Effect on Free Software
Posted Sep 1, 2008 15:16 UTC (Mon) by pjm
In reply to: Intel acquires Linux mobile developers for Atom (ZDNet UK)
Parent article: Intel acquires Linux mobile developers for Atom (ZDNet UK)
> … crush ARM and MIPS and allow them to squeeze their Atoms into ever more inappropriate places.
> Not a bad thing for Free software
It seems to be easier to have a good selection of Free Software [or at least source-visible software with enough of a license to fix portability issues] available on multiple platforms than proprietary: Debian has much the same software (~20,000 packages) on each of half a dozen or so architectures, whereas traditional proprietary binary-only software availability on a platform depends on more different providers deciding to support that platform.
This makes me think that popularity of lots of different architectures is a good thing for Free Software (and conversely that reduced popularity of different architectures is a bad thing for Free Software).
If OpenedHand's acquisition means that OpenedHand has more resources for developing software good for handheld devices of many architectures, then that is a good thing for Free Software; if, however, the acquisition means that OpenedHand staff now target Intel-specific work to the detriment of other architectures, then I believe that to be a bad thing for Free Software.
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