Acer Favors Windows Compatibility Over Linux - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
3/9/2009
08:00 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
50%
50%

Acer Favors Windows Compatibility Over Linux

Acer recently announced it was getting into the smartphone business. It seems it is all Windows Mobile devices and that decision has drawn criticism from those that support Linux desktops.

Acer recently announced it was getting into the smartphone business. It seems it is all Windows Mobile devices and that decision has drawn criticism from those that support Linux desktops.According to TechRadar, "Aymar de Lencquesaing, senior corporate VP of Acer, was asked why the new phones all used Windows, to which he replied that they gave the easiest option for synchronisation with its notebook and netbook install base." Other than a Linux option on a particular model of the Acer Aspire One netbook, Acer really focuses on Windows-based PCs for the desktop, so it makes sense that it would want to deliver phones to its customers that would easily connect to their PC. At best, Linux has a 4% desktop share, though I personally think that number is over-estimated a bit. Whatever the real number is, it is low single digits, while Windows still commands above a 90% share. When you're going to sell a device, you cannot ignore the biggest market. At 4%, there are a lot of Linux desktops out there, but you have to ask what percentage of those owners are interested in a phone that will sync with their desktop software. Making it more difficult is that it isn't like Linux is one operating system. It really describes a broad range of operating systems, each customized with its own desktop shell. There are dozens of distributions available for desktops and not all software written for Linux works on all distributions. This means the market share for a particular subset of distributions is even smaller. Even T-Mobile doesn't have any desktop sync capability for the G-1, a Linux-based device, instead relying on its over-the-air features for users to get their data and information to the phone. I understand the frustration of IT admins that have adopted Linux as their primary desktop, but in the numbers that this adoption is happening, it doesn't make sense to expect device manufacturers, smartphone or otherwise, to expend significant resources on developing software for those desktops. Linux does have a huge open source community that can dedicate resources to projects like this. There is independent third-party sync software for Windows Mobile and Mac OS X. That means it is definitely possible for there to be similar software for Linux. Let the phonemakers do what they do best, adopt mobile platforms to great hardware, selling large numbers that will allow even better phones in the future. Let third-party developers focus on bringing those phones together with their platform of choice.

Unrelated tip: I just discovered that you can easily access Wikipedia on your phone. Just browse to http://en.m.wikipedia.com on your phone for the English site. Replace the "en" in the URL with the language of your choice to see if they have a mobile site in that language.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll