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Jim Zemlin Pitches Linux App Stores For Telcos

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the eventually-your-toaster-will-have-an-app-store dept.

Portables 83

angry tapir writes "Mobile carriers may start giving away netbooks for free, and Linux-based application stores could help them profit by doing so, the Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin argued at a recent forum in Beijing. 'Selling discounted netbooks to users who buy a mobile data subscription would extend a sales strategy widely used for mobile phones. Carriers often sell phones for below retail price and let a user's subscription fees make up for the loss. AT&T already sells subsidized 3G netbooks in the US, and China Mobile has announced similar plans. Carriers worldwide are likely considering the option, which lets them charge for added services like downloads of music, videos and software, said [analyst Jack Gold]. Those downloads could come from platforms like the iPhone App Store that target mainly mobile phones today. Competition could push netbook prices down as more carriers subsidize them, which would make putting Linux on the laptops an attractive way to cut costs, said Zemlin.'"

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Frosty Piss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28542449)

go on, waste a mod point on me.

Re:Frosty Piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28543671)

Yes, I think that I damn well WILL waste a mod point on you!

Oh, wait, SHIT.....

Re:Frosty Piss (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28544119)

I wasted a mod point on a post below which was trolling kdawson, I thought it was funny so I modded it up... I went back to check and see if anyone else modded it down afterwards, and wouldn't you know, it's been deleted!! What the hell, slashdot!

Re:Frosty Piss (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#28549063)

The editors get unlimited mod points. And they use them.

Great.... (3, Funny)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542495)

...a netbook with Verizon vCast OS.

Re:Great.... (2, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542915)

...a netbook with Verizon vCast OS.

Exactly. for most folks, and atleast initially, the netbook will be the "second computer" and really more like the "third computer" if they use one at work as well. Why would I deliberately choose an OS that was different than my other OS, especially if I were to be transferring documents and presentations I wrote on the airplane back to my main computer. For most people one of those other computers is going to be a windows computer because the OS came pre-installed on it.

Moreover, even if my other computer was a linux computer it would probably not be a vcast or moblin linux computer. So again I have two different looks and feel to deal with.

A perhaps more enticing bussiness model would be for MS to give away the OS and sell microsoft Office in Two-packs (one for the home computer and one for the netbook).

Re:Great.... (3, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#28549003)

Why would I deliberately choose an OS that was different than my other OS, especially if I were to be transferring documents and presentations I wrote on the airplane back to my main computer?

Because your other OS doesn't run on ARM.

Lack of programs will make this hard. (1)

seekret (1552571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542539)

I hope this means more developers will start creating commercial programs for Linux. Part of this strategy revolves around selling customers the data plan which could be used to download iTunes media anywhere you have cell phone connectivity, too bad that automatically rules out Linux on the netbook. If they really want Linux to work on the netbook they first need to convince Apple to release a Linux version of the iTunes store, that would take care of a large chunk of the market for netbook use on Linux.

itunes needs to be on Linux or as a portable OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28543105)

For lack of a better way of saying it... iTunes libraries have grown larger and larger over the years - with music, videos, movies and productivity applications that have taken over computers. Why not make it a settop box or for me, to have a Linux destro for netbooks (and or laptops, desktops, etc.) that just offers Open Office, Firefox, Gimp and iTunes... that would be great... Splashtop - there's an idea that this could be offered with...

Reply welcomed...

Re:itunes needs to be on Linux or as a portable OS (1)

seekret (1552571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547105)

That was somewhat my point, if Linux is going to succeed on the netbook they need to integrate features that currently aren't available. I would love to walk into a store and see a Linux based netbook advertising the iTunes store (even the Zune store for that matter) as being bundled with the software, or at least compatible with sticker or something. This is more towards Apple than anything, but I would actually buy an iPod Touch if iTunes worked on Linux but since it doesn't I will stick with my iPod Video 3.5g using rockbox.

Re:itunes needs to be on Linux or as a portable OS (1)

farfield (1119449) | about 5 years ago | (#28554735)

How about the Amazon mp3 store?

Re:itunes needs to be on Linux or as a portable OS (1)

seekret (1552571) | about 5 years ago | (#28559685)

That doesn't solve the problem for the majority of people. Yes we can jailbreak our iPods and use other software, but what about the people who don't know how to jailbreak. What about the people who buy the newest version of iPods and can't jailbreak them yet. The point is that iTunes is one of the dealbreaker apps that would bring a lot of normal people over to Linux if it was available. The blame does lie with Apple on this, but that doesn't mean there's nothing companies like Intel can do to change it. After all if one of the Moblin features was integrated iTunes that would be a huge selling point for them.

