HP cut its losses last month and announced the company’s webOS mobile operating system would move to an open source model. On Wednesday, HP released a roadmap detailing the open source future of webOS. The company said it expects the software to be fully open-sourced by September, at which point it will be known as Open webOS 1.0. “HP is bringing the innovation of the webOS platform to the open source community,” said Bill Veghte, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at HP. “This is a decisive step toward meeting our goal of accelerating the platform’s development and ensuring that its benefits will be delivered to the entire ecosystem of web applications.” The second-generation Enyo framework, which debuted on the TouchPad, is now available with a bundle of related developer tools, and HP plans to release additional information nearly every month until September. The company also revealed that the mobile operating system will be moving to a standard Linux kernel in the hopes of attracting manufacturers who are experienced with Linux and Android. HP’s press release and roadmap can be found after the break. More →
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is preparing to launch a new ultra-affordable Linux-powered computer next month that is the size of a credit card. It’s so affordable, in fact, that it will cost just $25 or $35, depending on how much RAM the buyer requires. In an interview with Edge, Raspberry Pi Foundation head David Braben said, despite the size and low cost, the Raspberry Pi computer is powerful enough to run games such as Quake III Arena and power 1080p video. The company will launch just 10,000 units to developers next month, mostly in the United Kingdom. “At the moment we’re appealing to techy people because we want people to give their time for free, writing software and improving things, porting them from other places, and putting them into the public domain, essentially, so we can use them for education,” Braben said, noting that he hopes to turn the developer board into a consumer-friendly device next year. The Raspberry Pi is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 128MB or 256MB of RAM, support for an SD card, and both HDMI and RCA outputs. More →
Just-released data from Net Applications shows that Microsoft’s share of the PC operating system market continued its slow decent in October as Apple’s Mac operating system and Linux both showed narrow gains. While Windows is still the overwhelming market leader among desktop operating systems, the platform slid from a 92.44% share in September to a 91.86% share last month. Over the same period, Apple’s Mac OS climbed from 6.45% to 6.94% while Linux inched up from 1.11% in September to 1.19% in October. Microsoft’s share of the computer OS market is expected to continue its slow decent until the second half of 2012, when it is expected to launch its next-generation Windows 8 operating system that marries a full-blown desktop OS with a light-weight mobile platform for tablets and other emerging devices. A chart illustrating October desktop operating system market share data from Net Applications follows below. More →
Nokia is again developing a proprietary smartphone operating system after announcing this past February that it would abandon both Symbian and MeeGo in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform. Citing multiple anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reported that Nokia’s executive vice president of mobile phones, Mary McDowell, is heading up the project. Code-named “Meltemi,” the new mobile platform is reportedly Linux-based and it is intended for use on low-end smartphones. BGR has independently confirmed the report, and we have learned additional details that paint an exciting new picture of the mobile industry should Nokia’s new OS realize its potential.
Updated with statement from Nokia. More →
Amazon launched its new Kindle Cloud Reader service on Wednesday that provides users with access their Kindle library using Chrome or Safari on Mac, PC, Linux and the Chromebook. Kindle Cloud Reader is also optimized for the iPad and offers a caching feature for offline reading. To get started, simply navigate to http://read.amazon.com and install the small required plug-in. We gave the service a quick run this morning and were impressed by how fast it loaded our eBook library. We definitely still prefer the standalone app on the iPad, but we’re sure Amazon created this option as a loophole to get around Apple’s iTunes App Store rules. Don’t use Safari or Chrome? Amazon still has you covered with its Kindle for PC client. Read on for the full press release. More →
Microsoft announced on Monday that it has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses to date, but that hasn’t stopped the tech giant’s share of the global operating system market from sliding. According to market watcher Net Applications’ data for June 2011, Microsoft’s global operating system market share slid to 88.29% as it continued on its slow but steady decline. The second most popular OS in the world was Apple’s OS X, which was up a nominal amount to 5.37% of the global OS market, followed by iOS with 2.63%, Java ME with 1.12% and Linux with 0.95%. Though Android devices continue to sell rapidly, Net Applications placed the OS in the No. 6 spot in June with 0.72% of the global market. Since January of this year, Apple’s OS X and iOS market shares have risen steadily while Windows continues to slide. According to Net Applications’ revised data, Windows’ OS share dropped below 90% in January of this year for the first time since it climbed above the threshold. It had been reported earlier that the OS slid under 90% last November, but Net Applications has since updated its figures to show that Windows held a 90.81% share in November 2010 and a 90.29% share in December. Two charts showcasing Net Applications’ June data follow below. More →
