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Cellphones HP Open Source

Tizen, webOS, & the Future of Mobile Open Source 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the distro-wars-coming-to-a-phone-near-you dept.
jfruhlinger writes "When HP announced it would release webOS as open source, it added a competitor to a narrow niche: there's already Tizen, the descendant of MeeGo, which is, like webOS, an open source Linux-based operating system for smartphones. Can they co-exist, or will one come out on top? One built-in advantage for webOS is that already has hardware, in the form of all those $99 TouchPad's being snapped up on eBay."
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Tizen, webOS, & the Future of Mobile Open Source

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  • by Animats (122034) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:11PM (#38347618) Homepage

    This is abandonware. That seems to be a trend. As something becomes unprofitable but still has a user base, it's open-sourced to make the support load go away.

    • Sadly this is correct. Both were semi-FOSS projects that were fully open-sourced and abandoned by mobile manfacturers. The future of mobile open source is pretty much dead at the moment. Don't let the situation repeat with desktop PCs.

      • by Qwavel (733416) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:32PM (#38347882)

        "The future of mobile open source is pretty much dead at the moment."

        Generally, I find that the open-source absolutists who won't even admit the existence of an open-source option unless it is perfect are the ones who end as the biggest Apple fans (Stallman excluded, of course).

        Like you, perhaps, I was rooting for Maemo/meego/whatever - I had the 770, 800, and the 810, and I wrote software for them. But face it, Nokia messed up, and there is another open-source mobile OS.

        Sure, the google apps that ship on top of Android aren't open-source, but do you really think that Nokia would have kept every piece of Maemo open if it had taken off?

        • It'll be a dark cold day in hell when I switch to iOS.

          • by jd (1658)

            You will be glad to know that hell failed to pay its electricity bill last month and was cut off.

      • Why is that sad?

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Uh... Android? Kindle OS?

        And Nokia are pushing the N9 pretty hard in Australia and some other markets right now. Not that I'm going to buy one, but to call FOSS dead in the mobile space is a bit silly.

    • by iplayfast (166447) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:28PM (#38347814)

      Like openoffice/libraoffice firefox blender?

      You are right that making it opensourced will help with the support load, but that doesn't imply that it's been abandoned. Competition is good, and android needs some.

      • Well; the projects mentioned in the post are actually more like Netscape; they've thrown the software over the wall and will be abandoned, but a different project will take on where they left off. Mer is the Mozilla project equivalent [merproject.org] and Nemo [merproject.org] or one of the other Mer based products will be the Firefox equivalent.

        What's key here is that they have fully open software running on real hardware. From here there's actually a chance of moving forward. Also they aren't tied to any particular manufacturer so t

    • I hear everyone saying how much they will miss Web-OS or want it in their device... I never really heard on any details why it is so much better then iOS or Android?

      My experience was with the Virtual Box VM image that you can use to emulate for development. I wasn't happy. But that was a PC interface for a mobile OS. So why should Web-OS really deserve to survive.
      • by Junta (36770) on Monday December 12, 2011 @06:14PM (#38348374)

        It's really small details that make a big difference to me. A coherent, unified messaging app (simple trick of using libpurple, mostly). The ability to sanely manage multiple text conversations at once ('cards' compromising between full fledged desktop metaphor and mobile form factor). Architecture that prioritized keeping running apps running instead of arbitrary kills on 'background' applications. Architecture that didn't encourage every task switch to induce piss-poor home-written state restores (why is it when I switch to a browser, my SMS conversation closes when I switch back???).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by keefus_a (567615)

          piss-poor home-written state restore

          The thing I miss the most about my Palm pre was being able to open an email, tap to dial into a conference call, flip back to the email to get the conference pin, and flip back to the phone app to dial it. On Android, swapping between apps is a crap shoot on whether the app will actually be in the state that I left it. The same thing goes for typing an email or text message and needing to flip over to a web page, or god forbid another email, to reference information and trying to flip back and seamlessly

          • by EETech1 (1179269)

            Funny, I was Googling for WebOS and EVO seeing if anyone was going to try it, and Google found your comment.

            Most of /. really dropped the ball letting WebOS and the TouchPad sit idle while they sat here and bitched about the lack of an open platform you didn't have to root or jailbreak to install the apps you want. If a small percentage of them would have put their money where their mouth is, and picked one up when they were $200 - $250, it would likely be an entirely different story for the TouchPad.

