Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rise of Linux Powered Devices

Though linux still doesn't win consumer desktops sitting barely on 2% of the systems, it's surprisingly merging on the mobile devices, gadgets and various other small-form factor computers. Giving M$ a fight on the desktop market was tough owing to vendor indifferences, platform multiplicity and ever-changing linux base. However, it surely hits sweet-pots on smaller computer appliances. Linux operating kernel being minimalistic, easily portable and highly scalable, fits impeccably on those purpose-built devices. To manufacturers linux reduces the hassles of initial development and on-going support costs.

The gadget world (comprising of mini computers, network devices, multimedia consoles, gaming systems, electronic toys, mobile phones and a lot of embedded devices) is steadily turning to linux. Linux has become ubiquitous, many of us might be using it on our favorite devices even without being aware of it. Here is a list of the electronic devices on which Linux has made a prolific resurgence.

  • Aigo Mobile Internet Device: It's the talk of the town being the first Mobile Internet Device. Flaunting a 800x480 display powered by Atom Z500 Processor, it's a fully loaded internet device that weights just 352g and runs on a customized linux - Midinux 2.0.
  • Nokia N810: The popular tablet packs a lot of punches into a minismally small size. It has GPS, webcam, customized productivity and internet suites, and supports tons of third-party apps to keep you busy always. You can also install Android (again, it uses customized flavor of linux).
  • Asus Eee PC netbooks and nettops: Asus has jumped in like no one else, with its range of linux powered netbook and nettop series computers. Both its nettops and netbooks are equipped with Atom processors and a well-trimmed Linux. Of course, the company offers Windows variants at expensive prices.
  • OpenMoko Smartphone: It's a highly customizable mobile phone for everyone. It's suitable for students interested to lean how to program a phone with Linux, as well as for geeks who love to tinker their devices.
  • Garmin Nuvi880: Running on linux, this GPS receiver has all the goodies that you expect from a device of such type. It's a solid GPS navigation solution that is proven and reliable, and now poised to have even more going for it.
  • Motorola Ming A1600: Equipped with GPS, handwriting recognition, 3.2 MP camera and card reader, this smartphone has a quad-band GSM/GPRS Radio that supports Edge networks. It also has all the usual-suspects of a modern mobile phone. However, the real power lies in its linux OS that allows power-users to install tons of 3rd party apps which would be a dream on Windows CE, Symbian or Bru.
  • Archos 605 WiFi: Rival to iPod Touch, this entertainment device sports a large sharp display with an excellent web browser. It supports smooth full screen video playback.

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