MeeGo, Android, ChromeOS - Signs of Linux REALLY Going Mainstream Finally?

Ever since I have started learning and using Linux, this is something I always thought "was happening" and never knew when it will "really happen". And the thing is called mass Linux adoption. Why is it necessary? How is the likes of Android, MeeGo and Chrome OS is going to change the world as we know it forever? Let's explore.

What is MeeGo and How does it matter?

meego screenshot

MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system project which was announced at Mobile World Congress in February 2010 by Intel and Nokia in a joint press conference.

It all started with Intel kick starting its own project for developing an operating system for mobile and netbook platform. Project was called Moblin.

Intel was rather late in recognizing one important lesson. Hardware is not the key, it's the software when you see it from a user point of view. It is because of the clear monopoly that Microsoft Windows enjoyed that they were able to cut deals with hardware partners. So the hard reality is, even though you produce the smartest hardware, if you don't have compatible software to run on it, there is no point.

Things became harder for Intel when the world  slowly started moving towards smaller devices like mobile phones and netbooks. All Microsoft had was the clumsy Vista which was barely usable even on high end hardware and Windows 7 which does't had a comprehensive support for smaller hardware like Intel's Atom processor.

Intel slowly and painfully realized that their business model is heavily depended in Microsoft and its innovativeness. They choose opensource and Linux as the alternative and hence Moblin.

Nokia, on the other hand was also in a precarious state. Even though they were the market leaders, they slowly recognized the fact that, ground beneath their feet is moving and moving fast with the advent of iPhone and the now prominent Android. And Nokia's own completely closed and outdated Symbian operating system was beginning to show its limitations pretty badly. 

Nokia also went on to choose Linux and their project was named Maemo. Maemo was based on our very own Debian GNU/Linux. And later on, Intel and Nokia realized that their interests overlap and it resulted in the merging of Moblin and Maemo to form MeeGo. The first release of the project happened in May 2010 and was called MeeGo v1.0.

How is Google's ChromeOS intend to change internet landscape further?


If there is no internet, why would I use my Computer. I would rather go watch TV then. This is the underlying logic behind the existence of Google Chrome OS.

So everything in Google Chrome OS is optimized for internet. Chrome OS has already achieved near 5 second boot time. Watch this Chrome OS demo video. It is awesome.

Google want people to be "happy". Happy as in "satisfied users". I mean, for Google, more satisfied users = more users = more money. 

As we have discussed before, Google won't probably make any money by selling any operating system or applications/softwares. Google wants more internet savvy users and that is where their money is. 

Google Chrome OS is another step in this regard. They simply want users to have more choice. When you have more choice the whole ecosystem, internet ie, tend to grow even further much faster. Read our previous article on Google Chrome OS.

The Android Story


While Moblin and Google Chrome OS are still largely 'concepts', I mean there are no production devices yet, Android on the other hand is an open source project which has already proved its mettle. Every single mobile phone manufacturer is racing to build and release their version of Android mobile phone.

Never before there have been such a rush for an operating system based on Linux, which is encouraging. And the funny thing, most of the users won't even know that they are using a linux based operating system. Drawback of 'going mainstream' I guess. But that is perfectly OK! (Also Read: 15 Stunning Google Android Wallpapers For Your Desktop)

Why these new changes matter from a user point of view?
What was the best option you had when your Windows machine is completely broken and infected with all kinds of spywares and viruses. I will tell you, reinstalling windows!! There were simply no alternatives. Or the alternatives(read linux) never had the financial muscle to market it to the masses. All this is going to change with biggies like Google, Intel and Nokia with their almost indefinite financial muscle starts marketing Linux(read MeeGo, Android, Chrome OS). Google Chrome Video Ads are a good precursor to this.

So we the users are going to end up with a plethora to choose from and this is the single biggest change that is going to happen as a result of the arrival of MeeGo, Google Chrome OS, Android and the likes.

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