            Glad

            • When they (Touchpads) were $200 - $250? They launched at $500 for the 16GB model in July 2011.
              Then in August they did the $100/$150 firesale. I'd never even heard of the device before the firesale.

              I don't think anyone will ever know why HP gave the Touchpad a little over a month before killing it off.
              At the very least they should have ridden it out until the holiday season and then sold them at cost (supposedly ~300) with a firesale after the holidays if sales were still bad. After that they could ha
              • by EETech1 (1179269)

                For about a week or two before the fire sale you could find them online in the $200 - $250 range for the 16GB version. I was eyeing up a 32 GB version for $289, wondering when and if it'd go down any more, then the fire sale hit, and that retailer raised their price back to $329!

                My guess as to why it died so quickly is Leo Apotheker is an incompetent idiot and didn't know what he had or what to do next, and since Oracle didn't make a tablet, HP didn't need to either!

                Thanks for the heads up on Ryan Hope's e

      • by ryanov (193048)

        You weren't happy; why not?

        • The PC developer emulator (A virtual box image) Made a lot of actions very difficult to do with a mouse, I often got into a screen or settings where I couldn't get out without having to reboot the image. Now this wasn't it running on a real device that it was meant for so the mouse interface was inadequate for it. And the iOS emulator was much smoother and easier to use on your computer. As well the blackberry interface (however that crashed when I looked at it the wrong way)
           
          • by ryanov (193048)

            There was help information that gave you keystrokes that were required to emulate some gestures (what needs emulating I can't remember). I guess the emulator has no gesture area which is the whole problem I suppose.

      • by log0n (18224) on Monday December 12, 2011 @06:23PM (#38348524)

        webOS was pretty well thought-out before they actually started building the software. It's a lot more consistent in interface than iOS (which isn't too bad) and Android (which is pretty abysmal). It also went the Apple school-of-thought of 'pick certain things, do those really well' (even 1-up'd iOS a bit) rather than the Android/Windows route of 'doing everything, specialize in nothing'.

    • For a complex project that is formerly closed, open sourcing is generally a big deal. It costs significant amounts of time and money. Real 'abandonware' only sees open source through an 'unofficial' labor of love by developers (e.g. star control 2). If they truly wanted to abandon, they'd just full stop on all efforts and let it die as a proprietary platform with no hope of revival.

      It also doesn't make any support load go away. HP doesn't magically get out of any support obligation they may have by open

    • Something tells me that if HP announced that they weren't going to open source WebOS and instead were going to kill it for example there would be much wailing and nashing of teeth on Slashdot crying "Why don't they just open source it?"

      Some people just like complaining.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      This is abandonware. That seems to be a trend. As something becomes unprofitable but still has a user base, it's open-sourced to make the support load go away.

      So? At least it's still out there. The alternative to open-sourcing it is keeping it closed (see OS/2, BeOS, PalmOS, etc). If people are willing to support it and provide a community - why not?

      Hell, probably a good chunk of Android phones are supported purely by the Cyanogen folks - the only support the hardware vendor gives you is warranty.

      Especially

  • Narrow niche? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:15PM (#38347652)

    When HP announced it would release webOS as open source, it added a competitor to a narrow niche: there's already Tizen, the descendant of MeeGo, which is, like webOS, an open source Linux-based operating system for smartphones.

    I think there might be another open-source, Linux-based operating systems for smartphones besides Tizen or webOS, called something like Robot or Cyborg -- not either of those exactly, but something in the same vein...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dynedain (141758)

      Well clearly being the largest install base after iOS is a tiny niche. Just like all the browser installs besides IE is a tiny niche.

    • It said open source not "open" source. I think the implication involves open hardware. Not much use in being able to look at the code if the bootloader's locked.

    • HP thinks, lets make webOS open source, like Android, that is hippy and cool, it will save it! Wrong, Android is a success because it is a Justin Bieber of operating systems, a product of cunning marketing machine, the "american marketing" that is Google inc. Just like the under-performing singer, the OS is fancy nice and all, but flawed, slow, underbaked, not really open etc. In spite of all these odds it makes winning progress. If market forgives all such flaws that means we have a winner, an alpha dog ou
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by g8oz (144003)

      Android is fake Java running on top of fake Linux.

