Will Android lose market share to other versions of mobile Linux?

Today in Open Source: Other mobile versions of Linux may displace Android: Plus: A first look at LibreOffice 4.2, and a Java Trojan threatens Linux computers

Android versus other mobile versions of Linux

Smart Bear has a look at three possible contenders for Android's mobile throne.

Of the many mobile operating systems in the marketplace, Android has the largest share of users, and Android is based on Linux. It’s not surprising then to know that Linux is also the basis for several new (if slow-moving) operating systems for mobile devices (phone, tablet, phablet). Some are in production today, but most are still in the development stages. Then again, this is the rule for most products in mobility today.

Firefox OS

Ubuntu Touch


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Image credit: Mozilla

Let's face it, iOS and Windows Phone lag way behind Android in market share. It may be that it will take other versions of mobile Linux to give Android a real run for its money. I'm a big believer in choice, so I'll be very happy if Android finally gets some real competition in the mobile device marketplace.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with Android per se. It's a fine choice if you want to use it. But I'd very much like it if there were other options based on Linux. Such choice gives consumers more options, and it may force Google to work even harder to improve Android.

But I'm taking a wait and see attitude with the alternative mobile versions of Linux mentioned in the article. It's not that I think there's a problem with any of them, but they have a huge amount of work to do if they are really going to cut into Android's market share.

If I had to pick one that had the best chance of succeeding it's probably Ubuntu Touch. Canonical has been preparing for mobile for a long time with its Unity interface, and Ubuntu is a big brand name when it comes to Linux. So Ubuntu Touch may do very well.

However, I'm actually rooting for Firefox OS. I rather like the idea of it having some real success. It can be considered a bit of an upstart for challenging both Android and Ubuntu Touch, and I like that. I hope it does very well.

Which mobile Linux alternative to Android would you use? Tell me in the comments.

LibreOffice 4.2 first look

ZDNet takes a look at LibreOffice 4.2 and it likes what it sees.

The Document Foundation's newest release of LibreOffice 4.2 targets early adopters. It comes with many new performance and interoperability improvements for users of all kinds. Specifically, this update is designed to appeal to Windows power and enterprise users.

I'm...very impressed by this latest LibreOffice iteration and you can run it on FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. You can see if you like it on your operating system of choice by downloading it and trying it yourself.

More at ZDNet

Image credit: ZDNet

I'm very happy to see LibreOffice 4.2 getting such praise, it has come a long way from where it started. Hopefully it will be considered a real alternative to Microsoft Office for individuals, companies and governments.

If you haven't tried it yet you can download it from the LibreOffice site. Or you can check out a full list of LibreOffice 4.2 changes and feature enhancements. It looks like it's definitely worth a download or an upgrade so be sure to check it out.

Botnet bug and Linux computers

Tom's Guide is reporting that a Java-based Trojan is affecting some Linux machines.

The more complex software gets, the more complex malware becomes in return, as a new Trojan that infects Windows PCs, Macs and Linux boxes alike demonstrates.

The Trojan, dubbed "HEUR:Backdoor.Java.Agent.a" by researchers at Kaspersky Lab in Moscow, is written entirely in Java, the independent software platform that can be installed on almost any computer.

Once infected, likely through a malware-hosting website, a computer compromised by this Trojan is drafted into a botnet, an array of machines secretly controlled by remote administrators, and used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against other websites, knocking them offline temporarily.

More at Tom's Guide

It looks like this exploit was patched in Java in June 2013, so you are probably fine if you've kept Java updated since then. If you haven't then now is a great time to run an update on your Linux system.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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