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Android 3.0 tablets finally challenging Apple's iPad

The first tablet with Google's Android 3.0 operating system, Motorola Xoom, is finally here. The tablet has a 10-inch screen and is one of the first serious challengers to Apple's iPad. It also has a more powerful dual-core processor.

But with iPad 2 due in the next few weeks, have Motorola and Google done enough to challenge Apple and iOS? Yes, there's always a start, and Google has built a pretty solid OS that has strong device support around it.

Motorola Xoom finally becomes available

Motorola Xoom has finally become available, after making an major early impression with a strong feature set. The 10-inch has strong software (Google's Android 3.0 OS) and strong hardware (Nvidia's speedy dual-core Tegra 2 chip).

This is the first Android 3.0 tablet, and can lay a serious challenge to Apple's iPad. A spate of 7-inch screens with Android 2.2 (Froyo) such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab couldn't dent Apple's dominance.

Don't hope for open source software on Windows Phone 7 handsets

Microsoft has removed some open-source software from its Windows Phone marketplace. The company has banned applications with licensed under GPL -- such as GNU GPL -- which is used to distribute free and open-source software.

Essentially, Windows Phone developers won't be allowed to publish application code under open-source licenses. This is a ploy by Microsoft to keep its OS and application code away from review.

Cracks developing in the Windows-Intel (Wintel) relationship

A number of published reports today had comments from a visibly upset Paul Otellini, who just lost a customer in Nokia, when it opted for the Windows Phone 7.

Nokia dumped its Meego OS -- which was under development with Intel -- in favor of WP7 earlier this week. Otellini cursed just like Yahoo's CEO (Carol Bartz) after he heard the news of Nokia's move to WP7, PC World states.

London Stock Exchange goes live with Linux

The last two weeks have been somewhat historic for Linux: HP announcing WebOS tablets; and Nokia sadly dumping Linux for Windows Phone 7. But the best news so far: London Stock Exchange having migrated over to the Linux-based trading platform -- Millennium Exchange.

LiMo puts new distro in mobile Linux race

LiMo Foundation has announced LiMo 4, it's latest Linux distro for smartphones, handsets and other mobile devices. It's a free operating system and hardware independent, so device makers and telecom operators can tweak the OS for their offerings.

The LiMo distro will be available for download in July, the organization said in a release. A number of telecom operators seem to have good things to say about the OS, which is interesting.

Looking into MeeGo's future

Intel has tried to keep a brave front in the wake of Nokia's about-face on MeeGo last week in favor of the Windows Phone platform. Intel looked beyond Nokia, showing the OS on tablets, and saying it would move on with Meego.

Intel has a lot of cash and has already put in a lot of resources into Meego, so don't expect the OS to die overnight.

The Linux Foundation's vision is misguided

Earlier this week, HP's proprietary Linux-based operating WebOS was hailed as the coming out party for Linux by Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. Zemlin said WebOS was the death knell for Windows, and that HP would make Linux a desktop contender.

That was a good day for Zemlin, who is one of the open-source visionaries. 

Hardware goes open source

Open source software. But open source hardware? Sure, why not. Some very committed individuals have put together the principles of Open Source Hardware. Hardware elements such as processors have been open sourced in the past, like OpenSparc, but under OSHW's definition, entire machines could be open sourced.

OSHW entails opening up machines, devices, or "other physical things" to the public. The trademark or patents from such devices will be cut, opening it up for modification and distribution.

HP's WebOS goes against spirit of Linux and free operating systems

Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad has generated a lot of excitement, as so has WebOS 3.0, the Linux-based OS that runs the device. Linux fans are claiming that the arrival of WebOS 3.0 is a sure sign of Linux's arrival, and the death knell for Windows.

But I beg to differ -- the closed nature of WebOS goes against the very free nature of Linux and could in fact hurt the growth of the OS.


What needs to be improved most on Android 3.x for tablets?: