First, there are the obvious implications:
1. Google just Teflon-coated itself in the smart phone lawsuit wars by snapping up Motorola's portfolio of 15,000 mobile technology patents (and 7,500 more pending).
2. Google will be able to offer smart phones and tablets with full integration between the hardware and software, just like Apple.
3. Microsoft gets a boost in the short term. Windows Phone 7 has got to be looking good now to HTC and Samsung, for example. They can't be happy Android partners right now, despite these supportive quotes posted by Google (which ring as genuinely pleased as a Junior Leaguer at a rained out garden party).
4. Nokia gets a stock boost because everyone and their brother now believes Microsoft will just have to buy Nokia outright after this.
5. Then again, it may be time to buy Research in Motion. (RIM's stock also went up when the deal was announced on Monday.)
So, what is Google getting that is less obvious?
1. Entre to your living room. Motorola Mobility also includes all those lovely set top boxes and DVRs that they make for the TV cable industry. Google TV may actually get some legs now.
2. Entre to your car. Speaking of Motorola gadgets, other than handsets, how about Bluetooth and MotoNav, a dashboard navigation system? Can you imagine what Googley things will get bundled in with those trinkets in the future?
3. Entre to Motorola Mobility's cash! Let's face it, Google can afford $12.5 billion, but it's getting a great deal on top of that. Motorola Mobility has a cool three billion sitting in its coffers and makes another $3 billion in profits annually.
4. Entre to emerging markets overseas. Here in the States, we tend to focus on smart phones. In emerging markets overseas like Asia, however, the big money is still in feature phones. Motorola sold more feature phones than smart phones last quarter (6.6 million versus 4.6 million).
And here are a couple of other titbits to chew on:
1. Do you realize Motorola Mobility only came into existence this year? Up until January, it was a division of Motorola. It makes you wonder why it was spun off into its own company in the first place.
2. There are reports that Microsoft was actually trying to buy Motorola Mobility before Google put some skin in the game.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
First, there are the obvious implications:
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Telstra’s announcement this week that it will roll out a new long term evolution (LTE) mobile network has put LTE firmly back in the headlines. But just what is an LTE network, can it really be described as a 4G network, and why should you care?
Confusion frequently emerges when talking about mobile networks because the same terms get used in two entirely different contexts: engineering and marketing. Telecommunications engineers generally describe networks with lengthy (and sometimes arcane) labels, and will invariably refer to the wavelength of the spectrum used (measured in MHz). While phone and mobile broadband users don’t need to worry about exactly how a given network works, they do need to know that their chosen device can handle that particular spectrum. (Mobile network providers have to buy the rights to specific frequencies, which is often an expensive business and a lucrative source of revenue for governments.)
When it comes to marketing those services, telecommunications providers will sometimes use similar labels, but will talk in generic terms about speed and coverage and blur the distinctions between different types of mobile networks. For example, we’re used to talking about “3G networks” to describe the currently available services in Australia, but in fact this covers at least four distinct networks:
- The 2100MHz UMTS 3G network built by Telstra in co-operation with 3, which is due to shut down entirely in 2012;
- The now-closed regional CDMA-based network built by Telstra (sometimes derisively referred to as 2.5G)
- The 850MHz UMTS/HSPA network used by Telstra to replace both those options and marketed as Next G;
- The 900/2100MHz UMTS/HSPA-based networks used by Optus and Vodafone.
Older mobile networks based on GPRS and EDGE, which only offered relatively minimal data speeds, are often referred to as 2G (second generation) for contrast, but that label wasn’t often used before we all started talking about 3G. (I’m not going to explain those standards in any detail because while they’re still in use, especially outside capital cities, they’re very much a worst-case alternative these days.)
We’re seeing a similar experience with 4G networks: the label is being used to describe any mobile communications service which is faster than current options, whether or not it has anything in common with the systems that went before them. The current services offered by Vividwireless in some capitals, for instance, use WiMAX, which is a standard that’s completely unrelated to the existing mobile phone standards used by most carriers. However, they’re often promoted as “4G services”.
LTE (or 3GPP LTE if you’re being technical) is designed as a successor to the older UMTS standard used on most of our current 3G networks, promising faster speeds and better performance. However, even those first LTE networks aren’t technically 4G networks, as we’ll see. Setting up LTE requires carriers to install new equipment, though if they are reusing spectrum that was previously employed for other purposes (the approach Telstra is taking) they may be able to reuse some gear.
In theory, an LTE connection should offer downlink speeds of at least 100Mbps and uplinks at 50MBps. As ever, the difference between the theoretical maximum and what can actually be delivered is often large. At a demonstration last year, Optus showed downloads on an LTE network at 43Mbps — impressive and way above current speeds, but well below the theoretical maximums available on the network.
In practice, you’d be lucky to encounter many sites that could deliver content at those speeds anyway, and raw speed isn’t the only factor that’s important. It’s also overly simplistic to argue that the existence of high-speed wireless means that landline networks are unnecessary or don’t require enhancement.
Technically speaking, LTE itself isn’t a 4G standard, since the International Telecommunications Union has decreed that the 4G label should only be used for services which can offer speeds of 1 gigabit per second. The 4G mantle is being reserved for LTE-Advanced or LTE-A, which is due to be finalized in 2011. We can expect to see LTE networks migrate to LTE-A over time, but given that there’s not yet any live networks for LTE in Australia, that process won’t necessarily happen in a hurry. But it certainly won’t stop the label “4G’ being thrown around with abandon.
How far Australia is from LTE?
Every major carrier in Australia has been testing LTE equipment, but Telstra is the first to announce commercial launch plans for a service the general public can actually use, though it hasn’t offered a more specific time frame than “the end of 2011″. It will use 1800MHz spectrum (which Telstra already owned and used to use for 3G) to offer a service alongside its existing Next G networks, but unlike Next G it won’t roll out nationwide.
Instead, it will concentrate on capital cities and regional areas where there is high demand; covering more or less the same area as the higher-speed Ultimate service it rolled out last year. Emphasizing the increasing importance of data, Telstra has announced that it will sell a mobile broadband dongle designed to use the new network, but hasn’t yet announced any mobile handset plans.
Optus demonstrated potential speed benefits from an LTE trial it ran in Sydney last year, but hasn’t made a more specific announcement regarding launch timing. Vodafone has also said it is trialing LTE equipment, but has been even less generous with the details, though both networks have been using 1800MHz spectrum for testing. Vividwireless has also been testing the technology.
One factor that might delay any rollout is the availability of spectrum. It’s often assumed that carriers will need to make use of spectrum currently used for analogue TV broadcasts — which is becoming available as the nation moves to digital-only TV — to roll out full LTE systems, but that spectrum hasn’t yet become available to them.
Preparation for LTE
While lots of mobile phone manufacturers are announcing LTE-ready equipment, it pays to check the details. The Telstra network, for instance, will be 1800MHz, and other tests locally have used that frequency as well, but much of the equipment being announced is initially aimed at Verizon’s LTE network in the US, which runs at 700MHz. That shouldn’t be a problem with any phone or dongle officially released in Australia, but it might be an issue if you decide to import a device yourself.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
“How Megapixel of cam?” or “Does it capture HD videos?” are common questions people ask when they buy phones nowadays. Smartphones now make up 79% of all cell phones in Australia. Smartphone means SMART PHONE all the way with high resolution camera and native applications for shares photos and videos. There was one survey ran by PC Magazine shows how popular cam phone is. Question was “Is your phone's camera your primary camera?”
Here is the result of that survey
Yes, the camera on my phone is awesome. [17% (100 votes)]
Yes, I don't see the need to carry an extra device. [25% (143 votes)]
No, the camera on my phone is lousy. [13% (74 votes)]
No, I like using a regular camera. [24% (140 votes)]
I use both. [21% (122 votes)]
There are advantages and disadvantages of cell phone cam. I will go throw some recent stories like that.
By now I'm sure you've heard about the sex scandal and subsequent resigning of "Craigslist Congressman" Chris Lee. Going all "Eddie Long" and sending out photos of himself to people other than his wife probably wasn't the best of career moves for him. I reckon this story made you think like:
1) Cellphone cameras are the Devil's creation. Nothing, I repeat, nothing good can come from them.
2) Trolling for dates on Craigslist also probably isn't the smartest of moves.
3) I repeat, cellphone cameras are the Devil's creation.
On the other hand, there are some good stores about cell phone cam what will make us think opposite. Here is one story like that.
I just read this news on Inside the M60, newspaper from Manchester, UK. “A thief has today been given a 10-month jail sentence after the camera on his mobile phone proved to be his downfall.
Stephen Colin Taylor, aged 29, of Rydal Walk, Stalybridge, admitted handling stolen goods at an earlier hearing and was jailed today at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
As part of the subsequent police investigation Taylor was arrested and his mobile phone – a Sony Ericcson W995 – was among possessions of his taken away for examination. Pictures of the watches stolen in the raid were found on his phone, which has a high quality camera. The image was downloaded from the sim card and taken to Greater Manchester Police‘s Forensic Services Branch, where a forensic imaging specialist flipped and enhanced the picture. “
Those were stories of cell phone cam photos. Smartphones now captures HD videos and videos can be hundred times more effective then photos. We all know about Vancouver Riot Kiss by now. First we saw that on photo. I have checked YouTube; someone uploaded a video of that kiss taken by their cell phone cam. When I checked video had 2,589,100 hit by 15 days. It shows the vibe of videos.
Those incidents raise question about our privacy. Anyone can take photos of you and post or share on internet. You will be popular even if you do not want to, like that couple on Vancouver Riot Kiss photo. When it goes on internet it can stay forever and become part of history.
I think people should ask before they take photos of them. Taking photos without asking should make illegal and consider as breaking of privacy law. Every country should have laws to protect people’s privacy. Vancouver Riot Kiss photo is example here. They did not know about this photo. Now they are famous even they did not want to and annoyed by media as they said in interview with CBC News.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
As U.S. special forces assaulted Osama bin Laden's walled compound in Pakistan, a Twitter user was already recording a rough outline of the events to come.
Sohaib Athar, who describes himself as a 33-year-old programmer and consultant "taking a break from the rat race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops," happened to be staying up late at the time. And, from an account called Really Virtual, he live-blogged what he heard.
Athar's real-time dispatches and self-effacing follow-ups have transformed him into an instant online celebrity. He's received at least one marriage proposal--through Twitter, of course--as well as requests for bin Laden-related "souvenirs," and he also appears to have become Pakistan's first Twitter user to surpass 100,000 followers.
CNET interviewed Athar this afternoon about his instant fame, the state of affairs in Abbottabad, and his plans for another tech start-up. Some other questions they didn't ask, about whether he knew bin Laden was living there (he didn't), are answered in a FAQ on his Web site. Below is a transcript, lightly edited for space.
Q: You said in your FAQ that nobody has contacted you from any governmental agency. Is that still the case?
Athar: Yes. No contact from the army, intelligence (ISI), police, government, etc. Unless it was undercover.
How many requests for interviews have you had so far? just dozens, or hundreds?
Athar: I haven't really counted them yet, but there are still 120-plus unread requests in my mailbox at the moment from today alone.
What have been the worst distortions in the media? That Abbottabad is a close-in suburb of Islamabad? There must be something more interesting than that that I've missed...
Athar: Yeah, that was only the initial distortion. There are many small things that are being reported either incorrectly or incompletely--if I only talk about my own experience and how it is being quoted, there are many inconsistencies. So I can only imagine what kind of facts are being reported regarding the actual incident itself.
The "fact" that you watched the operation go down next door rather than heard it from a few kilometers away?
Athar: Yeah, there's that one--I am actually 2.5 kilometers away.
Have journalists descended on Abbottabad en masse? Political tourists?
Athar: The town is already a tourist hub in the summers, so the people are very used to lots of foreigners coming and going in this season. This time, they'll just get more journalists than mountain climbers.
Any bin Laden T-shirts yet?
Athar: Not in Abbottabad yet, nobody has cashed in on it...Hmm...thanks for the idea!
Should the photo, and perhaps the video, of bin Laden's demise be released?
Athar: Yes, definitely. The world deserves to see it. An "Osama II: The Return of Osama"-type scenario will always be in the back of their minds otherwise.
Your bio says you're a programmer and software consultant and that you worked with Frontiers in Neuroscience. How did you get into programming and Web application development?
