Ubuntu 15.10: Wily Werewolf alpha 2 released

In today's open source roundup: Alpha 2 of Ubuntu 15.10 is out. Plus: Kodi 15 media player released for Android. And Windows 10 versus Linux

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Kodi 15 media player for Android

Kodi is an open source media player that used to be called XBMC. Kodi 15 is now available for Android users, and it offers an enhanced add-on manager, chapter support and some other goodies.

Eric Brown reports for Linux.com:

Kodi lets you watch and record live TV, and it supports integration with backends including MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend, VDR, and its prime competitor: Windows Media Center. The software provides a consistent UI ranging from phones to 10-foot TVs, and lets you apply custom skins.

In addition to adding Android support, Kodi 15 provides a new chapter selector window, a more flexible adaptive seeking feature, more convenient audio and subtitle options, and more frequent language add-on updates. The add-on manager, meanwhile, has a revamped UI.

If these don't seem like major changes, keep in mind that Kodi is already quite mature and comprehensive, which only adds to its popularity. Full Android support was the key missing piece to the puzzle. Android-specific improvements in Kodi 15 include 4K support, refresh-rate switching, and HEVC playback on those Android 5.0-ready devices that support these features. These are said to include "a number of Amlogic based devices and the Nvidia Shield Android TV."

...a growing number of Linux- and Android mini-PCs and media players have Kodi preinstalled, and the final Android version should push it to even higher acceptance. According to Team Kodi, in the first 36 days on Google Play, there have been over 400,000 active Android installs.

More at Linux.com

Windows 10 versus Linux

Windows 10 has finally been released, and many Linux users are probably wondering how Windows 10 compares to their favorite operating system. Tech Radar compared Linux to Windows 10, and noted that it's really a bit of an apples versus oranges thing.

Neil Mohr reports for Tech Radar:

One is a free codebase which can run on most any hardware imaginable, the other is a proprietary product with an undecouple-able GUI that, until recently, has run only on x86 PCs. Our approach will be to consider features from Windows 10 and compare them with like-for-like equivalents from various Linux distributions.

Windows as a Service can in some ways be compared to a rolling-release operating system, such as Arch or Linux Mint Debian Edition. At the same time the multi-branch release model for businesses is vaguely similar to Debian's release model. Indeed the whole Insider Preview model is a big old beta test itself, just like what has been happening with Steam OS over the past year-and-a-bit. But none of these are really Linux ideas, and it's actually pretty refreshing to see Microsoft co-opting them. Also pleasant is the fact that Microsoft's new OS is being offered as a free upgrade for those already running a legitimate copy of Windows 7 or later, but this move is largely a deal-sweetener for potential upgraders sitting on the fence.

...we've only been using the Windows install for about a week, once a few apps and a few (thousand) obscurely titled runtime libraries are installed the age-old curse of Windows decline will kick in. Our Arch install has been used pretty much every day for over a year, has all manner of long-forgotten packages installed, and remains blazing fast.

More at Tech Radar

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