This week Amazon unveiled the Fire TV as a small network appliance primarily for HD video streaming and complemented by some gaming and mobile app capabilities. The Fire TV is powered by Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire OS so in this weekend review are my initial impressions of this Linux-based media system after using it the past two days.
I think it started when I installed the same Linux distribution with the same set of applications, configuration and layout as mine, to my wife's and then to my colleague's computers. Then somebody asked me why should I not try to share my point of view with more people.
MORE INQUIRER READERS that have Windows XP will switch to Linux than Windows 8 when support for Windows XP ends next week.
In The INQUIRER's recent poll we asked, "Which operating system will you use after Windows XP support ends on 8 April?"
One third will move to Windows 7, which according to latest Net Applications figures still has nearly half of the PC market.
In today's Linux news The Inquirer reports the results of a recent poll of XP users. Jim Zemlin and Anant Agarwal answered questions about the Linux Foundation's Intro to Linux course. And a hands-on review of AVLinux finds it "jam-packed with elements for multimedia creation, editing and playing."
Microsoft has more reasons to worry about Linux. After reports that an Indian state switched from Windows XP to Linux, now a UK-based organization is ditching Windows and going for Linux-based Chromebooks. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is going the open source way as it shifts away from Windows XP desktops in favor of 2,000 Samsung 303Cs Chromebooks for employees and 300 Chromeboxes for reception desks and shared work areas across the borough.
Although big names like Google and Apple are now starting to move into the space, they have just as much of a learning curve as the other players in the market, meaning there is an opportunity for any company of any size to become a leader. With such fierce competition among organizations to dominate this field, I expect we will see some revolutionary new approaches and technologies. Already we are seeing open source technologies like Linux, Tizen, and Android being leveraged for new automotive products.
Not to be outflanked by rivals, Intel has released the $99 Minnowboard Max, a tiny single-board computer that runs Linux and Android. It is completely open source – you can check out the firmware and software here – and runs a 1.91GHz Atom E3845 processor.
The board’s schematics are also available for download and the Intel graphics chipset has open-source drivers so hackers can have their way with the board. While it doesn’t compete directly with the Raspberry Pi – the Pi is more an educational tool and already has a robust ecosystem – it is a way for DIYers to mess around in x86 architected systems as well as save a bit of cash. The system uses break-out boards called Lures to expand functionality.
Robolinux, a fast and easy to used Linux distribution based on Debian, has just received another major update, raising the version number to 7.4.2.
Robolinux is trying a different approach as a Linux distribution and the developers have implemented a software called Robolinux Stealth VM Software, which allows users to create a pristine clone of a Windows Operating System with all your installed programs and updates.