Re:Lack of programs will make this hard. (2, Insightful)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 4 years ago | (#28546589)

Not necessarily. I would be out in a heart beat to buy one of these for my Mom, who currently only needs email, web browser and an office suite. I'm currently looking for a phone which will easily connect into a computer and give her internet access. And when I say easy, I mean absolute minimal problems.

Re:Lack of programs will make this hard. (1)

seekret (1552571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547029)

Of course there are users who only need to browse the web and check email, but I'm talking about the people who own products that require Windows software to work. I love Linux, it's the only operating system I use, but that doesn't mean it's ready for mainstream use yet. I know a few people besides myself who have a netbook and they wanted me to install Linux on them since they saw how fast mine ran compared to their's with XP, but in the end it doesn't work for them because they both own iPods and wanted to be able to use the netbook as the portable iPod manager.

eventually-your-toaster-will-have-an-app-store (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542667)

The mods do realize the article is about LINUX not NetBSD, right?

apt-get.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28542671)

apt-get purchase foobar-app?

Re:apt-get.. (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547455)

apt-buy stuff

Shiny package managment system? (3, Insightful)

ruin20 (1242396) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542697)

Isn't an "app store" just a shiny package management system for small programs? 99% of linux distros have this already. What, we need to skin it prettier and put it on the web? That should be easy enough. I don't know why we need to copy something from apple when the idea creating a repository for programs and working out interdependence started in the *nix environments. Getting useful usable programs onto the computer is the main barrier for adoption. Cost has nothing to do with it, they'll put out the cheapest item that will sell. If linux won't sell netbooks, then they won't use it.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542951)

No.
An App store lets you buy and sell. A repository doesn't.
It is the difference between a warehouse and a store.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543799)

Which is exactly his point - all this hype about "Oh Company X has a new app store for their 1 or 2 of their phones!" because they forget that as the GP mentioned, repos have been around much longer in the *nix world, have better/more useful apps, works better/and tends to be free as in beer (works better because if your phone crashes and deletes the app, and they *somehow* loose the info that you purchased an app, you have to pay for it a 2nd time - vanilla repos you just go re-download the software and are back in business). The apps themselves will tend to be better in a regular repo due since most of the apps you hear about on the iPhone always sound like the same calendar/weather/calculator/popcap games crap - *maybe* a note taking or spreadsheet app. Now go look at the Ubuntu or Debian repos and see numerous full featured office suites, music players, email apps, web browsers, et al...

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544421)

Oh yadda yadda yadda.
Exactly which games in the Ubuntu repository matches those available on Steam again?
Yes the apps on the iPhone tend to be very simple and a lot of them are free as in beer as well. TweetDeck which is also available on Linux is a good example.
But you do have some programs on the iPhone that are very good. XPlane on the iPhone is a better flight sim than FlightGear under Linux.
As to popcap games crap... They sell a lot of games and a lot of people really like them. Hey you don't so don't buy them.
You like free stuff then that is fine and dandy but there are a lot of developers that want to get paid to write code and a lot of users willing to. If you don't that is fine but saying that a repository is the same as a store is just silly.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 4 years ago | (#28548199)

Those developers don't want to get paid to write code, they want to write code for free, then get paid to do NOTHING but allow people to download copies of it. That is the problem. Developers should absolutely get paid for writing code. Once. Not over and over again for each person who uses it.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28548615)

But that is a problem. A big complex program costs a lot of money. It takes a lot of time to write, document, and test. It may take a team of people many man years.
Nobody wants to pay that much for a program. Closed source allows you to spread the cost of development over a group of users. So yes in theory you could get several thousand people to all chip in $50 and then hire a team to write a game like Left4Dead but that just hasn't happened yet.
That is why FOSS has yet to come up with great software that fills every need. There are some great FOSS programs but there are entire categories of software that FOSS flops at.
So if you want say a 3D CAD system you have a choice.
You can pay several millions of dollars and wait for your team of programmers to develop your CAD system or you can buy a copy of AutoDesk Designer or SolidWorks for a few thousand dollars.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (2, Interesting)

hackel (10452) | more than 4 years ago | (#28549747)

Or you can get together with the millions of other people in the world who need the software, each contribute, oh, $10, and make it. And then install it on as many machines as you like, no license fees, no stupid USB dongles, no upgrade costs, nothing.

There is little doubt about which method is more effective, it's just that we've become so entrenched in the previous closed-source model that we don't see any other way out. It does take a huge amount of organization, admittedly, but it can be done, and done to higher standards than most commercial software currently adheres to.

Another less attractive option is what some companies have already tried--agreeing to release the source code once a certain number of "licenses" have been purchased. This is not ideal, however, because the actual process of development remains closed.

