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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WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

The only Android based device retailer doing it right outside of the Nexus line of devices is Amazon. When they customized Android to differentiate themselves, they didn't claim it was still Android and even setup there own separate repositories; just like a general purpose Linux based distribution fork does.


Except that people know that the Kindle Fire is based on Android at its core, so then it obviously must be an Android tablet. And the media re-enforces this by continuously referring to it as an Android tablet:

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/Kindle-Fire-King-of...

So whether we like it or not, the Kindle Fire IS an Android tablet for all intents and purposes, and will be used as yet another example of Android fragmentation.

Similarly, you can claim that various Linux distros are like separate products all on their own and shouldn't be considered fragmented under the Linux moniker, but just like 'the Kindle Fire is not really an Android tablet', we all know that's a bunch of happy horseshit. The fact is that, whether you like it or not, Debian, Redhat, Ubuntu, etc are all just Linux on the desktop. You can continue to insist otherwise, and most of us will continue to insist on not using any of them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Amazon clearly states that the Fire points back at it's own "app market" repository and content sources. They don't claim it's Android running off Google's market place.

I also find it interesting that the media is reporting on the recent hack to install stock Android on the Fire replacing Amazon's distribution fork.

As for seporate distributiosn being seporate product that happen to run the same kernel; are you seriously suggesting that Backtrack, Mint and Debian are all the same product? They are clearly different products produced by different manufacturers though they happen to be assembled from similar commodity parts. Maybe Ford and Toyota are the same product because they happen to both include engines? No? We recognize that the different manufacturers produce different models of product though they compete in the same product category?

Why is it ok for different manufacturers to produce different products in every other product category but when it's a general purpose OS suddenly the kernel is the most important commodity part and having more than one competing product is just the very definition of insanity?

Reply Parent Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Maybe Ford and Toyota are the same product because they happen to both include engines? No? We recognize that the different manufacturers produce different models of product though they compete in the same product category?

Why is it ok for different manufacturers to produce different products in every other product category but when it's a general purpose OS suddenly the kernel is the most important commodity part and having more than one competing product is just the very definition of insanity?


Well, speaking of Ford, if it wants to compete with Toyota, GMC, etc, it may make several different models of cars and trucks, but it's not going to release 30 different kind of cars that are mid-sized sedans in the $20,000 range. For one thing, it's a waste of resources. Also, it's bound to cause a lot of confusion in the marketplace. Plus, if these cars were made in different plants, there's no guarantee that parts made for one of these models will work on the other without heavy modifications, even if they technically use the same engine.

Maybe I'm just missing the point, but I thought the purpose of Linux on the desktop was to compete with Windows and OSX, not having an assload of distros competing with each other. (In other words, like Ford competing with itself.)

This kind of situation works somewhat better for Android because most of these phones use the same app repository, so it's generally understood that an app written for one phone should be able to run unmodified on any of the others, so that (in theory) I can take a .apk file and run it on whatever Android phone I want. But with Linux, it's just a mess.

Edited 2011-12-13 22:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's possible that I understand the situation incorrectly. I thought of that after the last post so here I'll simply ask some questions. I'll focus on two retail distributions to keep things simple.

Do you have evidence that Red Hat and Novell are actually the same company? The papers of incorporation showing as much would be fine if you have them handy.

Do Red Hat and Novell market RHE and Suse as the same product?

Do Red Hat Enterprise and Suse pull software packages from the same repository?

When you need support for your Red Hat Enterprise server, do you call Novell? Does your Red Hat support contract suggest calling Novell?

When you need support for your Suse Enterprise Server, do you call Red Hat? Does your Novell support contract suggest calling Red Hat?

Reply Parent Score: 2