Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 13th Dec 2010 23:11 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless It's hard to predict the future because we humans prefer to think in terms of familiar paradigms. Even the most brilliant of our species are subject to this flaw. Now, Microsoft faces its turn. The owner of the operating system that likely runs your personal computer, the company that achieved monopoly with Windows and ducked the Department of Justice's scythe to keep it, faces a midlife crisis as the world goes gaga over portable consumer devices. This is the story of what's happening to Microsoft in the handheld operating system markets -- and how it parallels the earlier, similar journeys of IBM Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation. Can Microsoft achieve dominance on mobile devices?
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jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

I mentioned Linux and userland separately as I'd read the first comment to suggest that "Android" was Linux in the general sense not Android = Linux the kernel.

Basically; though Linux based distributions and Android use some common userland components, the differences in kernel and project management call it's classification as a Linux based distro into question.

This is what causes me questions though:

Android is licensed under MIT (or BSD) which does not include the "pass it forward" requirement of GPL and Linux licensed with it.

It is developed behind closed doors with source only becoming available after each major version release; not collaboratively developed in the open.

It is corrupted and locked down by hardware vendors in product development in most cases. Gaining root access is a circus act of hoops depending on the vendor/hardware/obsversion not simply, say.. logging in as Root or, as Maemo does, providing a single "opt-in" package that enables root on any Maemo/hardware combination.

Lesser related to the OS itself but still related to hardware manufacturers and Google's management of the OS distribution; why can't I simply take Google's core distribution and drop it on any "Android" branded hardware? Give me a mini-bundle of device drivers from the vendor and let me flash both firmware images to the device.

Don't get me wrong here. My grief is over what Android promised to be and still has the potential to become. it'll probably be the first OS added to my N900 for dualboot (3rd being Meego for a look). Based on it's one-off fork of the Linux source and Google's management of it and hardware vendor's outright user hostile delivery of it.. I don't think it holds up in spirit if not also failing technical definitions.

Edited 2010-12-14 18:32 UTC

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