  • by na1led (1030470) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:20PM (#38347720)
    I think there is a lot of potential for developers to make money and make WebOS into something much better. You already have over a million people with Touchpads plus all those Webos Phones. There work in progress to run Android Apps inside WebOS, and if some can port Netflix and Hulu over then I'm sure it will be a winner.
    • by UpnAtom (551727) on Monday December 12, 2011 @06:00PM (#38348170) Homepage

      ... they'll adopt WebOS, stick it on top of Meego, include the Qt stuff to keep existing, highly productive Maemo developers on board and have themselves a cheap, vastly superior alternative to Android & iOS.

      • by westlake (615356)

        ... they'll adopt WebOS, stick it on top of Meego, include the Qt stuff to keep existing, highly productive Maemo developers on board and have themselves a cheap, vastly superior alternative to Android & iOS.

        That no one uses because apps are being written for the platforms with significant market share and a commercially viable app store.

        • by UpnAtom (551727)

          Maemo already has sufficient apps - how many fart apps do you need? Samsung sell 5m smartphones a year with no apps.

          There's Alien Dalvik, there's the shared Linux base, cross-platform toolkits, chrooting...

          It's all about the marketing anyway. Android has no marketing. Apple's marketing genius died.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hmryobemag]> on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:31PM (#38347858) Journal

    When Il bought my N900 I had a choice between WebOS, Android and Maemo (predecessor of MeeGo/Tizen). I chose Maemo because it was real GNU/Linux, not some Java/JS-based OS with the warm fuzziness of a Linux-based kernel like the other two. Also the hardware was fully open, no rooting or bootloader cracking required. Wake me up when I can get something new like that, with a hardware keyboard.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Have a look at http://gta04.org beagleboard phone. However sadly no physical keboard (yet).

    • by IANAAC (692242) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:57PM (#38348130)
      I had an N800 for a long time and I miss it. I used to think that it was Maemo that was what made it so special because I thought everything was logically laid out, but I'm not so sure. It may just have been that that is what I got used to.

      I think it was the solid hardware, more than anything. Even with a now passé resistive screen, everything was super smooth and I very rarely used a stylus. I have a cheap knock-off Android tablet now, and it's really not a smooth experience. The hardware is definitely not as well made, from the loose AC plug to the crappy speakers. Headphones are good though. Screen responsiveness downright sucks.

      If I could find a way to install or at least run Maemo from an SD card on my current tablet, I'd try it to see if I still felt the same way about the OS.

      • by steelfood (895457)

        Nokia makes some of the best phones, period. Their software strategy wasn't particularly amazing in that they couldn't decide on what they wanted to do, but they knew their hardware like nobody's business. I've always thought it's a shame that nobody could recognize that their phones were more durable and generally better built, and instead opted for the flash and snazz of easily-cracked, cheap devices they'd just end up replacing in a year or two.

        • by Rennt (582550)

          Funny, Nokia for me have always stood for seasonal rehashes of last years cheap models... but build it cheaper this time! Their 3x10 series exemplified this half-assed attitude.

          They made nice phones too, but Siemans, Ericsson and Motorola were making the proper stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maemo was really awesome, not totally mature but really good. The last mobile OS that had real potential got killed...

  • I love WebOS as much as anyone, even on my sh*tty Pixi phone, but it will take a miracle for any resurrection to come out of the open source movement. Better to take the best parts of webOS (synergy/contact management and the SDK) and slipstream them into an OS that manufacturers support.

    • by Junta (36770)

      The issue I see is I don't see how WebOS's 'magic' would have been so difficult to implement, and yet no one bothered. With WebOS effectively dead, I don't see Android, iOS, or even WP7 jumping up and down to repeat *any* move WebOS made. The simple move of including a chat feature built around libpurple is less work for more benefit, but no one else did it. Instead of having complicated and inconsistent rules about when an application is 'running' or 'backgrounded', the desktop-like 'card' management wa

      • In a vacuum, the webOS features we love are superior to those of iOS and Android. Those developers, though, concentrated on bigger picture issues such as API's, battery life and the holistic ecosystem that makes their platforms flourish. In time, the best features of webOS will make their way into the other OS's. Case in point: iOS and Android now have decent notification systems, which WebOS pioneered.

      • The simple move of including a chat feature built around libpurple is less work for more benefit, but no one else did it. Instead of having complicated and inconsistent rules about when an application is 'running' or 'backgrounded', the desktop-like 'card' management was much easier.

        Maemo on the N900 also has a unified chat system based on libpurple and represents running apps as window tiles. It wasn't that polished compared to the bling-phones but shows us what could have been.

