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Open source software competition heats up

Posted: 30 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MeeGo  Android  Computex  Linaro  software 

Linaro, a new player in the game, is aiming to subsume all flavours of Linux: it will support the research and development of open source code of Linux software, including Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS. Linaro announced that it will issue every six months optimisation tools, cores and middleware that are widely applied in SoC design. Linaro has already issued a 10.05 beta in parallel with its establishment, and in November 2010, it will release the formal 10.11 version of software and tools for its SoC membership. Then, in May 2011, Linaro will launch the 11.05 version.

Linaro mission

Figure 2: Linaro's aim: To develop open source code using a common fundamental platform.

Intel, on the other hand, has initiated a huge ecosystem, gathering operating system vendors (OSVs), OEMs and telecom industry players to gain their support for its Linux operating system plan, MeeGo and Intel AppUp Centre.

In the near future, tens of thousands connected devices will be able to adopt even more different kinds of operating systems, according to Tudor Brown, president of ARM. "Yes, Microsoft is still steering the main stream software technology, but Linux is also applied by many network devices. To us, the challenge lies in how to improve and accelerate the schedule for the products into the market," he added.

Tom Lantzsch, CEO of Linaro, said, "Linaro will bring even more practical benefits for the community of open source software, including more investment for the development tools and processors, and fresh new SoC products that will be much easier for the developers to cut in." To the semiconductor vendors, Linaro has offered the approach of expandable channel supports and enabled the members to share non-differentiated software, thus decreasing the "duplicated development software" issue, which reduces costs as well as improves their relationship with the open source software community.

Free reign
In parallel with the rapid development of mobile computing, various Linux-based OS have popped up one after another: Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS, for instance. While Android is getting increasingly popular because of improvements made by Google, MeeGo has Intel's resources devoted to it and has recently achieved support from Nokia.

"Besides Nokia, almost all the mobile manufacturers are overwhelmingly moving to Android," said Julian Hsu, regional manager of Pac Rim Embedded Systems, Mentor Graphics.

Mentor Graphics is offering a suite of user interface (UI) tools named Inflexion to Android handsets. "We have enabled the manufacturers to produce the GUI within two months," said Hsu.

The company claims Inflexion UI engine and designer tools can optimise 3D effects, and support OpenGL/ES to realise advanced acceleration of software and hardware. "Just like HTC Sense, we can help manufacturers realise smooth applications on Android mobiles," said Hsu.

However, Daniel Kihlberg Palleja, global marketing services director of Nokia's Qt Development Frameworks department, argued, "Android has been preached up so much. In next six to nine months, mobile manufacturers will move from Android to Qt."


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