Why Broadcom's Release May be More Significant than Just Code
On September 9 the news of Broadcom's release of the code for some of its wireless Ethernet chip sets sent shockwaves throughout the Linux community. Broadcom owners, as well as distribution developers have a reason to celebrate.
In the past, Broadcom owners had to resort to NDISwrapper or rely upon the limited reversed engineered drivers. Neither was optimal. The release of the code by Broadcom should eventually mean a much better Wi-Fi experience for owners of systems with Broadcom chip sets. But for those that like to read between the lines there may also be a deeper significance to this move.
There are two trains of thought as to the "deeper" significance in this surprising move. Some say Linux installs / computers still make up only 1% of total computers in use. Others believe it's much higher. One well-respected writer believes it is probably about 10% while another estimates it is closer to 14%. So some see the Broadcom move as proof that the higher figures are the accurate figures. The thinking being that Broadcom wouldn't worry about a mere 1% share of the market but would be concerned about a double digit market share.
The second theory, while similar in nature, is that the move is due to the growing number of large industrial and commercial Wi-Fi hot-spot networks. Many of these are relying on Linux due to its security and reliability. Again the thinking is that this is a large enough market that Broadcom does not want to lose it to a competitor that has better native Linux support, such as Intel.
Whether it's due to pressure from users, loss of sales, or just a change in attitude, it's good news for Linux and that's all that matters. Most Linux users probably don't care why, they're just happy it happened - even if it does still leave many with older chips that still may need to rely upon b43 or NDISwrapper.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Seashore||May 10, 2013|
|Trying to Tame the Tablet||May 08, 2013|
|Dart: a New Web Programming Experience||May 07, 2013|
- RSS Feeds
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- New Products
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Home, My Backup Data Center
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- New Products
- Developer Poll
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- direct cable connection
7 min 6 sec ago
- Agreed on AirDroid. With my
17 min 22 sec ago
- I just learned this
21 min 32 sec ago
51 min 36 sec ago
- not living upto the mobile revolution
3 hours 42 min ago
- Deceptive Advertising and
4 hours 18 min ago
- Let\'s declare that you have
4 hours 19 min ago
- Alterations in Contest Due
4 hours 20 min ago
- At a numbers mindset, your
4 hours 21 min ago
- Do not get Just Almost any
4 hours 25 min ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- Next winner announced on 5-21-13!
Free Webinar: Linux Backup and Recovery
Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.
In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.