The biggest area where we need to employ this type of strategy is in public services--the software that runs our governments, schools and universities, libraries, etc. None of these organizations should be victims of for-profit corporations. They perform basically the same task all over the world, and everyone can benefit from a common, high-quality, open source solution.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28550279)

Yes but number one you would have to collect that money, pay the programmers and run the project.
Then what about updates?
Also you will have to wait for the software to be written.
So far no large project like this has worked and people need software NOW.
I actually work for a software company. There was a group of people that used a competing program from a company that went out of business.
The users all got together and bought the rights to the source. Sounds like your dream open source situation doesn't it.
They soon found out that the users group couldn't manage even one programmer. The software started to lag way behind the commercial products including ours. They the failed to figure out how to interface with a new device on the market that they really wanted to use.
A user was friends with us and told us about it. We felt sorry for them and gave them source to interface with the device. It wasn't our device but we had figured it out and wanted to help out.
After several months the other programmer still hadn't managed to port the code and get it working.
In mass they bought our software because we where willing to help and our software was actually very good.
I have a small sample of the system you have proposed but the failure rate is 100%.
So I have to say it is possible but very unlikely and very risky.
So prove me wrong. I will even give $10 for a 3d cad program as good as Solidworks if you promise it in less than two years.
It will not happen.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 4 years ago | (#28550597)

You're right, but not for technical reasons. It won't happen because the Solidworks' customers aren't willing to take a risk on what they see as a 100% failure... Obviousy people who need the software "now" would have to buy something commercial to satisfy them until a replacement could be made.
You would need to have more than a handful of people doing it, too. Something like that would require a multi-million-dollar budget. I won't claim to have all the practical answers, I prefer to think in theoretical terms, as a model of what to work toward. Perhaps this wouldn't work in such a niche market without a lot of people interested in it. I am sure that if you took the annual license fees from all of Solidworks' customers, using it to pay programmers (and not for marketing, sales, shareholder profit, etc.) you could easily come up with a solid product!

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 years ago | (#28557013)

Yes it will not work and that is why we can not live in a world with just FOSS software and that is why Linux is not doing as well on the desktop as it could. Too many people in the "community" are hostile to none FOSS software.
Games are another example of how FOSS doesn't always compete well with closed source.
Yes I would also love to just deal with theory since it is so much simpler than the real world.
I work for a software developer and we use some FOSS programs in our development and business. We have give code back to those products but we will never open our own product.
If you think the practical issues for a 3D CAD program are hard imagine them for a very complex program with an even smaller market. The program we sell is well over 100,000 lines of code long and there are only 50,000 potental users on the face of the earth. So doing your communal development would be even harder. Then there is the other thing. Competition improves programs. If you have competing products then you must improve. If there was no Mac ther might not had been any Windows. Without Windows NT/XP there might not have been OS/X. People complain about Gnome and KDE duplicating efforts but I wonder if even that isn't healthy.
But what it comes down to is people need programs right now that do not exists in FOSS version and honestly might never. If we can get more closed source programs running under Linux more people can use Linux as their desktop.
The more people that use Linux the more interest in FOSS solutions and the less lock in.
And I see the best way for that to happen is with an App Store.
Plus if enough dumb people start using Linux and an app store I too might become rich with a 50 line fart app... Just kidding.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28560659)

It does take a huge amount of organization, admittedly, but it can be done

Perhaps it could be done. But AFAIK there are no major examples where it is being done. Perhaps that should tell you something?

and done to higher standards than most commercial software currently adheres to.

How can you say that when it (your model, which I'll christen "distributed patronage") hasn't been done to any significant extent?

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

hackel (10452) | about 5 years ago | (#28563235)

If we always waited for someone else to do something first, we wouldn't get very far as a society! This is why I mention public/government services. Very often these types of innovations need to be pushed through by governments for the very reason that greedy, profit-driven individuals will never do it on their own. Now of course, FOSS does contradict this but only to a certain extent, within the realm of programs individuals are interested in working on as a hobby.

As an example, universities around the world purchase huge amounts of ridiculously expensive software, from massive accounting systems, to scheduling, to student portals, etc. This is insane when most universities are full of talented programmers. So the governments of the world need to force these schools to collaborate on developing solutions to these problems by withholding federal funding. Not only could pay in-house developers to work on the software, they could even integrate it into the curriculum by having students work on certain projects for their courses. This would greatly reduce tuition costs, whether that impacts students directly as in the U.S. or the governments who pay them in civilized societies.

The same scenario can be repeated in countless other public sectors. And once this model gets established, hopefully then the private sector would start to see how much money they could be saving by doing things this way. It's not as if they don't have a great deal of software to use as a foundation. Take OpenOffice.org. It is probably lacking some features that one particular organisation relies on, which is keeping it from switching. But those particular features could probably be added if that corporation would simply spend it's annual license budget for MS Office on development, after which time they would have no recurring license fees. And if lots of companies did this, adding all of the features they rely on, more and more companies would be able to use the product as-is.

Of course, in the U.S. especially, we have a huge problem in that companies, and especially shareholders, are greedy bastards and the idea of contributing something that someone else--especially their competitors--might benefit from is unimaginable to them. Even though *they* are getting the benefit they need, and at a lower cost than before. They don't realize that by supporting these proprietary software companies, they are already supporting their competition who also the same software, by keeping that software company in business.

It's very likely that FOSS is just not compatible with capitalism and human greed, a very sad reality of the society we live in.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28569219)

You're a communist, just admit it. Free market capitalism is by no means perfect. But I'll take that rather than snotty nosed little gauleiters like you telling everybody what they're allowed to earn any day of the week.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

hackel (10452) | about 5 years ago | (#28569281)

And why wouldn't I admit it? At least I can have a discussion without having to resort to petty name-calling.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

thinkloop (1386669) | about 5 years ago | (#28554505)

Yeah! How dare people get paid in multiple small transactions rather than in one equivalent sum!

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

hackel (10452) | about 5 years ago | (#28554951)

It is not equivalent at all, it is far, far more than they deserve for the amount of hours spent working. And we all know that, other than in small, private software companies, programmers never see a cent of those license fees--which are essentially royalties. They are only paid once--it is the corporations which continue to make money indefinitely off of their work.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28560809)

What if the company doesn't make any sales, but it's already paid the programmers? In that case surely the programmers are better off - at least they got something. Isn't that part of the choice between working for someone else and setting up your own business?

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

thinkloop (1386669) | about 5 years ago | (#28554535)

Amen! Nothing makes me madder than letting markets decide the value of of someone's work!

Re:Shiny package managment system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28551971)

Apple took Nintendo's idea and put it on a mobile device, it was not original at all, except the whole mobile thing.

Re:Shiny package managment system? (1)

trashbird1240 (1149197) | about 5 years ago | (#28576347)

I agree with your main point: Apple didn't invent this idea. However, have you not noticed the useful programs? I guess Emacs, The Gimp, Firefox and all that other stuff isn't that usable. !!!Sarcasm!!! Get real, dude. What is this usable people are always talking about? How is it that my three year old can use this supposedly "unusable" operating system?

Yum/Apt (1)

philipmather (864521) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542733)

Better yet, do as Flash and Skype do and host your own repository. Invest a little money and you could probably do it over HTTPS assigning a unique key to each user, bill on that subscription, update the key yearly, anyone deliberately releasing their key or anyone who doesn't store it securely gets held libel for the subsequent piracy. Not difficult to check up on... "Hmm same key, two different IPs?" Even a laptop could be "homed" to only work from your own home broadband IP if the retailers wanted to be anal.

Re:Yum/Apt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28547915)

anyone who doesn't store it securely gets held libel

That last word should be "liable", just FYI.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28542751)

Netbooks have been sold for Ã1 where I live since the eeePC 701. What is he talking about? Additional revenues from app stores? Like getting apps from vodafone instead of the official free as in beer and as in speech repos? Almost all linux distros have had free app stores for years. I don't really get what this man is talking about.

A bad trend (5, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542753)

This is exactly the opposite of what would be good for consumers. Mobile providers should get out of the hardware business entirely. They should be selling a service, and providing something like a SIM card which consumers could put into whatever phone or netbook they like.

The benefits for consumers are clear. They could use any hardware they like with any provider. They could reuse their hardware devices for new contracts. There would be a good market to buy/sell used cell phones. And best of all, mobile providers would be forced to compete on service and price rather than competing on who has the shiniest phone.

This will only happen with legislation, but unfortunately our legislators are more likely to be working for the phone companies rather than working for the people.

Re:A bad trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28543027)

The benefits for consumers are clear.

Need to stop you right there. Telcos do not want that, they want you to pay for subsidized phones. It's how they poach customers from other service providers, they offer new bling devices. Heavens forbid they have to compete on quality of the service they provide.

Re:A bad trend (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544667)

You need to stop me right there, so you can say the same thing I was saying?

Re:A bad trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28548283)

the gp is like one of those fat lazy nerds that waste everyone's time in classes where they just have to drone on about how something of their choice is far superior to everything else. i'm use linux, have contributed some to it, and there was this total faggot in my class droning on about something the professor had said dead to my face like lol omg i can't believe i went from a serious post to a fucking lame ass one as this and booger

Re:A bad trend (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28560859)

He seems to be saying that what you're saying is all well and good, but it won't happen. And no, you're not getting a pony.

Re:A bad trend (1)

cesutherland (903698) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543717)

I agree that this is not what is good for consumers. I do not agree that we need legislation to achieve this.

If we are correct, and a SIM based plug-n-go model really is better for the consumer, then it will be a competitive edge for a company which comes along and does this in the United States where CDMA is the largest standard for mobile telecom (Verizon).

The rest of the world already does use GSM (AT&T in the US), the other big standard for cellular communication, which is SIM based. In general, you take your unlocked phone up to a new provider, fill out the contract, receive a SIM, and plug it into the hardware you already have. Also, I don't know if this is the case in western markets, but in developing economies there generally is a thriving market for second hand equipment.

Re:A bad trend (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544249)

To be honest.... I still discovered that most cellphones are locked to the cellphone provider (Western Europe here). My employer offered to take over my cellphone, and they went with another cellphone provider. I expected my (really featureless) Siemens A75 to work. It didn't. Even that crap phone, which I bought retail (without contract) from my cellphone provider was locked to them. Sure, I'm pretty sure that after the 3 years of usage they would have unlocked it for free... I just asked a new one from my employer and that was that. I bet it's locked to that cellphone provider. I didn't try though.

That said, netbooks are indeed "given away" with a Huawai USB adapter for 0€. Still, the fees add up significantly, even if you don't use the cellphone connection to connect.

A Linux App store for netbooks? What for? The standard repositories pretty much have anything you want. (My netbook, bought without a contract and unlocked since I don't even have an Huawai USB adapter, runs Debian 5.0 just fine, thank you very much...)

Re:A bad trend (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544563)

I also agree with the first part, but I have to disagree with you on the second. It's too much of an advantage for a company to be able to "give" you the hardware, vs. one that has to charge you $500 up front for it. In the long run, of course, you end up paying for that hardware over, and over, and over, which is another advantage for the current model.

I bought my last phone outright from a third party, unlocked. When I went to the cell company I found out that they actively discourage this, even though it means you're not taking their subsidized hardware. Your choice of plans is severely restricted, with all the better plans off limits.

Re:A bad trend (2, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544787)

The cell phone industry has such a huge barrier to entry that it's cost prohibitive for any new company to "come along" and shake things up. The existing companies have no desire to make this change because they're making huge profits under the status quo.

Even if a company did come along and adopt this model, it wouldn't be a big benefit to consumers unless other companies also adopted it. What good is having hardware that is theoretically able to use multiple providers if only one provider actually supports it?

This is a case where market forces aren't going to direct us to the way things should be, and so we need legislation to make it happen.

Re:A bad trend (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544951)

"If we are correct, and a SIM based plug-n-go model really is better for the consumer, then it will be a competitive edge for a company which comes along and does this in the United States where CDMA is the largest standard for mobile telecom (Verizon)."

If enlightened self interest actually existed, this would be true.

As it is, people are fooled by "free handsets!" and all the other crap and will continually end up with a worse product as a result.

The free market requires perfect consumers. Most consumers are dolts, and even of the ones that aren't, many are confused by "free" when combined with small print.

Re:A bad trend (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 4 years ago | (#28545067)

This is exactly the opposite of what would be good for consumers. Mobile providers should get out of the hardware business entirely. They should be selling a service, and providing something like a SIM card which consumers could put into whatever phone or netbook they like.

Would the cell phone market have taken off like it did if we didn't have companies that subsidized hardware and were responsible for making both their network and your phone work reasonably? It's easy to say now, with a thriving market in hardware and network service, that it should be open for people to buy phones separately.

But he's advocating that a *new* Netbook market can be grown in the same way the cell phone market was. The SIM card you ask for will only appear after companies have tried things out; and they'll only do that if they can make a something more then just a chance at profit. Tying the hardware to service is only bad when the standards are not established, but the market hasn't decided what the standards will be for a "SIM card which consumers could put into whatever phone or netbook they like."

Re:A bad trend (1)

ignavus (213578) | about 5 years ago | (#28553809)

Why not both?

In Australia, you can subscribe to a mobile phone service with a "free" phone included, OR you can buy an unlocked phone from some third party shop (or get your existing phone unlocked) and just buy a SIM card. The choice is yours.

I have no objection to companies offering cheap phones ... provided I can get an account without a phone if that happens to be cheaper in my case.

Getting an account and phone in one is actually a good deal if you use the phone a lot (like most people seem to). It is like buying the phone at a wholesale price rather than at a retail price.

Why not?

Great idea (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542823)

Honestly I would say that limiting to the Telcos is dumb. It is a good way for Distros to make money as well as developers. The price for the software could be split between the developer, the store, and the Distro/Telco with the developer getting the majority of the price,
And just to put a stop to the "It's called a repository" statements.
An app store would allow the developer to set a price and handle charging the customer and would just send a check to the developer.
It would have reviews and ratings
And would allow the developer to decide what version is available and not the distro.
It should take care of dependencies just like a repository as well.
That would be a huge leap for Linux on the desktop and would encourage commercial software development.

Re:Great idea (1)

bigngamer92 (1418559) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547415)

You mean [linuxmint.com] something like this? [cnr.com] .

I would like to see more free as in speech but not quite bear software to help build up linux's commercial area. Although what's wrong with just making a prettier front end to the current Repos?

Re:Great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28550339)

You say:
"That would be a huge leap for Linux on the desktop and would encourage commercial software development."

I say it would be a great leap backward since the telcos would not be offering an open system. They would try their best to lock it up just like their phones. They would only support apps from their store. Sure "unlocking" methods would come along shortly but how many unlock their phones now even if they can do so without penalties?

Linux has prospered because it is open. If it were closed there would be no good reason to use it over Microsoft.

Put Money Where Mouth Is (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542899)

If the Linux foundation is so concerned about the non-technical masses adopting Linux, perhaps they should being paying Bruce Tognazzini's salary instead of Linus Torvalds'.

Re:Put Money Where Mouth Is (1)

Gerald (9696) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544631)

I can only imagine the /. response if Tog were to tackle Linux's various UI issues. Why do you hate him much? What did he ever do to you?

Linux on the netbook? Does that mean... (1)

iCodemonkey (1480555) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542949)

So is this one step closer to linux on the desk top? Or are we over this meme and i missed the memo?

Redundant and market-less (1)

Zigurd (3528) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543111)

There are several things wrong with this idea: Nobody has ever supported subsidies for a mobile device with app store sales and it is unlikley to start working in the current pricing environment in app stores. Even the most profitable carrier portals for mobile downloads are a drop in the revenue bucket for carriers. Most of the content in traditional carrier portals is "passive" - ring-tones and wallpaper. App stores for platforms like Android, Pre, and iPhone, and the corresponding developer programs, are meant to benefit the platform, not the network operator. Apple's app store has a unique position alongside the largest music retailer in North America - unless you have a plan to succeed without that advantage in place, success isn't likely. Android is in the process of replacing a lot of "Linux + proprietary UI" in mobile devices - e.g., at Motorola, they have EOL'ed their proprietary Linux-based "high feature" platforms in favor of Android, and Android has an app store. Applications in app stores have very low prices compared to retail games on handheld consoles, and the vast majority of applications - and downloads - are free. Many low-cost mobile games are shovelware copies of Web-based casual games. The packaged software industry died more than 10 years ago, except for holdouts like Adobe and AutoDesk in specialized, high-value markets, and mobile app shops are not going to revive it. So, put a shiny skin on Synaptic and call it a day. Or call it an app store.

Already in the UK (2, Informative)

jeffthejiff (877347) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543125)

"Mobile carriers may start giving away netbooks for free"

Eh? This has [carphonewarehouse.com] already [t-mobile.co.uk] happened [vodafone.co.uk] in the UK, without any carrier-specific crapware installed.

Great Idea, As Long As (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543127)

Great idea, as long as:

There aren't 20 forks of it.
There aren't updates to the apps (and app store) every 5 minutes.
No one ever says "try the nightly build, here's the latest tarball".
You don't need to touch a command line to deal with it, ever.
There's a person providing support for the store and for each app.

Re:Great Idea, As Long As (2, Informative)

delire (809063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543491)

Firstly I sincerely doubt they'll be running Debian Unstable on their phones..

Perhaps you haven't tried installing proprietary third party applications (like Skype, World of Goo, Adobe Acrobat) on a modern distribution of Linux (or used a modern distribution of Linux at all). From the user's perspective a .DEB for Ubuntu will install with as few clicks and fuss as a Windows .EXE or OS X .DMG, proprietary or otherwise, as long as it's for the particular distribution (think "OS") they're running.

Tales about people needing to touch the CLI to install software on a Linux distribution almost always refer to those people using unsupported repositories and developer dists of software (tarballs and SVN).

Re:Great Idea, As Long As (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547511)

Oh I know how easy it can be, and how well it's done in some instances on various distros.

I also know how the Linux "community" likes to take a good idea and complicate the fuck out of it, or just ignore the basics of what a COMMON PERSON wants.

