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).
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.
It's no secret that Google's open source Android platform is the popular kid on the block, but even Google may not have envisioned a time when its mobile OS would account for 75 percent of all smartphones. Yet here we are, with Android installed on three out every four smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012, according to data by International Data Corporation (IDC).
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.
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.
Gabe Newell now famously referred to Windows 8 as a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space," which could work out great for Linux users. Based in part on fears that Microsoft will erect a walled garden around Windows 8 and lock out developers who don't want to play the Windows Store game, Valve has been hard at work trying to port Steam over to Linux, and the first beta run will kick off in October.
Nvidia's relationship with the open source Linux community is sometimes strained, such as when Linus Torvalds flipped Nvidia the bird and dropped f-bombs at the GPU maker in frustration over the lack of Linux support. It is what it is, and slowly but surely, things are improving. Proof of that can be found in Nvidia's new 304.51 display driver for Linux, which addresses a whole bunch of issues and adds support for several graphics cards.
Everyone who purchased one of Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad tablets last year during the company's infamous fire sale can finally feel vindicated in doing so. That's because the first beta release of Open webOS ships today, HP announced in a blog post. It's been a long eight months since HP first announced it would contribute the webOS software to the open source community, essentially handing the reins over to third-party developers.
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.