Ubuntu is, hands-down, the most popular flavor of Linux out there. But Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu build, wants to do more than just show up on your computer. Canonical showed off a concept phone last year that paired Android with Ubuntu, showing the desktop operating system when the phone was docked and Google’s mobile OS for when the phone was out and about with its owner. It’s now clear that the concept shown last year was foreshadowing a much deeper dive into mobile for Canonical — today, the company pulled back the curtain on its Ubuntu-based mobile operating system.
I have plenty to say about it, but if you’re willing to sit through a 22-minute video (see video above), you can also learn about the Ubuntu Phone OS from Canonical’s CEO, Mark Shuttlesworth.
It looks like the report about consumers being hesitant to switch to Windows 8 wasn’t too far off. Microsoft insider, Paul Thurrott, published an article that Windows 8 sales are currently well below initial projections. Thurrott writes, “sales of Windows 8 PCs are well below Microsoft’s internal projections and have been described inside the company as disappointing.” He goes on to note that the information is coming from one of his most trusted sources at Microsoft.
Well, that doesn’t sound too good. Of course, this news comes out after Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows division, was fired earlier this week. As of right now, Microsoft is blaming the poor Windows 8 sales on PC manufactures who Microsoft says hasn’t provided new PC designs or had a great deal of availability.
Anyone who remotely follows Microsoft’s release cycle of the Windows operating system has likely noticed the somewhat obvious fact that Microsoft’s success with each release is spotty at best. Sure, Windows 7 has been on the market for a while now and has achieved a pretty outstanding adoption rate and has earned a killer reputation amongst consumers, but Windows Vista – the release prior to that – has widely been seen as a horrid release. Before that Microsoft earned high ratings with Windows XP, and before that the Windows ME release was looked down upon like nothing else. What point am I trying to get across here? Whenever we prepare for Microsoft to release another version of Windows, we as consumers really have to question how solid of a release it’s going to be.
This time around is going to be especially interesting because Microsoft is implementing such dramatic changes into the operating system. With a more refined layout that closely resembles the Windows Phone 7 mobile layout – a much more dramatic implementation of a mobile-like environment in comparison to Apple’s iOS-inspired scrollbars and gestures in Lion – Microsoft really has been working hard to overhaul the operating system in order to meet the needs and expectations of modern-day users. And even as someone who has come to prefer the Linux and Mac OS X side of things, I must say that the screenshots that have been posted around the Internet of the upcoming Windows 8 release have been incredibly impressive. Of course, there are things like the implementation of the ribbon UI that I’m not too fond of, but overall I really do think that Windows 8 has the potential to break the on-off “good release, bad release” cycle that Microsoft has become infamous for over the years.
I absolutely love my Mac. With the MacBook Pro, along with products such as the iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro, Apple has seriously raised the bar with the quality and grade of materials and components that go into their computers. The aluminum body, backlit keyboard, large glass trackpad, and beautiful display on my MacBook Pro easily surpasses the quality of any other notebook that I’ve ever seen. And the sleek design is really the icing on the cake. But as much as I love the design and physical aspects of my Mac, the thing that drew me into Apple’s product line and amazed me the most has been the operating system; Mac OS X. Having had used Linux for a while before buying my Mac, I was honestly a tad concerned about the move to OS X, as many critics are quick attribute the simplicity of the operating system as a flaw. However I have, in the past few months, developed the opinion that OS X is the most versatile operating system on the market right now, conforming to the needs of novices and power-users alike.
Needless to say, as a new Mac user I was seriously looking forward to the official unveiling of Lion a few weeks back at Apple’s highly covered Worldwide Developers Conference. I didn’t really know what I was expecting to come out of it, but I naturally figured that the next generation operating system would sport various improvements and perhaps a handful of handy features. But after everything set in after the event, I must say that I am a bit wary about Lion to the point that I honestly do not want to upgrade right away.
Tomorrow the Mac App Store opens to the public. It’s going to be an exciting day for everyone – developers, consumers, and Apple. Mac developers will be able to cash in on the whole App Store scene, while of course, Apple keeps their 30% cut. Consumers will likely have some great software deals available to them with introductory pricing and all. It will take a while for the dust to settle from the initial launch before we can really tell what the Mac App Store really means in terms of distribution and also pricing models with regard to the future of software.
The overall idea of a centralized app store certainly has it’s benefits and perks, especially for the company that controls it. Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t some challenges or problems that it may face as well. Additionally, I’m almost positive that the 30% cut that Apple takes from developers is less than what it costs companies such as Adobe and Microsoft to get their software on disks and then have it shipped around the world. Which brings up the question, does the app store model work better than what we have now?
It has already been made perfectly clear that Google’s upcoming Chrome operating system is going to be a miserable failure if it is used exclusively for netbook computers. With the market for tablet computers expanding at a rapid rate, competition in the mobile computing field is undoubtedly going to become a big thing. So it should come as no surprise that Linus Upson – the vice president of engineering for Chrome – has recently announced that Google’s web-intensive operating system is going to expand past the netbook market and onto handheld computers, tablet computers, and television systems. But when looking at the big picture, Chrome OS still looks a bit repetitive.
First off, let’s look at the first type of device that the Chrome OS would be a candidate for installation on. In short, a handheld computer is simply a mobile computer that has a relatively light-weight OS. Way back when, a “handheld computer” was simply a fancy name for PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), most notably the Palm. However, as times have progressed and communications have become a must-have with mobile computers, the market for smartphones such as the has far surpassed that of the PDA market, simply because a smartphone is simply a beefed-up PDA with the ability to make calls. One of the biggest contenders in the smartphone OS market is Google’s Android OS; the same universal operating system that powers both low-end smartphones, as well as powerhouses such as the Droid 2.
If it’s one thing we have heard about Apple computers it is that they are expensive, can’t be customized and everything is made for someone without a brain. However, Apple in truth provides one of the most customizable and feature rich operating systems currently on the market. In an attempt to redeem the Mac OS I’ve compiled a list of tips tricks and features.
One of the more interesting features about a Mac is it’s unique dock. Applications are placed in the left of the dock to allow easy access to your most used programs. Folder are placed in the right of the dock for ease of access. Here are a few pointers for customizing your dock.
- By default when applications are minimized they go into the right part of the dock. This can be redundant and kind of annoying. To have your applications minimize into the application icon in the dock simply navigate to System Preferences (This is by default in the dock. If not click the Apple logo in the upper left then click System Preferences.) Inside System Preferences you’ll find under the Personal options Dock. By clicking it you’ll be presented with all the options for your mac dock. To enable windows minimized to the application icon tick the box “Minimize windows into application icon”
- Stacks are a really cool feature in OS X. Not only does it make the folders placed in the dock look really bad ass it also gives you the ability to customize the look of your folders in the dock. Simply find a photo any photo and place it in the folder you want to customize. Rename the photo to *.jpg (Yes that is an asterisk.) This will ensure the photo you select is always in the front of the stack. That is it! You have a completely customized icon for your stack.
We need to kill the Windows Installer. More specifically, Microsoft needs to kill it. Why? Because it’s a poor method of installing software. Alternative operating systems to Windows such as Mac OS X and every Linux distribution do software installations the right way. What makes their method for installing software the “right way” you ask? It’s flat out easier, more intuitive, and less cumbersome.
As it stands now when you want to install a piece of software on Windows you are required to download an executable file and run it. The executable then opens the Installer which prompts you for several things. Some of which require clicking a checkbox, selecting particular options, and clicking buttons. How many times do I have to click “Next” to install something on Windows? It’s a tedious task. One that I think can also be argued to be too complicated for many end users.