Re:Great Idea, As Long As (1)

delire (809063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547911)

Regardless, I think the point of the original author's comments is that it wouldn't be "the community" that develops these app stores - or even the applications in them - so much as netbook/phone vendors and service providers.

Re:Great Idea, As Long As (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#28548595)

Good luck with that.
What's the plan?

"HEY VENDOR. I'm a nerd. You should provide this, at your cost, for your users! I think it will sell!"

?

CNR (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28543151)

I dunno...

I would think that all any would have to do is take a look at how CNR has done and conclude that it's a waste of time.

As others have pointed out, most distributions have their own repositories that handle the job.

Re:CNR (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544491)

CNR is a really terrible example of an app store. Most people don't even know about it and they have very little that people want.

Re:CNR (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544869)

CNR is a really terrible example of an app store. Most people don't even know about it and they have very little that people want.

Yes it's a bad example. It's pretty much the only example out there right now.

I also think that if a company that actually sells Linux can't do it, a phone company CERTAINLY won't be able to.

Ill effect on Free software (1)

PhrkOnLsh (1567187) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544067)

The question I'm most worried about is not whether there will be enough apps, that there will be enough competation between telcos, I'm worried about how this will affect Free software
The telcos hate free software. It cuts into their profit margins
Apple doesn't even all Free software in their app store for iPhone. What if this were to happen to GNU/Linux netbooks?
And if this is the general direction GNU/Linux is going (towards netbooks and smaller, embedded devices, controlled by telcos and hardware vendors) I think that we need to start protecting ourselves. We may just end up with another Windows.
Sure, the kernel must stay Free, but what good does that do us if it has a proprietary GUI with a proprietary App store selling proprietary apps encumbered by proprietary DRM? Are we really any more free?
The worst part is that this IS what the telcos WILL try to do. They are cunning and ruthless and refuse to give users any glimpse of freedoms that they may have. The main problem with cellphone companies today is that they still believe they are Ma Bell (charging outrageous prices for SMS 1 [slashdot.org] 2, probable prcie fixing between companies, exclusive carrier deals, cdma vs. gsm, etc) and, like Ma Bell, are doing everything they can to control users.
Sure, GNU/Linux will always be 'free,' but if the people who have their hand in bringing Linux to $telco_subscriber decide that they want to control their users they WILL. even if they have to develop their own libraries for UI, networking, etc. If these telcos start to limit Free software for the benefits of their shitty little app store profits, there will be little we can do as $telco_subscriber will see this as a nice little benefit.
There will be no way telcos would be happy with the user having the ability to install tarballs of the same applications they may SELL in their appstores. And that sucks. If it comes between peddling 'barely free' linux, just to get it into the hands of regular users, we really have to question "what is important: The distributions,' manufacturers' and telcos' profit margins, or the freedoms of the user. Is getting Linux into the hands of users more important than getting Free software into the hands of users?"
Plus, with more people running GNU/Linux saying "Hey, I run Linux" will become far less cool :(

Re:Ill effect on Free software (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544801)

1. Apple does allow free as in beer software on their store.
2. Are you sure GPL software is not allowed? If it is then I would bet it is because of the NDA on the SDK that you have to sign. If so then that isn't a problem with a Linux Store unless they do something funky with the SDK.
3. The Android store does allow GPL software on their so there is an example of a Linuxish App store wirh free software.

I can not see anybody using Linux that would want to shut out access to GPL software. There is just too much good stuff.
Now if you want to force people to only use GPL software by making it hard for developers to sell software that runs on Linux then yes this could be a big issue for you.
I personally see room for both. The store could allow people to sell GPL software as well as closed source software. That is right there is nothing in the GPL that says that you can not sell / charge to distribute your software. Yes you would have to offer people the source code but how many users will want to compile software for themselves. Those that do will have that option. Oh and you only have to give the code to people that you distribute the binaries too.Making people pay you to give them a copy is totaly okay with the GPL. You just can not prevent them from then copying it and giving it to someone else.

I agree that letting the Telcos run the App store is a bad plan. Having a Linux App store would be great. Split the price of the software 80% for the Author, 10% for the Store, and 10% for the Distro/Telco and I think everyone will be happy.
Unless you are bound to keep Linux a tiny part of the desktop market and not have any closed source apps run on it.

We already have that! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544085)

It's called a "package manager". (Woooh! What a newfangled term! back in the days, we didn't have that! And we still wore an onion on our belt, as it was the style at the time.)

Re:We already have that! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544529)

Really?
So can you tell me where I submit my app and set a price? And how will they send me payment when people buy my app? Also where are the reviews and ratings?
I mean that is what an App store does....