  • I'm doubtful... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Junta (36770) on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:47PM (#38348034)

    Realistically, I see WebOS evaporating as well is Tizen. Android is more than a technology platform, it is a brand. The word 'webOS' does not carry the marketing value that 'android' does. Apple has already set the pace of mobile experience being dominated by one-off applications more than more neutral web interfaces and so you have a significant network effect in play, no company backing means a distinct lack of applications for users and a dead platform.

    Even if you subscribe to the theory the mobile market continues to show high volatility and there isn't the signs of insurmountable entrenchment like the desktop market and therefore anything including WebOS has a shot, WebOS is severely handicapped. It comes with the baggage of failing to bail out the once-great Palm, of sucking billions out of HP, and every appearance of being abandoned as a result. A technical advocate trying to get business leadership to recognize the value in the platform and commit to it has very little to no chance of convincing business leaders given the track record.

    It's a shame too, ever since I had to go to an Android device, I've found the experience *highly* annoying compared to WebOS.
    -The gestures were so nice and smooth and I miss them.
    -As a corollary, 'back' was a lot more consistent (in Android, it ends up serving double duty for per-app 'back' and task switching if it thinks it appropriate).
    -Same for menus, Android apps are a mess with how inconsistently they deal with the menu button being pressed, and 99% of the time additional content is inelegantly dumped into one 'more settings' button.
    -When I switched away and back to an app in WebOS, the interface was just so much more sensible and showing what was going on better.
    -When I switch away and back in WebOS, the app was always consistent with where I left it last. In Android, it's a crap shoot. Sometimes the app just continues running in memory and is consistent when I return, sometimes that same app was killed arbitrarily by the OS and doesn't restore, sometimes an app faced with that inconsistency just always forces their piss-poor state restore every time they are backgrounded.
    -I could reasonably manage multiple textual conversations in baked in WebOS chat. Multiple chats open concurrently all under a single coherent messaging system. Now if I get gTalk, one app manages it and if I get SMS, something else handles it. If I'm chatting with someone and switch away to look up something and switch back, the SMS app has closed my conversation and I have to find it again.

    • by UpnAtom (551727)

      WebOS vs Tizen, they're both doomed. If Tizen adopt WebOS, stick it on top of Meego, win/win/win.

      Even if they don't, the Maemo community may adopt it wholesale, reinstate Qt and win for N900 users [maemo.org].

    • -I could reasonably manage multiple textual conversations in baked in WebOS chat. Multiple chats open concurrently all under a single coherent messaging system. Now if I get gTalk, one app manages it and if I get SMS, something else handles it. If I'm chatting with someone and switch away to look up something and switch back, the SMS app has closed my conversation and I have to find it again.

      You should be able to find a good free app on the Android Market that centralizes all of that.

      • by Junta (36770)

        Here's the thing, with WebOS it was nicely integrated. When I looked at the card view and saw each web page and each conversation in one unified, visually sane list, it was great. In Android, MDI is every app for itself. So I have to switch to the app then navigate within the app to find the piece of interest whereas in webos I just had to switch the app. I still haven't got an intuitive feel for when the built-in browser reuses an existing 'window' versus opening a new one in some cases.

    • by bhtooefr (649901)

      That's actually why I don't see webOS dying totally.

      Unlike Maemo/MeeGo/Tizen/whatever name it is this week, webOS has characteristics that make it notable other than being "a Linux-based mobile OS" (in fact, the "Linux-based" part is so unimportant in webOS that webOS can run on any kernel, as long as a WebKit and V8 implementation is there - in fact, you could probably run webOS *ON ANDROID'S BROWSER* - HP showed webOS running inside of Chrome on Windows, after all).

      The enthusiast community, I think, will

      • by Junta (36770)

        (in fact, the "Linux-based" part is so unimportant in webOS that webOS can run on any kernel, as long as a WebKit and V8 implementation is there

        Nope. For some apps, sure, but for any of the PDK type stuff, I'd say it's more 'linuxy' than Android (C code targeting SDL API seems more typical linux than what I hear you do in Android.

        • by bhtooefr (649901)

          True - which does mean any of the games, as well as a fair amount of Preware (homebrew).

  • WebOS is ahead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tester (591) <olivier,crete&ocrete,ca> on Monday December 12, 2011 @05:51PM (#38348068) Homepage

    1. I'm not convinced at all that HP is giving up on WebOS, if they had wanted to get rid of it, they could have sold it for a lot of money. There are many interested buyers.

