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Thread: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

  1. #1
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    Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    Not because "people don't know how to install the OS." Not because it gives Linux a higher profile. Those are nice, but the real issue is right here:

    This afternoon Intel's Chief Linux and Open-Source Technologist, Dirk Hohndel, talked about why Intel's commitment to open-source drivers creates a difference and advantage for Intel's architecture platforms. . . . He also mentioned that a major OEM is requiring that by next year their hardware suppliers must either have an open-source driver available or be able to provide an open-source driver within the next twelve months. The likely company that comes to mind is Dell but Dirk refused to comment any further.
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=850&num=1

    That's the deal. Add in the fact that companies can have drivers written for free just by opening the specs, and open-source drivers will become a major factor in the hardware arena.

    The journey towards global occupation continues apace.

  2. #2
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    And it's not like having Linux drivers hurts their Windows drivers. On the contrary, my experience is that anything that's well-supported in Linux seems to have a better chance of being well-supported in Windows.

    Everybody wins.

  3. #3
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    I find it wonderful that they are finally talking about releasing specs and not just provide binary blobs, it makes a huge difference

  4. #4
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    From my days as a Linux integrator at HP's Imaging and Printing Lab, there are two important business lessons that Intel seems to have grasped very well.

    1. The cost of integrating firmware into an existing system can be very high when dealing with binary code blobs. While the potential loss of IP may lead to significant losses, the realities of software engineering dictate that the additional development costs that come from trying to integrate complex bits in a proprietary framework may far exceed any revenue protection of the proprietary solution. Low cost integration demands developing to open standards free from proprietary encumbrance.

    2. Another extraordinary cost of firmware development comes from the high cost of code maintenance after delivery. After-release maintenance costs run magnitudes higher in revenues, resources and time delays. However, when firmware code is released as open-source, with the full transparency expected of OSS, community support is quick, efficient, and provides highly reliable code fixes at nearly zero cost to the sponsor.

    With these two principles, as Intel as realized, the ability to develop and maintain a competitive advantage shifts heavily in favor of design and implementation, unburdened by the heavy costs of integration and post-release maintenance. That is, the competitive advantage for a company's products is based on its own merit, rather than the company's unilateral ability to force interoperability on its own terms.

    To further enhance its position in the marketplace, the sponsoring company is best served by supporting and encouraging community participation. As Linux users, we know quite well that the transparency of open source along with clear documentation are the best ways to quickly gain community support.

  5. #5
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    The more I think about this, the more I'm just in awe.

    If the "major OEM" is Dell, then you're really starting to see the benefit of Shuttleworth's relationship w/ Dell. This might be the biggest influence that the man has in the open-source world. If Dell demands that all hardware have open-source drivers, then it's a whole new world. That explains a ton about ATI/AMD opening their drivers... they want to be able to deal with Dell. And they won't be the only ones... anybody who wants to sell hardware to Dell (which is everybody) will have to do the same.

    And if Dell gets benefit from the requirement (again, good Linux drivers usually implies good Windows drivers), then other OEMs will start doing the same thing just to keep up. If we get HP and Lenovo onboard in the next year, then the move will almost be unstoppable.

  6. #6
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    It's amazing how quickly some of these major companies are adopting open-source policies. Intel just released a new project called Lesswatts.org
    http://www.lesswatts.org/

    Very exciting!

  7. #7
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    i don't know why but all i can think is that something bad will come of this. Sort of a gut feeling. I must be right as there are more nerve endings than in your brain. Look it up
    Is this for enhancing your E-peen?

  8. #8
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    Quote Originally Posted by regomodo View Post
    i don't know why but all i can think is that something bad will come of this. Sort of a gut feeling. I must be right as there are more nerve endings than in your brain. Look it up
    That's called hunger! Go eat!
    Rob

  9. #9
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    Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    A major OEM is requiring open-source drivers from all of their component suppliers, and you consider this a BAD thing?

    Wacky.

  10. #10
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    Wink Re: Now THIS is why it's important to get OEM support for Linux!

    This is gonna be awesome, now I will be able to build a computer that will be very powerful and not be limited to things that are supported in linux, they will have to be supported so then I can build what ever I want with out that fear!

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