJ_ on Mon 21st Jun 2010 07:22 UTC
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I don't thing that HP will be a Linux distributor as Red-Hat, or other can be.
HP uses Linux, but HP will not distribute its own.

I you have ever updated the firmware of a HP Proliant system, the firmware of a business class printer, you can see that Linux is behind the "scene".

Regarding future mobile computing devices, I thing HP will (probably) provide devices with embedded Linux to inter-connect these mobile devices with business IT. And I am pretty sure that, we will not see something spectacular from HP.

This is just what I thing and this is pure speculation, so feel free to comment positively or not.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Mon 21st Jun 2010 14:09 UTC
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I could see then buying out one in the future but I'd say that you'd see it only in the enterprise server space. As so far as HP and Linux on the desktop, to put it mildly, HP is a Microsoft wh-re who like Dell want to do the least amount humanly possibly by way of R&D and support. If they could get away with not providing support and R&D consisted of choosing the colour of the case (and nothing more), they would do it. HP more or less is the tomb stone for great pieces of technology of the past never more to rise again to challenge Microsoft.

We can all dream of the mythical HP operating system, taking the best of what the OSS world has to offer, sprinkle some pixie dust and voila, a Mac OS X 'for the rest of us' but the reality we know it'll never happen. Microsoft rolls along on its dominance because no one can be figged actually putting the money, time and effort to producing something that actually has a fighting chance against Windows. Every alternative so far on the generic PC world has a major failure because it doesn't address the reason why the adoption never takes off.

Do I think that a FreeBSD + KDE (with a FreeBSD native Solid backend) + Better drivers + KOffice + Enhancements, could wipe the floor with Microsoft? sure it could but there isn't a venture capitalist out there who is willing to accept that'll take at least 2-3 years to accomplish with no money being made until the 4th or 5th year. Until that happens Microsoft will be the dominant player and the only alternative to the Windows ecosystem will be Mac OS X be it on a computer that is more expensive on a strictly hardware basis.

What do I think about Linux right now? still needs a heap of work to be done - and don't get me started on the individual developers such as the lead programmer of glibc *rolls eyes* there is a reason why I dream and hold out for a FreeBSD desktop to emerge off the back of an eccentric millionaires dream of an easy to use operating system that is friendly to developers and users alike. An operating system that provides a stable API and ABI for driver developers, a large selection of middleware for end users, and a large community of enthusiasts who contribute by way of code and enhancements.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by nt_jerkface on Mon 21st Jun 2010 19:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
nt_jerkface Member since:

The incredibly lame thing is that companies like Dell and HP have billions in cash on hand but don't have the guts to spend it on projects that compete directly with MS or Apple.

I remember a ways back when Dell was complaining about how Apple wouldn't license OSX to him. How they hell can he complain while sitting on billions in cash? Build your own dude, geez.

Most of the tech giants operate on very conservative strategies and don't take risks against MS or Apple.

I like your desktop plan though, FreeBSD is underrated and deserves its day in the sun.

Edited 2010-06-21 19:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1