Fragmenting Linux is not the way to beat Apple

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Linux

In an attempt to copycat Apple's hardware-plus-software vertical approach to the mobile market, the Linux industry is fragmenting fast and risks undermining its best chance for beating the iPhone.

The mobile Linux market has always had more variants/distributions than sense, ranging from Google Android to LiMo to Moblin (now MeeGo) to Bada to WebOS to...you name it. Whereas Linux has been a rallying force in the enterprise server market, with diverse competitors and partners collaborating on a common code base to save costs and boost innovation, in the mobile market Linux has tended toward entropy.

Such entropy is about to get worse, even as signs abound that things should be improving. First, Hewlett-Packard announced its acquisition of Palm to "double down on WebOS" development and thereby "compete aggressively in the market with Apple and Google."

Next, rumors are swirling that Motorola has bought Azingo, another mobile Linux vendor. Motorola has been a big proponent of LiMo, an attempt to corral different vendors around a common mobile Linux code base, and has also been a primary distributor of Android.

If Motorola acquires Azingo, will this end?