Canonical [Ubuntu] + Google = Working Together To Bring More Choice To The Consumer

When Google made their announcement yesterday [Thursday November 20, 2009], included in their release statement was the fact that their new operating system would be open source. Some of you may not know what open source is. Basically the term means that creative works are shared by anyone and everyone, including modification of the code by any user. But in the case of the Google operating system, the company sought out Canonical the makers of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution, which Canonical describes as:

In the interest of transparency, we should declare that Canonical is contributing engineering to Google under contract.  In our discussions, Sundar Pichai and Linus Upson made it clear that they want , wherever feasible,  to build on existing components and tools from the open source community without unnecessary re-invention.   This clear focus should benefit a wide variety of existing projects and we welcome it.

On the consumer side, people will ask about the positioning of Chrome OS and Ubuntu. While the two operating systems share some core components, Google Chrome OS will provide a very different experience to Ubuntu.  Ubuntu will continue to be a general purpose OS running both web and native applications such as OpenOffice and will not require specialised hardware.

So 2010 looks set to be a very exciting year. In addition to delivering Ubuntu experiences with both existing and new OEM partners, we will be working with Google on Chrome OS based devices.

The reason I am bringing this up is that some folks are writing that Google Chromium is nothing more than a browser. Some are even saying that Google will fail at this venture and that this new distribution will compete against other Linux distributions.

I think that Canonical sees the wisdom in what Google is doing and how can benefit all open source programs. If you were to ask the average consumer about Linux they most likely would think it is some type of a car. With Google branding the introduction of Linux can and will become mainstream. Just my 2 cents.

But what do you think? Are you interested in having a light weight operatin system that takes advantage of cloud computing? hare your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Are We Window Users Imbeciles?

My definition of an Imbecile is someone who is considered an idiot or just flat out stupid. Which made me wonder. Are we Imbeciles? I do not believe we are. In fact for the people who read and have associated themselves with Lockergnome, I have found you people very intelligent.

What brought these thoughts to my mind was an article I read over at LinuxPlanet by Matt Hartley. You may be familiar with Matt since he also writes several columns here at Lockergnome as well. Matt was writing about how a new PC with Google’s Android was receiving poor reviews because it could not run two apps over lapping each other. Matt expressed his frustration this way:

The single biggest complaint is its inability to run two applications or more in the same screen view. One must minimize one application to access the next one.

After considering Android, I find myself looking back over to desktop Linux to relieve some of the pain seen elsewhere.

Perhaps using Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) is the solution to the “two programs at once” issue? Marketing challenges aside, it could have been a workable solution.

However, like with Android, UNR also has the inability to simply display two applications overlapping one another, based on my own testing with it. This is not to say that with UNR it’s impossible, rather one must realize that you have to right click over the correct area, then attempt to resize the app as to make both of the running applications viewable at once.

At this point I begin to wonder why everyone is in such a rush to make the most limited desktop possible? Do netbook manufacturers believe that netbook users are so dim that using default installations of GNOME or KDE is simply beyond their reach?

Yet at the same time, we see XP being offered without all of the dumbing down. Why is that?

It was good to read that Linux has their own set of problems. But I already knew this having tried Linux many times myself. I also know that Apple has their own set of issues as well. So why does some 90% of the world use Windows? Because Windows works people.

No matter how many horror stories are written about Windows, the bottom line is that Windows will be the dominate operating system for the foreseeable future. No matter how many Apple vs Windows commercials are aired on TV showing us Window users as dim witted, this is not the case. The people who use PC’s are a bright bunch. We see value in the opportunity in being able to buy a reliable computer at a reasonable price.

Now with all of that being said, I am personally rooting for Google Android. I am sincerely hoping that an inexpensive Netbook using Android and with an ARM processor will be in our future. If and when that day arrives and if and when Android will offer the same benefits as Windows, that will be the day I will make the switch to Linux.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Is A Google Android Netbook Coming Soon?

Google Android, the operating system that could change the way we compute, may be coming our way in the third quarter of this year. The folks at Acer have plans to possibly introduce a Netbook using the Android OS. You may recall that Acer was the company that was highly critical of Microsoft when the company introduced their Vista operating system. Acer went as far as calling Vista pure junk. So it is no surprise that Acer would be the one to challenge the Redmond giant and switch to a Linux based Android system.

