Are Chromebooks hurting Apple as well as Microsoft?

Today in Open Source: Are Chromebooks a threat to Apple as well as Microsoft? Plus: Does Blu-ray encryption cause piracy? And DistroWatch's rankings for 2012 and 2013

Chromebooks: Apple and Microsoft

The Intronis blog is wondering if Chromebooks are hurting Apple as well as Microsoft.

Well, judging from Microsoft's reaction, they see Google coming and they are not sitting still, launching a commercial as part of the "Scroogled" campaign to go after the Chromebook. The ad features actors from the show Pawn Stars explaining their view of the Chromebook. They call it a brick. Clearly, it shows that Microsoft is worried about these devices.

Apple, on the other hand, doesn't seem terribly concerned, at least they haven't publicly reacted to Chromebooks. While some folks are saying the data shows that Chromebooks are having an impact on MacBook sales, I would argue that people buying $200 computers probably aren't the same ones buying a $2,000 MacBook. For the record, I've bought both, so it's not as though the market is mutually exclusive and people who buy one would never by the other.

More at Intronis Blog

I'm inclined to agree with the author of the article. I've never thought of Apple's customers as the types who would gravitate toward a Chromebook. Apple users tend to like and stay with Apple products, and they aren't as concerned with price as non-Apple customers. They know they are paying a premium for an Apple product, and they're fine with that.

My guess is that a lot of these Chromebook buyers are Android phone users. They've already broken with Windows on their phones, and now they're ready for the next step by getting rid of Microsoft Windows on their computers. Android users are also known to be budget-conscious folks, and Chromebooks tend to be inexpensive computers.

So I don't think Apple has anything to worry about from Chromebooks. Microsoft, on the other hand, had better be very worried. Android has already cut them out of the mobile market as an alternative to iOS, and now Chromebooks are a dagger aimed at the heart of the Windows desktop franchise.

Blu-ray encryption and Linux

Linux Journal takes a look at the issue of Blu-ray encryption, Linux and piracy.

I get a fair amount of e-mail from readers asking how a person could do "questionable" things due to limitations imposed by DRM. Whether it's how to strip DRM from ebooks, how to connect to Usenet or how to decrypt video, I do my best to point folks in the right direction with lots of warnings and disclaimers. The most frustrating DRM by far has been with Blu-ray discs.

Unless I've missed an announcement, there still isn't a "proper" way for Linux users to watch Blu-ray movies on their computers. It's hard enough with Windows or Macintosh, but when it comes to Linux, it seems that turning to the dark side is the only option. In the spirit of freedom, let me point you in the direction of "how", and leave it up to you to decide whether it's a road you want to travel.

More at Linux Journal
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