Operating systems are big business. But just how big you ask? According to research firm Gartner, sales of server and desktop operating systems totalled nearly $30.4 billion in 2010 alone. “As the global economy recovered, worldwide operating system (OS) revenue totaled $30.4 billion in 2010, a 7.8 percent increase from 2009,” explains Gartner. “Among client OSs, Mac OS was the fastest-growing subsegment in 2010 as the unit shipments of Mac desktop/laptop devices saw strong sales, although from a much-smaller basis. Windows client was still the largest client OS segment, with high-single-digit growth, particularly driven by adoption of Windows 7 and the imminent end of life (EOL) of Windows XP.” Oracle saw the largest percentage-growth year-over-year thanks to its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Analysts are expecting the operating system revenues to continue to rise in 2011. More →
In honor of Research In Motion’s upcoming virgin voyage into the mysterious, turbulent waters that are today’s consumer tablet market, we thought we would take a moment to look back fondly at the tablet that started it all. No, not Apple’s iPad… we’re talking about the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. Ok, so the Nokia 770 didn’t really “start it all,” but it was the first notable effort from a cell phone manufacturer to lack voice capabilities and carry the “tablet” branding. Launched in 2005, the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet featured specs that would make modern tablets hang their heads in shame, including a 4.1-inch resistive touchscreen display, 64MB of RAM, 64MB of ROM, 3 hours of usage time per charge and a rip-roaring 250MHz TI processor. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be — the 770 didn’t sell well at all, and despite a few subsequent attempts, Nokia would end up packing in its Internet Tablet brand and refocusing on phones. Of course, Nokia plans to build new tablets now that they’re trendy and desirable, and hopefully the Finnish company’s upcoming efforts afford a more intuitive experience than its Internet Tablets of old.
BGR’s Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
Adobe has identified a zero-day exploit in the latest version of Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Using the the security hole, an attacker can potentially run malicious code and even take control of an affected system. While the vulnerability and potential damage to a system are significant, common sense will help users avoid the issue in most cases. The malicious code that takes advantage of this exploit is typically delivered as a Flash file embedded in a Microsoft Word document attached to an email. Most users in this day and age know to avoid such files. Adobe is currently working on a fix for the security hole, though the company has not stated when the fix might become available. More →
Sprint was nice enough to shoot us over its brand new Sprint Novatel 3G/4G MiFi, and while we saw it at CES, there’s just nothing like getting one in your hands (or paws) and taking it for a spin. We’re huge fans of Novatel Wireless, and we definitely prefer its MiFi products to USB data sticks or tethering our phones when we need mobile internet — so we’re extremely glad the company introduced a 4G WiMAX version of its popular MiFi device. Our quick impressions: it’s a tad thicker than the original MiFi, though it makes up for that by not only offering 4G speeds, but also by running a stripped down version of Linux that includes a splashy dashboard to monitor signal strength, GPS status, and network connectivity status in real-time. Additionally, we’re absolutely loving the eReader-like display on the MiFi that shows signal, GPS, and connectivity status. It’s extremely valuable and something we’re not sure how we lived without before. As for performance, we’re getting pretty decent speeds at 5Mbps down and 950Kbps up in and around New York City. We haven’t been able to judge battery life in our usage just yet, but it seems to be at least as good as the original MiFI workhouse we use all the time. Make sure to check out the rest of our photos in our gallery!
Adobe has issued a security bulletin about a critical security flaw found in Adobe Flash Player affecting the Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris, and Android operating systems. The vulnerability, labeled CVE-2011-0609, “could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system.” The company reports that exploits are already in the wild — most prevalently attached to Flash (.swf) and Excel (.xls) files. Adobe notes that it is “aware” of exploits for Adobe Reader and Acrobat, but explains that “Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing.” The company has stated that it will issue a patch for its Flash Player sometime during the week of March 21st. Curiously, the company writes, “Because Adobe Reader X Protected Mode would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing, we are currently planning to address this issue in Adobe Reader X for Windows with the next quarterly security update for Adobe Reader, currently scheduled for June 14, 2011.” June? Wow. Now might be a good time to enable Protected Mode on Adobe’s PDF reader. More →