    2. WebOS has a huge advantage, it already exists. Tizen doesn't. Intel had announced that they would announce the architecture at Linuxcon Europe, but they had nothing to show. Rumour is that they're still in negotiation with Samsung.. And doing this kind of work in a joint venture is always a terrible idea as there is no clear direction. On the other hand, WebOS exists, works and is on devices already. And it seems HP is still investing in it. Also WebOS has applications, Tizen doesn't, it doesn't even have any defined APIs, no one knows what will be in it, etc.

    • Re:WebOS is ahead (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Junta (36770) on Monday December 12, 2011 @06:00PM (#38348178)

      I seriously, seriously doubt that there are viable buyers at this point. I'm fairly convinced HP exhausted that option before open sourcing. Of course, open sourcing is much harder than just closing the whole effort down, so HP is spending money on WebOS for *some* reason.

    • Re:WebOS is ahead (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [hmryobemag]> on Monday December 12, 2011 @06:02PM (#38348200) Journal

      MeeGo and its descendants have been a huge clusterfuck, Maemo has a nice working desktop environment and is the closest to a regular desktop Linux distro underneath. The best thing to do as a next step would have been to bring it even closer to a standard Linux distro, maybe base it on Debian ARM and put Maemo's desktop and apps on top.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      1. I'm not convinced at all that HP is giving up on WebOS, if they had wanted to get rid of it, they could have sold it for a lot of money. There are many interested buyers.

      Like who?

  • Tizen, WebOS, Harmattan, Android.... All has at least one common feature, and it is that they all use Linux as their operating system.

    So single OS for multiple different devices and target groups. It is multiple GUI's for different devices and they can be get work better ways.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      Tizen, WebOS, Harmattan, Android.... All has at least one common feature, and it is that they all use Linux as their operating system.

      The common feature is that they all have a linux-based kernel, the userland OS components are different, it's not just the GUI that differs.

      • by Fri13 (963421)

        Linux isn't a microkernel, it is a monolithic kernel == operating system.

        Kernel is synonym to a operating system (actually vice versa). Microkernel is just a one part of the operating system, servers completing other part.

        Tizen, WebOS, Android... All those use same Linux operating system what is a Unix-clone (how many thinks they have Unix in their smartphones or tablets when usin Linux or XNU?). I didn't mention at all the middleware, software platforms, virtual machines, system programs and libraries. Be

        • by exomondo (1725132)

          Linux isn't a microkernel, it is a monolithic kernel == operating system.

          Linux is just an operating system kernel, which is why no-one ever runs just Linux. If you're not living in the past you'd know that these days an operating system is made up of much more than just the kernel.

          Tizen, WebOS, Android... All those use same Linux operating system

          Tizen, WebOS, Android, iOS, WP7, etc... are all operating systems because these days an operating system is made up of much more than just the kernel, there is operating system functionality in userspace also. If you dispute this then what is the term for OSX, iOS, Tizen, WebOS, Android, Windows 7, Win

  • Why is Tizen even mentioned? Right now it is NOTHING beyond a web site. They're the true vaporware! Here's why WebOS had me excited: It represented a forward-thinking ideal in user interfacing. It was HTML5-based. It used standard linux libraries (such as the ubiquitously mentioned libpurple). It had a logical user interface which was both coherent and universal. Android may be pretty on the surface in some regards, but it is ugly on the back end. It is proprietary in many ways! I want WebOS to succ
  • by rdnetto (955205) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @02:41AM (#38352486)

    For those who weren't aware, the KDE project is also working on a version of Kubuntu for mobiles. [ubuntu.com]

    IMO, we're approaching the point where mobile devices will be like PCs - you can install whatever OS you want on them. Right now the closest thing is people replacing Android with CyanogenMod; even though Cyanogen is effectively an Android derivative, the popularity of doing so demonstrates that alternative mobile OSs can be relatively successful even if not included by OEMs. The main problem right now is that each kernel must be specific to the device, since each one is wired differently and there aren't any standards (in use) for enumerating the various chips available (e.g. bluetooth, GPU, etc.).

    I predict that this will be resolved sometime within the next 15 years (probably the next 5-10), as ARM becomes increasingly popular on the desktop/server.

    • by naranek (1727936)

      The main problem right now is that each kernel must be specific to the device, since each one is wired differently and there aren't any standards (in use) for enumerating the various chips available (e.g. bluetooth, GPU, etc.).

      This is actually a huge problem for installing alternative OSs. Most of the drivers are closed source, and there is no incentive for the manufacturers to release or open them. It's actually the other way round. Manufacturers benefit more by keeping other OSs out, so for that to happen, there would have to be some sort of paradigm shift in the market.

