Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Dec 2011 03:12 UTC
Editorial I was reading today about how Linux Mint developers altered the Banshee music player source code to redirect affiliate revenue from Amazon music orders to them instead of Banshee. They've reportedly made less than $4, which has caused a kerfluffle among those paying attention to that corner of the world. But it raises a larger point that has been swirling around for a couple of decades: an OS vendor has a lot of power to influence, and even monetize their user base. Where should they draw the line?
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I think you are indeed missing the point. You understand that though there are more than 30 models of product in the "car" category and that they are not all produced by the same company, you fail to accept that Red Hat and Novell are as destinctly different as Ford and Toyota; all four are blatantly and legally seporate companies.

In terms of competing with Windows and osX; that is only if the distribution manufacturer's intention is to compete. Red Hat and Novell do compete in the server OS product category and to different degrees they also compete in the desktop OS product category. Backtrack does not primarily compete against Windows and osX; it's a model of distribution with a different target customer.

WindowsXP is a distribution.
Windows7 is a distribution.
osX is a distribution.
Debian is a distribution.
Red Hat Enterprise is a distribution.
Suse Enterprise is a distribution.

Linux is the os kernel that happens to be used under three of those products listed above. Just like NTkernel happens to be the OS kernel in two of those products. Only two in the list are produced by the same company; one produced as a product meant to replace the other.

Debian, Red Hat and Novell do not claim to produce the same product. They each produce there own model within the same product category.

With Android, you have destinctly different companies producing products which all claim to be the same product not models within the same product category. They are all claiming to be "Android" yet they customize it to differentiate themselves from each other enough that what the end user recieves is not stock Android but Motorola-Android or HTC-Android. Functionality differs between them as does how the device is managed and manipulated. They are reconizably different distributions based on Google Android; child forks.

Why do they not all get updates from Google's repository? Why are there apps in Google's repositories that run on some Android forks and not others? Why do the user interfaces and settings controls differ from device to device? Blur does not ship on HTC devices just as Sense does not ship on Motorola devices; why? Because they are all different distributions based on Android. The only products that one can currently trust to run the Google's parent distribution of Android is the Nexus models.

Red Hat's distribution is not fragmented. They produce a select few models focused at there target use. The only claim to produce and support the few current Red Hat Enterprise and Red Hat Desktop models. Unless you can show otherwise, the distribution is the product not what kernel it may or may not include deep down under the hood.

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