If something like that does happen, it will be a huge financial shot in the arm for Canonical, but to bank on it would be foolish. Canonical isn’t waiting for the proceeds from all those expected shipments to (pleasantly) inundate its coffers, though. In the meantime, it is going to rely on Amazon affiliate commissions to supplement its income.
Valve is forging ahead with plans to port its Steam distribution platform over to Linux and has even managed to tweak Left 4 Dead 2 to run faster on a 32-bit Ubuntu system than on a Windows 7 machine, but as far as John Carmack is concerned, the real challenge will be getting Linux users to open their wallets. Carmack, as you know, is the founder and technical director of id Software, and also an open source advocate. He's also a realist.
You may have heard that Valve is hard at work porting its Steam client to the Linux platform, but it's not because the company has developed a sudden affinity towards the open source space. The real reason is because Valve views Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 release as a "catastrophe" in the making for the PC industry at large, or at least that's the viewpoint held by Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director at Valve.
The kick ass Summer Sale isn't the only thing the Steam team has up their collective sleeves this week. Yesterday, Valve launched a brand-spanking-new Valve Linux blog to chronicle the company's forays into open source, and the initial post was a doozy: it confirmed all those earlier reports that Valve is working hard to get Steam up and running on everybody's favorite open source operating system. Actually, scratch that; the 11 person Valve Linux team already has the Steam client up and running.
Back in May, Canonical announced that shipments of PCs with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed were expected to crack 5 percent of the overall PC market this year. Part of that figure comes from the company's collaboration with Dell on "Sputnik," a project that slaps a developer-friendly, Dell XPS 13-optimized version of Ubuntu on -- you guessed it -- a Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook, complete with all the driver kinks worked out. That project isn't quite ready for the mainstream yet, but Dell recently rolled out a sign-up sheet for developers who want to get in on Linux-licious Sputnik beta testing.
Linus Torvalds opened a can of worms when he took verbal, caught-on-video issue with what he perceives as a continued indifference towards Linux by Nvidia. Actually, scratch that -- maybe it wasn't what he said, but how he said it, calling Nvidia "the worst company we've ever dealt with" and extending middle fingers and f-bombs in the company's honor. Yesterday, Nvidia's PR team took time to respond to the allegations.
Between the new GTX 600 series GPUs and its top-notch Tegra 3 mobile chips, Nvidia's been getting a lot of love from the press and consumers alike in recent months. One guy ain't so happy with the company, though: Linus Torvalds. His lack of love revolves around Nvidia's continued reluctance to show the love to the Linux operating system -- and Linus isn't afraid to express his displeasure, either with words or obscene gestures.
Some head-in-the-clouds philosophical types say time is like a rubber band, stretching out slowly then snapping forward in a burst; the proof to that hypothesis may just lie in the humble Linux kernel. It took Linus and co. a whopping 20 years to finally release Linux 3.0 last July, and less than a year later, Linux 3.4 is already here. The new build brings several new things to the table, with a multitude of Brtfs updates and support for the latest graphics options being the most noticeable changes.
Do you Ubuntu? If the answer's "Yes," then you probably installed the operating system yourself, using an .iso image and a little keyboard finger-grease. Congratulations! You're the One Percent of the computer world; most users, especially everyday users, would never even attempt to load a Linux variant on a PC. If they want to go truly mainstream, Ubuntu and its Linux brethren need to come preinstalled on OEM-built computers -- and that's why the numbers and news tossed around at yesterday's Ubuntu Developers Summit are so heartening.
Finland's Millennium Technology Prize is one of the largest and most prestigious awards a person in the technology field can receive; past winners include Tim Berniers-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, and a handful of really smart folks who have whipped up innovations ranging from dye-sensitized solar cells to "biomaterials for controlled drug release and tissue regeneration." One of the newest members of the exclusive club is responsible for something many Maximum PC-types swear by: Linux.