Re:We already have that! (2, Funny)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#28545031)

Price?
Ratings?

Who the hell cares about those?

Oh right, people that write "useful" applications like iFart.

Re:We already have that! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28545371)

Or XPlane or Left4Dead Steam is also an app store btw. Silly silly people.
You don't want one so you lie and say that a repository is the same as an app store.

Re:We already have that! (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28547539)

Silly silly people. You don't want one so you lie and say that a repository is the same as an app store.

I don't think it's that we don't want one, generally speaking, it's just that the culture behind Linux doesn't really lend itself to a paid apps store setup. The good games you've cited would probably already exist in free-as-in-beer form, were a programmer interested enough to create them.

Re:We already have that! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28548461)

They do exist because programmers where interested enough to create them for pay.
I have been using Linux for over 10 years and I have been doing FOSS for more than 20.
Guess what programming is hard work. People really do want to get paid for hard work. And people want software like that or it wouldn't exist so why not give an easy way for people to buy and sell both open and closed source software
This Linux culture that you are talking about is a bunch of people that want everything for free.
They care only about Free as in beer and the vast majority of them have never compiled a line of code much less written one.

  Fine don't buy software but also don't take it. Charging people to distribute software IS PART OF THE GNU CULTURE!
This blurb is right from GNU
"Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible â" just enough to cover the cost.

Actually we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.

The word âoefreeâ has two legitimate general meanings; it can refer either to freedom or to price. When we speak of âoefree softwareâ, we're talking about freedom, not price. (Think of âoefree speechâ, not âoefree beerâ.) Specifically, it means that a user is free to run the program, change the program, and redistribute the program with or without changes."

Re:We already have that! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 years ago | (#28560995)

The good games you've cited would probably already exist in free-as-in-beer form, were a programmer interested enough to create them.

Well the conclusions's pretty obvious, isn't it? Perhaps dangling a few bucks in front of a programmer might make him interested?

Probably not the "right" target market (1)

Xanthvar (1046980) | more than 4 years ago | (#28544285)

I think this would be interesting if they could get it to work on the scale needed to be profitable, but I don't see it happening.
I am guessing (and maybe incorrectly) that there are 2 kinds of Linux based web book users:

1) the proto typical techie who likes the freedom of configuration choices that it gives you or
2) the person who got it because it was cheaper or didn't know the difference and doesn't care, as long as they can get email and surf the web (and use their web based apps).

The evil capitalist in me thinks this would be a great thing for the revenue stream, if you could lock them into using our store and only our store (contrary to the open source concept), but I don't see that happening.

I realize this is slightly off topic, but I find it ironic that the mobile phone platform that seems to be the most open to allowing you to write and install what ever program you want is windows mobile (yes, that is what I currently use). Everyone is talking about "The" apps store, but WM phones don't have 1... they have an untold number of sites to get apps from, several dedicated to free (of cost anyway) sites, but this fact seems to be left out of the Iphone/Pre/Android discussions by various tech sites.

back on the original topic, I wish them all the luck, as it is nice to get compensated for your work, but I don't know if there is enough commonality to get enough return on investment for the vendor on setting up an app store. If this can be achieved, then it would pave the way for the developers to benefit as well.
 

Great news! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28546783)

I LOVE Led Zeppelin!

What are they smoking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28548123)

Why would you need an app store specifically for Linux on netbook?

Apple does this because it wants to control over anything that goes on iphone, including charges. Does the Linux foundation want to do an oversight on what apps can be developed on Linux? or is the "free" Linux foundation proposing the telco to "control" and charge the apps distribution?!

What Jim is proposing can be done today with an website, paypal and commentary/rating functions. No oversight needed. In fact, I think this exist already...

strawman (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | about 5 years ago | (#28555831)

"Why would you need an app store specifically for Linux on netbook?"

'you' wouldn't but it would promote sales and services for the Mobile carriers, as they wouldn't be paying the Microsoft tax or 'share download revenue with the OS designer [goodgearguide.com.au] '

'Does the Linux foundation want to do an oversight .. No oversight needed'

Fallacy: Straw Man [nizkor.org]

How about usable apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28550739)

Here's an idea - how about Linux developers just write some useable apps that people actually want, and then nobody will have to worry about how to get people to buy these things. Since most Linux software is complete crap, normal users have no interest in it. No app store or free netbook is going to change that.

score +5 troll (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | about 5 years ago | (#28555793)

"Here's an idea - how about Linux developers just write some useable apps that people actually want"

Firefox, Thunderbird, Filezilla, VLC media Player, Coolplayer ..

PortableApps.com [portableapps.com]
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