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Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

It’s impossible to deny the amazing rise of Chrome OS. This Linux-based platform was the ideal solution at the ideal time. The cloud proved itself not only a viable option but, in many cases, the most optimal option. The puzzle was simple to solve:

Create a cost-effective platform that blended seamlessly with the cloud.

Linux? Are you listening? Now is your chance. All of the pieces are there, you just have grab the golden ring before Microsoft does.

One of the main reasons why Chrome OS has succeeded is Google. Google not only has the cash to spend on the development of such a product, it also has the momentum of brand behind it (and the “Google” brand no less). Even without this, Linux could follow in the footsteps of Google and create their own cloud-based OS.

But why?

The answer to that is also simple: Because Linux needs (in one form or another) a major win in the desktop arena. It now has the streed cred (thanks to Android and Chrome OS — both of which are built on a Linux kernel), so all it needs is to deliver something… anything… to build on the momentum. I think that thing could be a cloud-based platform. These platforms have already proven their worth, and people are buying them up. Since cheap (read “free”) has been one of the many calling cards for Linux, it’s a perfect fit.

I’ve installed Linux on a Chromebook (Bodhi Linux on an Acer C720). The marriage of a full-blown Linux distribution and the Chromebook was fantastic. You could hop onto your Google account and work magic — or to one-up Chrome OS, you could work on the many local apps. That’s where a cloud-based Linux device could help solidify both the cloud ecosystem and the Linux platform… the best of both worlds.

To this end, three things need to happen:

  • Canonical needs to re-focus on the desktop (or in this case, a cloud-based iteration)
  • A hardware vendor needs to step up and take a chance on this platform idea
  • Open Xchange needs to work with the distribution to create a seamless experience between the platform and the cloud system

It’s a lot to ask, especially on Canonical’s end (with them focusing so much effort on the Ubuntu Phone and Mir). But with their goal of convergence, getting Ubuntu Linux cloudbook-ready shouldn’t be a problem. As for Open Xchange, I would imagine them welcoming this opportunity. At the moment, the OX App suite is a quality product living its life in obscurity. A Linux-based “cloudbook” (please do not call it a Linbook) could change that. The hardware side of things is simple, because it’s already been proved that Linux will run on nearly every one of the available Chromebooks (and it should, since Chrome OS uses the Linux kernel).

I say all of this as an avid Chromebook user. I find the minimal platform a refreshing change that’s both incredibly easy to use and efficiently helps me get my work done with minimal distraction. There are times, however, I would love to have a few local apps (like The Gimp, for example). With a Linux cloudbook, this would not only be possible, it would be easy. In fact, you would find plenty of apps that could be installed and run locally (without sucking up too much local storage space).

The cloudbook could very well be the thing that vaults Linux into the hands of the average user, without having to stake its claim on Chrome OS or Android. And with the Linux cloudbook in the hands of users, the door for the Ubuntu Phone will have been opened and ready to walk through. Convergence made possible and easy.

The desktop, the cloudbook, the phone.

Is the cloudbook a path that Linux should follow — or would the overwhelming shadow of Google keep it neatly tucked away from the average consumer and success? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion thread below.

Taken from TechRepublic

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Romanas Lauks
Romanas.Lauks@altabel.com
Skype ID: romanas_lauks
Marketing Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Linux users have been mostly left out when trying to get in on the gaming action, but soon they’ll be able to be “Left 4 Dead 2″ instead. Recently Valve announced that it would bring its digital distribution service Steam to the Linux platform.
The company reportedly formed a new team last year to work on a full-featured version of the Steam client for Ubuntu 12.04, and the result is “Left 4 Dead 2,” a first-person action game developed by Valve and set in world overrun by zombies.
The so-called “Steam’d Penguins” project will see more titles ported to Linux, and this will allow developers to target gamers via the online service beyond just Windows and Mac. To date, Linux users have had to rely on Windows emulators such as Wine and often have been annoyed with bugs and compatibility problems along the way.
“Valve wants Steam to be on all platforms, and it is possible that Linux could see greater exploitation as a gaming platform,” Billy Pidgeon, a game industry analyst with M2 Research, told.

Steam’d Up With Open Source
Steam’s move to Linux will be done through Ubuntu, at least initially. The goal of the development team is to create a full-featured Steam client, and good progress has been made so far. However, no date has been set when gamers might actually get Steam’d up on Ubuntu and blast away the walking undead.
In addition to opening up the online service to open source gamers, this could help Steam get a bit more attention as well.
“Steam remains one of the best assets in the gaming space today that doesn’t get much attention due to the console cycles and the rise of social gaming,” P.J. McNealy, consultant at Digital World Research, consider. “However, it’s right in the thick of the emerging business models for gaming, and being available on Linux certainly can’t hurt.”

Battling Piracy
While gamers will get to battle those zombies in the first game for Steam on Ubuntu, the online service continues to do its job battling the digital pirates plaguing game publishers and developers.
The Steam service requires gamers to log in to the service to play a game, and this authenticates that the copy is tied to the specific user. This in turn makes it very difficult for pirates to copy and distribute the code.
“Steam has largely stopped piracy of games that are available on the service,” said Pidgeon. “This is especially true in the Asian markets, where piracy has been an ongoing concern.”
It was piracy concerns that led many game developers to move away from PC games to the video game consoles, but some game companies see opportunities in the PC market again, thanks to services such as Steam. Being on Linux could help attract that small, but very passionate market of gamers.
“It doesn’t cost too much to support it, so why not?” asked Pidgeon. “And as the consoles get long in the tooth, there could be more game development on the PC, which Steam could support.”

Linux Gaming Beyond Steam
Steam of course is not the only online service operating. While it is the leading service, some game publishers, including Activision and Electronic Arts, have created their own services that allow users to purchase, download and update games.
This has also helped reduce piracy of some hot-selling titles such as those in the “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield 3″ franchises.
But could Steam get developers powered up to look more closely at open source? Probably not.
“It is hard to say, but I don’t think there will be a huge effort to open source on the PC,” said Pidgeon. “It is going to take a lot more than Steam to get publishers on board with Linux.”

Kind Regards,
Lina Deveikyte
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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