According to an article over at LinuxWorld it states:

“We are seeing that Android is becoming more common,” said Jim Wong, president of global product operations at Acer. Acer decided to move more quickly to work with Android because there is a strong development movement behind the software, he added.

The Aspire One netbooks Acer displayed at its news conference on Tuesday at Computex were running a dual-boot system allowing users to switch between Android and Windows XP, but Wong said the device that goes on sale later this year will only have Android and another Linux OS.

He declined to comment on pricing, saying only that it will likely be slightly less expensive than an Aspire One with Windows XP.

So while Microsoft seems to be trying to play catch up with their Bing search engine against Google, will Google be playing catch up to the Microsoft Windows OS? Only time will tell if Android can perform as well or better than Windows.

What is great for we consumers is that it appears there will ne more competition coming our way when it comes to a Netbook purchase.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Does Google Really Have A Secret OS?

What some of us have suspected for a long time may be coming closer to reality. In an article about Net Applications and their report made about Microsoft’s slide to under 90% market share for their OS, another observation was also made. It seems that Net Applications can determine with accuracy, the operating system of those who surf the Internet. That is all except one. It seems that the folks from Google who surf, are using a OS that is not known to the outside world.

According to the article it states:

“We have never seen an OS stripped off the user agent string before,” Vizzaccaro told InternetNews.com. “I believe you have to arrange to have that happen, it’s not something we’ve seen before with a proxy server. All I can tell you is there’s a good percentage of the people at Google showing up [at Web pages] with their OS hidden.”

A proxy server shouldn’t cause such a block because it would block everything, which Net Applications sees all the time. With the one-third obfuscated Google visitors, it was only the OS that was removed. Their browser, for example, was not hidden. And two-thirds of Google systems surfing the Web identified their OS, mostly Linux.

Does this mean that Google has a secret OS that it is trying to hide?

“I think they could be working on an application infrastructure, because an operating system really connotes the stuff that makes the hardware and software talk to each other, and they are not in that business,” said Clay Ryder, president of The Sageza Group.

“But as an infrastructure for building network apps, I would think Google would be working on something like that,” he continued. “They’ve been rolling out more and more freebie apps and I would think they would eventually want to make some money the old fashioned way. It would make a lot of sense that they would want to have a network app infrastructure that they could roll out most anywhere.”

What do you think? Is Google going to surprise the world and introduce their own operating system to compete head on with Microsoft?

Comments welcome.

Source.

Windows 7 – It’s Vista People, Plain And Simple

For the love of Windows people. Windows 7 is Vista. Microsoft is not going to make major changes. They have already stated that Windows 7 will be Vista, only better. So enough with the pure 100% garbage that Windows 7 is going to be some super child of an operating system. It is not going to happen.

Will Windows 7 be better than Vista? It has to be. Microsoft’s future is riding on making Windows 7 the best it can be. I believe they are sick and tired of the Apple vs Vista commercials and need to make a change. But the change or changes will be modest to say the least.

Windows 7 is going to be fast right out of the box for several reasons. First Microsoft will tweak the process portion of the system to boot quicker. Second they are going to eliminate some stuff that will have to be downloaded by the user if they want the stuff. This will make the OS lighter and faster.

Some of what will be needed to be downloaded is:

Windows Live Messenger beta: This instant messaging application has phone- and video-calling capabilities too.

Windows Live Mail beta: In this e-mail program, you can merge multiple e-mail accounts. It also includes a calendar that syncs with a Windows Live Web-based calendar.

Windows Live Photo Gallery beta: Similar to Google’s Picasa, this photo organizing and basic photo editing program has hooks to Microsoft’s Windows Live Photo Gallery as well as to third-party photo-sharing sites such as Flickr.

Windows Live Movie Maker beta : This video editing software also automates the creation of movies from your own photos, videos, and music. The application can burn video to CD/DVD, or convert it for viewing on a cell phone or for posting online at Microsoft’s Soapbox video-sharing site.

Windows Live Writer beta: An application for composing and publishing blog entries to Windows Live Spaces, it also works with other blogging platforms, including Blogger and WordPress.

