If you have watched the Linux community long enough, you know that every year is inevitably proclaimed to be the year where the Linux desktop finally breaks through. Sadly, though, that has never happened. Mark Shittleworth, the founder of Ubuntu developer Canonical, thinks that a major seachange is currently happening in the corporate world that could give Linux a chance. Ironically, what’s giving Linux on the desktop another chance is the fact that the desktop itself is slowly becoming less relevant thanks to virtualization and the move towards productivy computing in the cloud.
When Google first announced the idea of Chromebooks, a series of small, Internet (and Chrome)-centric laptops made by manufacturers like Samsung and Acer, its engineers touted the fact that – unlike other laptops – Chromebooks would actually get faster over time. Chromebooks, Google said, would see the same kind of performance gains that users of its Chrome browser have gotten used to. Now, with the release of the latest stable version of the ChromeOS operating system that powers these devices, Google is starting to fulfill this promise.
Google is definitely trying its best to get the word out about its ChromeOS-based Chromebooks. Now, the company has teamed up with Virgin America – one of the Silicon Valley’s favorite (yet perennially money-losing) airlines – to offer travellers to “test-fly” Chromebooks for free onboard their flights and at select gates from July to the end of September. Chromebook users – including those who bring their own ChromeOS-powered laptops on board – will also get free Wifi courtesy of Virgin America and Gogo. Travelers who stay in New York’s Ace Hotel will also find a Chromebook in their rooms.
The first batch of Google Chromebooks is scheduled to go on sale next week, but if it’s up to U.S. PC-maker ISYS Technologies, that won’t happen. According to a press release from ISYS, the company wants Google and its partners (including Samsung, Acer, Amazon and Best Buy) to cancel the 15 June launch. According to…