Operating Systems

Operators Support Firefox OS

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Mozilla shows off the first commercial build of Firefox OS at MWC 2013 as 17 international carriers (including Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and Telecom Italia) pledge support for the smartphone OS contender.

Firefox OSThe OS also has manufacturer support-- Alcatel, LGE and ZTE will launch the "first wave" of Firefox OS devices in a number of developing and emerging markets (including Spain, Hungary, Poland, Montegro and Serbia) from H2 2013, followed by offerings from China's Huawei.

Based on open web standards, Firefox OS promises an end to the "walled gardens" of iOS, Windows Phone or (to an extent) Android. It turns smartphones into what essentially is a browser, with each feature turned into an HTML5-based app.

“Firefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to mobile users everywhere,” Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs says. “With the support of our vibrant community and dedicated partners, our goal is to level the playing field and usher in an explosion of content and services that will meet the diverse needs of the next 2 billion people online.”


LG Buys webOS for TV Use?

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The saga of Palm's webOS mobile operating system gets an unlikely new chapter-- the ill-fated OS now belongs LG, where it will find use not in tablets or smartphones, but in smart TVs.

LGThe news comes ahead of a supposed MWC 2013 announcement via CNET.

If the story is true, LG now owns the webOS source code, documentation and related websites, as well as licenses and patents Palm had transfered to HP following its 2010 acquisition.

What remains of the webOS team will also find employment in the LG Silicon Valley Lab.

CNET mentions 2 reasons why LG will employ webOS in smart TVs-- the company is committed to Android as mobile OS, while most of the webOS team working on mobile devices at HP has already left for (hopefully) greener pastures.

We will have more detail once an official announcement surfaces at MWC 2013, Barcelona.

Go webOS Lives! LG to Resurrect it for Smart TVs (CNET)

Canonical Unveils Ubuntu for Tablets

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We already know Ubuntu Linux is set to arrive on mobile devices-- now Canonical reveals how the upcoming version of the OS will take on the tablet experience. 

Ubuntu tabletAble to run the same applications as the desktop version, tablet Ubuntu promises the best of both PC and mobile worlds with "side stage" multitasking allowing users to run phone and tablet apps side-by-side (for example a video playing on one side, a Twitter app on the other) on a single display. 

Once connected to a keyboard and mouse Ubuntu tablets also provide a desktop experience complete with remote Windows access via VMware, Wyse, Microsoft and Citrix virtual desktop tools.  

"Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience," Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth says. "Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. That's unique to Ubuntu and it's the future of personal computing."


The Next Smartphone OS Contestant is...

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Look out iOS, Android, et al, a new kid is headed towards smartphone OS town-- Linux in Ubuntu form, as developers Canonical set to focus attentions on smartphones from 2013 onward. 

Linux phoneIt won't be a cut-down version of the PC OS either. According to Canonical Ubuntu 14.04 designed for use in smartphones and smart TVs as well as computers. 

The interface is enhanced for touchscreens, apparently using all screen edges "for a more immersive experience" and thumb gestures for fast switching between apps. 

Canonical aims the OS at two markets-- lower-end smartphones and an enterprise customers wanting to converge phone, PC and thin client into "a single enterprise superphone."

Now the company looks for OEMs and carriers willing to go for Linux, providing engineering services and compatibility with the typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). Programming language support includes HTML5, QML and OpenGL, but no Dalvik (the Android Java Virtual machine). 

Ubuntu 14.04 is currently on show at CES 2013, but will only be available from 2014. Perhaps by then Canonical will manage to get a big name mobile vendor on board the Linux train. 

Go Ubuntu Comes to the Phone

Jolla Sails on With Mobile OS

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Finland-based mobile developer Jolla finally shows off the fruit of its labours-- CEO Marc Dillon appears on MTV 3 Finland with a live demo of Sailfish, its MeeGo-based smartphone OS.

SailfishRunning on what looks like a Nokia N950 developer device, the OS looks rather interesting. It has a tile-based UI, with running apps showing up on the homescreen as large, interactive widgets.

A "pulley" menu allows users to control music playback or answer/end calls, without need to open separate apps. Customisation is automatic through "ambience," a system generating the look and feel for a device via photo analysis.

The company promises the OS runs many Android apps "unaltered" (via Myriad Alien Dalvik), while other apps will need tweaking. It also has partnerships with at least one vendor (ST-Ericsson) and a mobile network (Finland's DNA) for future Sailfish mobile devices.

Jolla first made an appearance on July 2012 as a collective of ex-Nokia employees from the MeeGo N9 division. Named after a kind of sail boat, it hopes to create an alternative to Android and iOS using MeeGo, the shortlived OS merging Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects.

Watch Presenting Jolla

Go Here is the New Sailfish Operating System

Go MeeGo Sails on in Jolla