Windows Live Family Safety: Through this parental control software, parents can limit the type of content that their children can access online and monitor their surfing activity.

Windows Live Toolbar: This updated Internet Explorer toolbar enables fast access to Windows Live Web services.

This makes sense since I know there are features such as parental control that I personally would not use. This approach makes sense in order to have a leaner meaner operating system experience from the start.

What do you think? Is Microsoft on the right track?

Comments welcome.

Source.

Will Hype Hinder Or Help Windows 7?

Back in 1986 Geraldo Rivera hosted a special that was broadcasted live from the Lexington Hotel, in Chicago, IL. This live broadcast was hyped to the point that the curiosity of America was brought into the hotel with an estimated 30 million viewers. The hype was all about a safe located in the basement which allegedly belonged to Al Capone. Rivera made outlandish statements of what could be located inside the safe, including that the safe could contain dead bodies inside. The hype was heightened since a medical examiner stood by, just in case a body was found and also agents from the IRS in case a hoard of cash was found.

Talk about excitement. The two hour special went past the allocated 2 hours, since there was some type of a problem getting the safe open. So there America sat eyes glued to the TV, waiting for the magic moment when the safe was open. Long story short, when the safe was opened it was empty except for some debris, which Rivera tried to turn into something out of nothing.

This kind of reminded me of what Happened to Microsoft with Vista. They hyped the new operating system way to much making us think we would be in a state of WOW!, when we were more like YAWN. :-) As more and more features were removed from the OS, our hope dwindled. So now Microsoft is trying, lamely I may add, to try and revise our opinion of Vista. Whether that will wok or not remains to be seen.

So what about Windows 7? Will hype help or hinder the new OS? Should Microsoft be cautious in what they reveal about the new OS?

Comments welcome.

Microsoft Windows XP – Second Edition Instead Of Vista?

Some where, someone made mention that Microsoft should of considered a Second Edition to Windows XP instead of releasing Windows Vista.  Interesting observation. Or is it? If anyone remembers, Windows 98 had a Second Edition [Gold], that they introduced which included a number of tweaks, fixes and patches wrapped up into a refined Windows 98.

So why not SE for Windows XP? Could Microsoft of added UAP to XP? How about a pretty GUI? A sidebar? The answer to all of these questions would most likely of been yes. So what would that of meant to us Windows users?

I believe that it would of been an easier upgrade path for the majority of XP users. Drivers, hardware and software we already had would of worked without having to own a more powerful system. In fact most of the features that Vista employs could of been added to XP without a major change to the operating system. But would consumers have upgraded to XP-SE? I believe they would have just to take advantage of the new features. We could of had the best of both worlds. A pretty OS that people were already familiar with, added security and the other benefits that Microsoft insists that Vista has.

But what do you think? Would you of bought XP-SE? Let us know.

Comments welcome.

Operating System Market Share

The latest operating system stats from Market Shares shows that Windows XP is still king, with Vista a distant second.

Operating System Market Share

June, 2008

Operating System

Total Market Share

Windows XP

71.20%

Windows Vista

16.14%

MacIntel

5.25%

Mac OS

2.69%

Windows 2000

2.11%

Linux

0.80%

Windows NT

0.69%

Windows 98

0.43%

Windows ME

0.25%

iPhone

0.16%

Windows CE

0.06%

Pike

0.04%

iPod

0.04%

Hiptop

0.03%

PSP

0.02%

PLAYSTATION 3

0.02%

Unknown

0.02%

Series60

0.02%

SunOS

0.01%

Nintendo Wii

0.01%

Web TV

0.01%

Windows 95

0.01%

Sun Solaris

0.00%

NEC e616/1.0

0.00%

Source.

Which makes one wonder. How long will it be before Vista overtakes Windows XP? What is your best guess?

Comments welcome.

Vista Bashing Now Has Economic Teeth

Just when you think that the Vista bashing is beginning to settle down, up pops more bad news for Microsoft and their controversial operating system.  But this time it is not the like it – hate it consumers who are mouthing off. This time it is a economic survey which indicates that Vista is not being welcomed with open arms by businesses. Even though we consumers would like to believe that Vista was made for our personal enjoyment at home, the real money is in the business sector. But according to a recent report by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. which states:

The inescapable conclusion of our 2008 survey is that support for Vista has been battered across all enterprise sizes and corporate constituencies. As a consequence, the Vista cycle looks likely to be materially less robust than indicated in our prior survey. …

A year of overwhelmingly bad publicity, coupled with opportunities for continued XP “downgrades” or potentially skipping over Vista for Windows 7, look to have meaningfully eroded support for Vista and are likely to impair the product’s overall adoption. The Vista cycle looks more likely to track in line with the experience of XP than to fall somewhere between an XP-like and a larger Windows 95-like cycle as we previously expected, and which had been indicated by last year’s survey results. …

Concerns about the costs of a Vista rollout appear to be weighing most heavily on the enterprise cycle. In particular, respondents reported a substantial drop in their expectations of in-place upgrades, indicating a rise in their expectation of hardware-related costs associated with Vista deployments. These hardware requirements were the single largest negative factor affecting Vista adoption. Concerns about driver and application compatibilities, and implicitly the related costs in a rollout, were the second and third biggest negative factors, followed closely by Vista pricing itself as the fifth largest factor (behind performance). …

Despite the erosion in perceptions of Vista over the last year, it remains possible that MSFT could restore some of the luster to the Vista enterprise cycle. In particular, especially with the release of SP1 for Vista, the company has addressed a number of the performance and compatibility issues that were cited as among the biggest concerns restraining adoption. It is now critical for MSFT to inform and educate IT professionals involved in the Vista decision in order to reinvigorate enterprise interest in the OS. We believe that proactive, open and frank messaging and education on the part of MSFT could very well ameliorate some of the harm caused by negative publicity and performance to date. On the other hand, amid mounting evidence that the product’s reputation has been badly tarnished and that there are looming usability and satisfaction issues, we believe that continued assertions that everything is fine with Vista will not only fail to bolster the upgrade cycle but also could serve to damage management’s credibility and the interests of MSFT’s shareholders. …

So there you have it. An unfavorable economic forecast for the OS you either love or hate. Hopefully Windows 7 will have a better reception than its younger brother Vista has.

Maybe we should start a ‘I Love Windows 7’ campaign now!  :-)

Comments welcome.

Source.

The Struggle Between Windows Vista & XP Continues

Over at Scot’s Newsletter Forum a new member asks a question he is struggling with, the Vista vs XP argument and software issues. I stopped by to see some of the answers and wasn’t very surprised that the vote was for Windows XP Pro. In the post member b2220128 asked:

I am preparing to build a new computer using a Intel P35 processor, a ASUS mother board and gobs of memory if needed. But the question of the OS is still a difficult one for me. I see my choices as some flavor of XP, 32 bit Vista and 64 bit Vista, probably Ultimate Edition. I read Scott’s newsletter/ blog out of interest, but not being in the business much of it doesn’t stick.

I am mostly a home user running typical home programs, video and occasionally big spread sheets from work. I want a machine that will not get dated too quickly which leads me towards Vista but I also have read so much bad about Vista that the familiarity oand stability of XP is a real attraction. I also haven’t a clue about compatibility of my older programs with 64bit Vista. I still use Office 2000 for instance. I know Outlook 2000 won’t install on any version of Vista, but will Word and Excel run on 64 bit Vista. As you can see I am just clued in enough to know there might be a problem.

Can any of you experienced pros give me a some advice?

I was one of the forum members who agreed with going with Windows XP Pro. But why would I agree? Why wouldn’t I recommend Vista? One reason is that it appears that the poster still uses Outlook 2000 which wouldn’t work with Vista. This leads one to believe that he may also have other older software that also may work. So unless money is no object, some software upgrades would be required with Vista as well.

But there is another reason. I personally believe that Windows 7 is going to be an OS that unscrews some of the problems with Vista. I don’t care what MS says, Vista is by no means the OS of my dreams. Maybe my nightmares! OK. It isn’t quite that bad. :-) But I am not a HUGE fan of the newest OS which I consider is just OK. I’ll be keeping XP until Windows 7 is released.

