Penguin chief: Linux must 'out fabulous' Apple's iPhone
Steve Jobs stands alone
Apple, not Windows, is Linux's prime competitor on smart phones, according to a top Linux representative.
Jim Zemlin has told suits reading BusinessWeek that with its declining market share Windows is an also-ran in mobile computing and Linux has emerged as the main competitor to Apple.
The Linux Foundation's executive director reckons it's now Apple versus everyone else:
We're moving to a tech world with Apple on one side and virtually everyone else on the other. Linux needs to more effectively compete with Steve Jobs and the magic of Apple. It's important that open-source products add more value for users than simply being free.
Echoing Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, Zemlin warned open sourcers their software needs to out-Apple Apple on design and functionality, and they can't bury themselves in the cryptic commands and poor user interfaces that typified Linux since it exploded in the 1990s.
"Open-source software also needs to be fabulous," he said. "Mobile Linux vendors must increase their technical investments by working on key open-source projects to make every component used in Linux devices benefit the user experience. That includes making devices boot up faster, connect better, and display graphics more smoothly."
Zemlin belives Apple is fated to go the way of Sun Microsystems, which also believed it could beat Linux by controlling the full hardware and software stack.
You can read Zemlin's full article here. ®
This is what we tend to forget
Apple is not a "magic" company, Apple's A4 processor is not significantly better than any other companies' processor, etc.
The significantly above average IT literate readers of The Register know this; but what we forget is that Apple gets the little things right. The "responsive as an iPhone" comment from Anonymous Coward @ 10th June 2010 13:16 GMT is a good example of this.
This is what matters to the 90% of the population, who are technologically illiterate. In the Jim Zemlin article, http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jun2010/tc2010069_622120.htm , he said
"... Providing a good user experience isn't paramount under the white lights of the data center.
In consumer electronics, it's a different story."
The average reader of The Register can probably jail-break an iPhone if he or she wished to do so, but the bulk of the population does not know what jail-breaking is and probably don't care.
So that's two, then.
Canonical's Shuttleworth was saying similar things not so long ago.
It's about damned time, frankly. It's only taken them about 19 years to realise that there's no point creating good technology if you need a Ph.D. in Pure & Applied Cryptic Control Design just to understand its user interface, let alone master it.
That said, good UI design is *hard*—even Apple have dropped a few clangers—so it'll be interesting to see how this pans out.
No shit, how long did it take them to realise that then?