      • by rdnetto (955205)

        The main problem right now is that each kernel must be specific to the device, since each one is wired differently and there aren't any standards (in use) for enumerating the various chips available (e.g. bluetooth, GPU, etc.).

        This is actually a huge problem for installing alternative OSs. Most of the drivers are closed source, and there is no incentive for the manufacturers to release or open them. It's actually the other way round. Manufacturers benefit more by keeping other OSs out, so for that to happen, there would have to be some sort of paradigm shift in the market.

        Closed source drivers aren't too much of a problem on Android, since the binary blobs can be loaded in the same way, and are only an issue if they don't work as expected. Most of the problems seem to come from the fact that Android does things differently (e.g. no X server), which means that those drivers have to be rewritten to work with GNU Linux.

        Exactly how do manufacturers (believe that they) benefit by keeping out other OSs? Not releasing the source of the drivers seems more related to a lack of incent

        • by Fri13 (963421)

          Closed source drivers aren't too much of a problem on Android, since the binary blobs can be loaded in the same way, and are only an issue if they don't work as expected. Most of the problems seem to come from the fact that Android does things differently (e.g. no X server), which means that those drivers have to be rewritten to work with GNU Linux.

          GNU does not have nothing to do with Linux OS and its drivers. And X server does not belong to GNU so any graphical code what is done for Android, does not need to touch GNU at all if wanted to get work on desktop distribution.

          • by rdnetto (955205)

            GNU Linux was the closest term I could think of for referring to any of the 'conventional' Linux distros like Debian. Do you know of a better term?

    • by Fri13 (963421)

      IMO, we're approaching the point where mobile devices will be like PCs - you can install whatever OS you want on them. Right now the closest thing is people replacing Android with CyanogenMod; even though Cyanogen is effectively an Android derivative, the popularity of doing so demonstrates that alternative mobile OSs can be relatively successful even if not included by OEMs.

      Not exactly so. CyanogenMod is what it says it is, a MOD aka Modding. CM7 use same Linux operating system what those OEM's offers unless they can compile Linux with correct drivers. And as Linux OS is GPLv2 OEM needs to release code for it so Community at least sees how they have modified it, even that they offer drivers only as binary blobs.

      Switching from OEM Android to CM7 isn't same thing as installing a another operating system. That would be if someone would install Windows Phone 7.5 to replace Android

      • by rdnetto (955205)

        Not exactly so. CyanogenMod is what it says it is, a MOD aka Modding. CM7 use same Linux operating system what those OEM's offers unless they can compile Linux with correct drivers. And as Linux OS is GPLv2 OEM needs to release code for it so Community at least sees how they have modified it, even that they offer drivers only as binary blobs.

        Switching from OEM Android to CM7 isn't same thing as installing a another operating system. That would be if someone would install Windows Phone 7.5 to replace Android or if someone could manage to swap Linux operating system to CE operating system in Android.

        The fact is, people have got taste with Android that they can flash a custom Android to their phone. Removing all the OEM bundled applications and get Android to be slimmer and more bug free and then install wanted applications afterwards.

        My point was that it takes a similar amount of effort and ability, and that the people who use CyanogenMod are the same ones who are likely to install a different OS. Admittedly, it's more analogous to switching from Ubuntu (Unity) to Ubuntu (Gnome 3).

        And who dreams that at somepoint we could buy a empty phone and then install to it a wanted software system by sticking a MicroSD card in or choosing a version in store what comes such as preinstalled? That is a dream... Not even Microsoft want that to happen on PC side, so why it would want that happend on mobile devices?

        I don't think anyone expects that to happen. But what I do see happening is that installing a new OS will be as easy as plugging it into your PC and flashing the new OS, similar to how installing a new desktop OS is as easy as booting from an installation disc

  • Ford and General Motors - can they co-exist? Even in the face of Korean car manufacturers, with their cheaper product. Obviously its hopeless - consumers won't know what to buy with all this choice. On top of that, there's all that fragmentation in the Ford market - Ka, Fiesta, etc, who will know what they are buying after market parts for?

    We are all doomed to return to the horse-buggy!

  • The merger of Maemo into Meego by Intel and then later into Tizen is another attempt my Intel to smother Linux. There is no other explanation as to why they failed and will disappear. And I guarantee, the if Intel signs up to WebOS as a 'member' it too will disappear.

     

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