Give Dell credit for wading into open source waters with "Project Sputnik," a pilot program to build a developer solution based on Ubuntu 12.04LTS. After six months of exploration and feedback from testers, Project Sputnik has now landed and is renamed Dell XPS 13 Laptop, Developer Edition. It's a thin and light 13.3-inch Ultrabook powered by Intel's Core i7 3517U processor and driven by Ubuntu, though you could potentially end up paying more versus a similarly spec'd Windows 7 model (with slower processor) or Windows 8 model (with half the storage space). Let's look at the hardware.
Recently, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth made a very bold statement when he said: “We expect to ship close to 20 million PCs in the next year.” Sounds like wishful thinking to us, but Linux system builder System76 would love nothing more than to see Shuttleworth’s prediction come true, as its entire business is dedicated to making Ubuntu-based servers, desktops and laptops. Its latest offering is a 17.3-inch laptop with “extreme components.”
Different strokes for different folks. What do we mean by that? While Gabe Newell and the rest of the gang at Valve can't get enough Linux in their diet, the financial weight watchers at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) just got through liposuctioning a portion of its Linux kernel development team by closing its Dresden, Germany-based Operating System Research Center (OSRC).
Linux fans are free to do the open-source shimmy today in celebration of Valve announcing the launch of a limited access Steam for Linux beta. Valve invited experienced Linux users to sign up for the closed beta in October and claims to have received over 60,000 responses in the first week alone. The first round of beta participants has already been selected, though more gamers will be added throughout the course of the beta, Valve says.
Over the weekend, just as the crème de la crème of the Linux community were getting ready for the start of LinuxCon Europe 2012 in Barcelona, Spain, the Linux Foundation was busy securing a greater commitment to its cause from Hewlett-Packard. Hitherto a Gold member, the Palo Alto-based tech company, which boasts a number of Linux-based products in its portfolio, has decided to take its involvement with the Linux Foundation to the next level.
Most of the buzz surrounding Google’s upcoming Nexus 10 tablet is on account of its WQXGA (2560×1600) display, the highest-resolution screen of any tablet out there. This isn’t the first time this year that a tablet has managed to grab headlines due to its display’s pixel count, though, with the now discontinued 3rd generation iPad also hogging a plenty of limelight for its 2048×1152 screen earlier this year. But even as manufacturers continue to up the display resolution ante in the highly competitive media tablet market, laptop vendors still seem content with 1366x768 displays for the most part. A certain Linus Torvalds has a major problem with that.
The talking heads at Valve continue to downplay the importance Windows plays in the future of PC gaming, pointing instead to Linux as an alternative in progress that's gaining steam (and Steam, for that matter). Serving as the latest indication that Valve has a growing affinity for Linux, software engineer Drew Bliss talked up the open source platform during a presentation at the Ubuntu Developer Summit.
A Linux port of Steam has been on the cards for a while now. Back in July, the Valve Linux team revealed in its inaugural blog post that it was working on getting a fully-featured Steam client up and running on Ubuntu 12.04. Apparently, that project has made enough progress for Valve to start looking for beta testers.
Canonical on Thursday announced that the final version of Ubuntu 12.10 (codenamed "Quntal Quetzal") is all polished up and ready for mass consumption. It's "the perfect alternative for anyone considering a move to Windows 8," says Canonical, which points out that Ubuntu 12.10 works naturally across devices. Unlike previous versions of the open source OS, the latest release puts a heavy emphasis on the cloud.
An extra step has been added to the Ubuntu download process, one which Canonical hopes will urge users to open up their wallets and contribute to the open source operating system's future development. Now when you go to download Ubuntu, a donation screen appears where you can not only flip a few funds at Canonical, but also tell them where exactly you think your cash would be best utilized.