I am serious about sticking with XP? You bet. Last week I sold [2] two copies of Vista Ultimate I had which I originally purchased as upgrades to the cheaper Vista versions, if and when I bought new computer systems. But I have resigned myself to the fact that if I buy a new laptop with Vista, I’ll do a down grade.  Even the last desktop I build in October 2007, I installed Windows XP Pro w/SP2.

Just my 2 cents.

Comments welcome.

Forum post is here.

[tags]forums, postings, windows, xp, vista, microsoft, operating, system, recommend,  [/tags]

Overview of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

The main benefit of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is the increase in the maximum allocatable system memory. Windows XP 32-bit is limited to a total of 4 GB, which is equally divided between applications and kernel. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition can support much more memory up to a current level of 128 GB, but this limitation could go even higher. This version of Windows will support large databases of information, will enhance productivity for those who use their systems for videos and other types of applications, that require large blocks of memory.

And Windows Vista will also be offered in a 64-bit version.

Side note: In order to take advantage of the 64-bit version, your CPU must support 64-bit. Both AMD and Intel offer 64-bit CPUs.

“More memory, improved performance

The expanding data and performance needs of business, academic, engineering, and scientific organizations have pushed the limits and capabilities of existing information technology (IT) platforms. Millions of people worldwide need to access gigabytes or even terabytes of data in real time. The increasingly sophisticated demands for making home movies, working with digital photographs, using digital media, and playing 3-D games is also stretching the capabilities of existing 32-bit PCs.

Advances in processor technology that extend the capabilities of x86 architecture have brought the power of 64-bit computing to you. Now, you can use a 64-bit operating system to seamlessly run 32-bit and cutting-edge 64-bit applications. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition takes full advantage of this new architecture.” [Source: Microsoft]

[tags]Windows, XP, 64 bit, memory, performance, operating, system, application, power[/tags]

My First Week With Vista's Final Release

Well it’s been a little over a week since I installed the final release of Microsoft’s new operating system Vista on my dual boot test computer. The RTM [Release To Manufacture] version of Vista installed automatically on my system and required very little user intervention. I had to install new Vista compliant drivers for my NVidia FX5500 display adapter and my onboard Realtek AC97 sound. But that was basically all I had to do. All of my other hardware was detected automatically for me.

Setting up a wireless network was also done for me. After using the install wizard, the system located my wireless network adapter and then connected to my DLink router after I entered in my WEP key. I was able to surf the Internet immediately and was advised there was one update available. Turn out this was for Microsoft Windows Defender, which had a definition update. Windows Defender is the built in anti-spyware that Microsoft is including with Vista.

OK. I needed virus protection. I had been offered a free subscription to Live OneCare, which is Microsoft’s answer to offering a total security protection plan which includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, system maintenance functions, firewall and backup/restore feature. Downloaded and install Live OneCare and did a quick scan of the system. All was well.

So I started looking under the hood for what, if anything, was new since Release Candidate 2. I didn’t notice any changes. Which is good because it meant that Microsoft must of been satisfied with RC2 before the final release. But I did notice that the final build seemed faster and smoother then RC2.

Aero the new interface along with 3D flip, which allows you to scroll through your open applications, are still the two features that new users will notice right away. What new users will struggle with is finding some of the accessories that are now buried or have changed appearance from Windows XP. But users are still allowed to use the old classic menu system if they wish.

Overall I like using Vista. Hopefully during the next several weeks, I will be able to install more software and see how if performs.

[tags]vista, microsoft, final release, live onecare, operating, system, aero, 3D flip, software, [/tags]

Make Windows XP Look Like Windows Vista

BE CAREFUL – USE AT YOUR OWN RISK !

I haven’t tried this on any of my systems yet, but if you do try it, let me know how it works for you.

“At last, Vista Transformation Pack has finally come out! Despite the name Vista, you’ll get whole new update and more functions. Get the awesome Vista look today!

Vista Transformation Pack will give to your Windows XP system the new and cool look of Microsoft’s future operating system: Windows Vista. The pack changes most of the system icons, skins and toolbars and also adds new enhancements to your desktop such as a dock bar or a different system tray clock”

Get the download from here.[tags]windows, xp, vista, transformation, pack, update, operating, system, [/tags]