Athar: My first computer was an Atari XL 800...1991 or so. Both me and my younger brother--he is at Cambridge, doing his PhD in neuro-linguistic programming--were hooked. Web and application development is what I have been doing off and on. My primary domain for around 10 years was 3D graphics programming.
Why live in Abbottabad instead of somewhere more urban?
Athar: I moved from the second most urban city of Pakistan (after Karachi), Lahore. There were many reasons for the move, but the weather alone is a sufficient reason to live here. Other reasons: less power failures (not true now), no doorbells, more focus, cleaner air, low traffic.
Do you have a generator or a UPS battery backup? (Or just lots of candles?)
Athar: I do have both here at the coffee shop. In fact, there is no electricity right now, so the UPS is what is keeping the DSL working.
Any plans to visit the U.S.? We'd be happy to host a dinner for you and your many fans (especially in U.S. intelligence).
Athar: Thanks, I can't really travel even to Lahore at the moment--too tied up with a lot of things, but the next time I'm there, I'll take you up on that offer (minus the U.S. intel part).
So I just went to your coffee shop's Facebook page. Why did you start it? As a side business? To be social? And, most importantly, do you offer free Wi-Fi?
Athar: Yes, yes, and yes. I had been working from home for three years, and the no-social-circle scenario here was getting a bit boring, I couldn't get good coffee and wanted to break the cycle. It was the only place offering free Wi-Fi until others started copying us last month. Others are still selling instant Nescafe though; Coffity uses gourmet arabica beans.
Are you the first person in Pakistan to pass 100,000 Twitter followers, as far as you know?
Athar: As far as I know, yes.
What do you think is going to happen to the ex-bin Laden compound now? And is it really a "compound" or just a collection of houses with a perimeter wall?
Athar: It is actually one house with a double-walled perimeter. I have a bunch of images that I have to upload tonight actually.
Straying into foreign policy for a moment, what are your views on the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, its Predator drone policies, and its cross-border excursions into Pakistan?
Athar: Since I moved to Abbottabad, I have tried to reduce the number of things that I should be concerned about and have tried to focus on things that I can actually change. I can't change the U.S. Afghan policy (or the AfPak policy as they are now preferring), so I spend more brain cycles thinking about how I can help my immediate environment. In Pakistan, the only information we get is X people killed by drone, out of which Y are assumed to be terrorists. That is not good enough for public approval of the U.S. policies here in Pakistan.
Us Pakistanis are kept in the dark by both Pakistan and the U.S. regarding the true picture, so most of us resort to agreeing to one conspiracy theory or another--which helps the terrorists' causes.
Have the WikiLeaks-leaked U.S. State Department cables changed anything?
Athar: Only a small percentage of the Pakistani population--mainly the Internet activists and the literati--actually read and try to understand the implications of the cables, I think. So as far as the general population is concerned, they only read translated and distorted versions of the cables.
There isn't much "actionable" information regarding Pakistan in the cables to change anything--besides the opinions of a very small segment.
One of my colleagues wanted me to ask you if there was any weirdness with radios, Wi-Fi, or mobile phones during the raid. Jamming, in other words.
Athar: The power was cut off during the raid--a friend living in the neighborhood verified that. Landlines were working at least in my area. They did jam the signals and landlines a while AFTER the operation (and probably during the search operations) in the (Pakistani) morning, as many people could not get through to their friends or family living near the compound.
Do you have any more details about your Web site being hacked, at least briefly, after your initial tweets?
Athar: Not really. I had some malware running on the site last week actually, but was too busy to look at it and remove it. After the site started getting traffic and the malware was reported, I asked my brother to remove it (as I was too busy myself). I think he did, as nobody has complained after that.
After this interview, are you going to continue answering questions on Twitter through tomorrow?
Athar: Yes. I haven't even started yet... I need to move the hosting from a $10 shared one to a better server first, and will resume answering after that.
You know you're getting marriage proposals, right?
Athar: Oh--I guess I have room for three more wives.
I'm not sure whether you're joking.
Athar: Half joking--I can only take one more.
Did you ever walk by the bin Laden house before the raid? Did it stand out?
