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Showing posts from February, 2009

Future of Linux desktop: co-Linux on Android

We're at the native Linux desktop, moving towards the Android desktop (netbooks coming soon). What would bridge those two environments, is to offer a second Linux sandbox which runs along with Android.

Android has a very specific architecture, with its own libraries and non-X based GUI, which are not conducive to running standard Linux/X applications. Even it's libc version (bionic) omits certain POSIX features, making it not fully compatible. Android apps have to be targeted for and compiled against Android.

To allow native Linux apps to run, a second sandbox environment is needed, which can co-operate with Android. Android would be the master environment, providing all of the kernel, hardware drivers, and complete software stack that it already does. The co-Linux environment would provide a separate set of non-kernel components: libraries, configuration and administrative files, applications, etc. As Android drives the hardware, the co-Linux environment would need to de…

Linux winners will be deal-makers with Microsoft

We have just entered a new era in interoperability between Linux and Windows.

The Desktop

A week ago, Google announced that they licensed Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol technology, and released a beta of the Google Sync service. Google Sync is a new push technology that allows over-the-air sync of Google calendar appointments and email contacts, across a number of handset environments including Windows Mobile devices. This was a wise move and one with a desktop component best described in a related quote I found:
"... a solid step in Google's march toward owning the desktop."If Linux wins ground on the desktop, it won't be because the Bell Curve of users cares it's Linux -- it'll be because the desktop gives users what they want. Easy synchronization is essential. At the same time, I believe this was smart of Microsoft. Android and Google services are gaining traction, and at some point Microsoft has to capitalize on the areas it has value, ra…

Canonical half as revenue efficient as Red Hat, per person

Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu Linux.

Recently, Canonical's CEO gave some indications of their annual revenue (about $30 million/year). As Canonical is a private company, there hasn't otherwise been a lot of financial information forthcoming. However, it's estimated that Canonical has 200+ employees.

This makes for an interesting opportunity to compare revenue efficiency on a per-employee basis with Red Hat (RHT), a competing public Linux company. Red Hat has approximately 2200 employees and its estimated 2009 revenue is 653.65 million dollars. I love this as a first order comparison between direct competitors to see how efficiently companies generate revenue.

That would put Red Hat at ~300K dollars per employee and Canonical at ~150K dollars per employee, or only half. To add some perspective, Microsoft rakes in ~676K dollars per employee. To be fair, Canonical is a younger company, and has likely made investments that will need time to play out on the revenue …