Will Android survive the chaos of Google, Samsung and HTC?

Today in Open Source: The chaotic situation of Android. Plus: Why you should switch to Linux, and download Ubuntu 13.10

Android Adrift in a Sea of Chaos

Android has a large share of the mobile market right now, but will that help it to survive the chaotic seas it currently swims in? InfoWorld takes a look at Android's plight and how Google, Samsung and HTC are affecting it.

The Android OS dominates the mobile landscape, outselling all rivals combined in most countries. The only serious challenger, Apple's iOS, earns much more money for Apple than Android earns [1] for Google and all its hardware partners combined, but when it comes to market share, Android is king. So why does the Android ecosystem appear to be troubled?

HTC is in disarray [2], as its Android sales struggle in the face of the dominant Samsung, which is the only Android device maker to profit from Android [1]. Google's Nexus devices have so-so sales, perhaps because they tend to be middle-of-the-road devices that don't inspire large populations the way Samsung and Apple do. Ditto for its Motorola Mobility unit. In fact, Google seems to have backed off on Android, focusing instead on Chrome OS and its array of data-mining services, which is where the company actually makes its money.

More at InfoWorld

While the article paints a rather unflattering picture of where Android is right now, I certainly don't think it's time to panic just yet. Android has come a long way from where it started, and it has gotten a lot better over the years. There's no reason to believe that this won't continue.

The only real threat I see that might materialize is Chrome OS. It's still very unclear just what Google plans to do with it in relation to Android. Will it replace Android someday? Is Google going to use it to create a system that it controls much more than Android in the way that Apple controls iOS? I doubt it, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens over the next few years.

Why You Should Switch to Linux

EFY Times has a list of reasons you should switch to Linux. I've included the first three here, but the entire list is twenty items. Check it out if you're on the fence about Linux.

Leading business houses, educational institutions and governmental agencies across the globe are shifting their operating systems to Linux from proprietary. Similarly, they are switching over their application programs from commercial software to open source software. EFYTimes.com finds out top 20 reasons why it makes sense to convert to Linux:

1. As Linux is licensed under a free software license, it’s available for free. You can download for free from the Internet, and purchase in disk or at a small cost. It’s also possible to use one copy on as many computers as you want without any restrictions, which is in sharp contrast to Microsoft Windows, which costs US$100 or more per PC.

2. As it is available for free, Linux allows users to modify it, including its source code. It is also possible to keep the modified versions secret if you’re not willing to redistribute them, which is again in sharp contrast to Windows, which doesn’t allow any modification.

3. You can expect high quality support for Linux for free on the Internet as there are newsgroups and other forums. You can even purchase Linux support on a commercial basis if you want to. You may require support for customization, installation of new programs, patches to cope with new security threats etc.

More at EFY Times
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