It was reported earlier this week that HP is thinking of making it’s own flavor of Operating System for their computers. They have been apparently having a hard time trying to get HP machines work well with Vista. According to Business Week, they have a team that simply builds fixes and updates that can and will circumvent certain aspects of Vista.
The new OS would be based off the Open Source Linux OS. HP’s “Customer Experience” group was created to look into what people want in a computer. The group has only put the new OS in a thought process right now.
It’s great that we are looking into ways to move away from Windows. Even though Linux is an answer, there is still a lot of work that needs to dominate the market. All within moving around an Open Source license agreement.
The reality is there can be too many flavors of Linux out there now. HP Linux would be great for HP users, yet will HP Linux be installable on a Dell? What happens if you move from one machine to another – Who would even support that?
The reality is we want Open Source, but whatever we add to it, we want that system to become “Mine” rather than “Ours”. Of course HP doesn’t want to see HP Linux on a Dell, nor does it want to make their code Open Source so Dell can copy off it. Still, what made Windows a viable option was that it’s base system could be installed – and supported – on almost every machine.
Ubuntu has been pretty good in turning that thought around. We still have all these different “Subprojects” like Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Edubuntu. There is also a Mediabuntu – as a media server. Sugar is the OLPC – turned Open GUI project by ex OLPC President Walter Bender.
On the flip side, you do have different versions of Vista – Home, Business, Ultimate, for example. 32 bit and 64 bit versions. All of them supportable by Microsoft.
Apple Mac is the only one that seems to have 1 flavor of each version. Apple works off a Unix core and runs POSIX – compliant code. There is no 32 bit version of Leopard – it’s all 64 bit. If HP Linux is to learn off anything, it should be how Apple does it.
The best thing for HP would be to spin off the OS unit. Make it a project that has a 5 year startup Business Plan attached so HP doesn’t get cold feet and close it down if people don’t latch on right away. It can then be made a multi-computer Operating System that everyone could use – whether on HP, Lenovo or Dell.
If HP moves forward with this, we’ll see another front in the “Windows Free World”. HP will have an uphill battle with it though – Not only because of Microsoft and Apple, but the other Linux variants that are freely installable on different types of systems. It will definitely be a large project for HP to undertake.