For those following the developments in the open source world, particularly with the emergence of open source operating systems that may challenge the dominance of those in the current market, a recent item from the ReadWriteWeb titled 5 Reasons to Get Excited about Linux on the Netbook will be of interest. It ties in well with my recent post where I noted the swing towards the use of netbooks in schools in the US.
Last year the writers at RWW claimed that your next computer may be a Linux PC, based on the rise in sales of netbooks and the opportunity for these to be released with pre-loaded Linux OS. Unfortunately there were problems with this as the article outlines in its introduction, but now they feel the tide may be changing.
In this article RWW reports on five different operating systems that you could install on a netbook right now (or at least in the very near future). These include JotiCloud, Cloud1.0 from gOS, Moblin, the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and of course, Google’s ChromeOS which at this stage is only an announcement.
Of course, this is an area that is still in its infancy, but is exciting to see the developments occurring, and the range of options that are emerging. What is interesting is how each of the OSs listed above is being optimised specifically for netbooks – a clear sign that the developers see netbooks as being a significant part of the emerging marketplace.
As I am hearing an increasing number of schools around the country beginning to think about purchasing netbooks for students (decisions being driven mostly by price considerations), my advice is to think also about the operating system that they might choose to install.
As a footnote, but still on the topic of software licensing and operating systems, I note that the the NZ Ministry of Education has signed contracts to provide schools with computer operating systems, office suites, anti-virus and web filtering software for the next three years. In the press release they note that..
“Schools will still be free to use any product they wish to. A number of schools are using open source software or browser based alternatives and they will continue to have this choice.”
Sounds good – but not all agree 🙂