Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 29th Jun 2006 01:33 UTC
Linux Linux has one, last, chance to become the No1 OS in a particular consumer-oriented market (not counting servers): the mobile phone market. The open nature and yes, the hype around Linux has made lots of mobile-oriented companies to consider using Linux for their next-generation cellphones. But there is a major problem on the way to success, a problem which is created not by Linux itself, but by the greed and close-mindness of these same companies that endorse Linux.
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establishing a platform
by butters on Thu 29th Jun 2006 04:46 UTC
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Eugenia, you qualify as an extremely demanding early adopter, a character doomed to perpetual disappointment with every product you buy into. That's the price you pay for being so eager to jump on new technolgies: they are too expensive and don't offer all of the features they should.

The Linux-based ultra-mobile client is very immature as a platform, and therefore there is an advantage for hardware vendors to get in on the ground floor and try to drive the technology. That's what they're doing. Not only is platform unification contrary to the best interests of the hardware vendors, but unification at this point is not in the best interest of the average (non-early-adopter) consumer.

As you point out, none of the Linux mobile devices are satisfactory yet. They all have their problems. Why should the industry standardize on any one of these lackluster implementations? It is in the best interest of the consumer for the industry to wait until one or two of the implementations start to dominate based on natural market forces. In other words, let the market take care of unifying the platform. This will work better in the mobile phone market than it did on the desktop because mobile phones are less commodified.

So, Eugenia, you'll have to bear with the market while it shapes a mobile Linux platform worth unifying around. The more the vendors attempt to innovate on their incompatible platforms, the longer it will take for a winner to emerge, but also the more capable the resulting platform should be.

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