You’re So Linux and You Don’t Even Know ItPeople use mobiles and mobile devices all the time, but some people don’t know that many of them now use Linux and Open Source software. This is making proprietary software vendors like Microsoft and Apple defensive.

At the beginning of 2012 there were a number of intellectual property lawsuits and deals involving companies such as Google, Motorola, Nortel, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook. Money was behind the trend, but more importantly the more positive aspect of the trend is the huge growth and increasing importance of Open Source IT Solutions. Among them is Linux.

Android is built on Linux

Google Android, for example, is built on Version 3.3 of the Linux Kernel. Android is one of the main rivals to Apple’s proprietary iOS operating system, and mobile phones and devices have captured much of the market. CNN reports that it has a 68% market share. So Open Source solutions aren’t just for large enterprises; they are in our pockets too.

MeeGo: A free programming language

In July 2012, Nokia resurrected its MeeGo team. MeeGo is a free programming language which says can be used by anyone with the skillset. The original Nokia MeeGo team walked out of the company and set up business on their own to bring MeeGo powered devices to the mobile market.

The Verge spotted a Jolla LinkedIn page near the time, and it was revealed that a team was formed out of Nokia’s MeeGo N9 organisation. Brought into it were some of the best minds in the industry. The hope is that they will continue to contribute to the MeeGo success story, and yet very few Nokia customers will know that Open Source software is used.

Linux innovation is broadening

Keith Bergelt of the Open Invention Network wrote ‘The expanding need to protect innovation in Linux’ on 12th April 2012. He said:

“The scope of organisations creating and inventing through Linux is continually broadening, such as in the telecommunications space, where the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has brought a new era of mobile technology; and at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona it was clear that Linux was more prolific than ever in the mobile arena.”

He provides Tizen as an example. It’s backed by Intel and it was launched by the Linux Foundation at the trade show. Huawei also announced that it has plans to create and commercialise Tizen handsets for a range of markets. At the show, a beta release of the Tizen platform source code was launched too, and it goes to show how popular Linux is today.

Defensive: Microsoft and Apple

The fanfare that is being created by the innovations using Linux is making proprietary mobile device manufacturers feel a bit uneasy and defensive. Meanwhile, collaboration and support is being sought by well-funded organisations to develop Linux-based products. Therefore a spate of lawsuits about patent infringements is expected to occur – and it has been happening at an alarming rate. In fact they emerge as quickly as the Linux implementations and inventions appear.

Helping you with Linux

You can learn more about Linux services and Open Source Software (OSS) consultancy for all kinds of systems from the Linux systems management specialist LinuxIT. By talking to our team you could create your own mobile Linux applications, which could make it possible for your staff to collaborate and communicate more easily no matter where they are. An example of an Open Source collaboration platform is Google Docs, which is accessible from desktop computers and mobile devices. So Linux and Open Source software rules – even when you don’t even know it’s being used within a mobile platform!

To find out more about Linux, please take a look at our eGuide ‘From Classroom to Boardroom – the Linux Journey’.