Athar: I did not walk by that particular area. I had no reason to. Nobody I know lives in the neighborhood--I did pass by the main road many times though.
When did you begin to suspect what you heard was linked to a bin Laden raid? And what did you think?
Athar: Let me check back on my timeline.
Ah, right, it was when I woke up, got to my coffee shop, logged in, and went over the last few hours' tweets. I retweeted a tweet saying: "I think the helicopter crash in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the President Obama breaking news address are connected."
And your initial thought when you drew that connection was?
Athar: I drew the connection but saved myself from some typing by clicking the Retweet button. Funny, I remember that part. I was actually quite proud of saving the keystrokes. I think I started to guess how this would change the world in general and Abbottabad in particular in the next few days.
Has the Western media coverage, at least what you've seen, been fair to Pakistan and the Pakistani people?
Athar: Regarding the event itself, there is still confusion regarding whether or not the Pakistani authorities assisted in this particular operation--which is the main point that has been bothering the Pakistani people. If this was done by approval of the Pakistani Army, and if the Pakistani sovereignty was not violated, then most of the average Pakistani people would probably be more relaxed. Had it been someone else besides Osama, they'd be just as agitated to hear of an unauthorized attack by a foreign force.
The Pakistani government still hasn't been clear about whether they agreed to the raid, either with permission in advance or permission just before. I've read contradictory reports.
Athar: There are multiple versions being reported online as far as I have read. Most say that the Pakistani Army are acknowledging they assisted in the operation, but the U.S. Army is claiming that they did it alone, without any help. I need to read up on today's news to get up to date with these reports before I try to interpolate the facts.
Are you hiring? Your fans want to know.
Athar: I am an independent consultant myself these days. But perhaps when I work on my next startup...
Which will be?
Athar: Selling OBL T-shirts? Seriously though, I came to Abbottabad to brainstorm and create something new.
I have been involved with a couple of biotech start-ups in the last 10 to 11 years, and was missing the days of innovation a bit. So after a few more months of staying away from software development, I know I will need to find an idea and start working on it.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Nokia and Microsoft that they loved each other above all others, and that Nokia would be releasing phones running WP7 as its smartphone OS of choice. Reactions have been mixed, but here are seven reasons the partnership is full of win for us.
The Pieces Fit
The smartphone race has always been a bit of a challenge for Nokia, like some massive jigsaw that seemed to be missing one crucial piece. Nokia tried to squeeze pieces from other puzzles in there – Symbian, Meego – but neither were truly the right shape to complement the incredible hardware that was coming out of Finland.
Similarly, Windows Phone 7 is an operating system that’s struggling to gain traction in the marketplace. While it’s been critically well received, the fact that the handset guidelines are so rigid means that there isn’t a lot to differentiate handsets from different manufacturers. The fact that Nokia and Microsoft are partnering in this deal means that Nokia has the potential to step outside the rather boring design box to create exciting new WP7 handsets that work well and appeal to users.
Symbian Is No Longer A Smartphone OS
Symbian has its place in the mobile phone ecosystem – it’s a cheap, reliable software platform for entry level handsets. But as Nokia (and to a lesser extent Sony Ericsson and Samsung) have proven over recent years is that no matter how brightly you shine it, it’s still a turd as a smartphone operating system. The Nokia N8, the first (and only) smartphone running the Symbian ^3 OS, was littered with frustrations and design flaws. While it improved on previous versions, it still wasn’t up the task.
There were hopes for MeeGo as a smartphone platform, but it was hamstrung by a slooooowww rollout and the legacy of being a new platform in an already crowded marketplace.
The fact that Nokia is now using WP7 as its smartphone OS of choice means that Nokia smartphones will actually be able to perform as smartphones. Plus, Nokia will be able to take their hardware advancements (like the camera in the N8, the HDMI output functionality and USB interface) and, working with Microsoft, offer the same exciting features through an OS that works.
Nokia Phones Finally Get Gaming
N-Gage. I really shouldn’t have to say any more. Nokia has long be lusting over a real dominance in the mobile gaming market, but to date all their attempts have been rudimentary at best. N-Gage was a disaster, both as a phone and as a platform. Even in a post- N-Gage world, gaming on Nokia phones has been a relatively awful experience, with lags, bugs and graphics that look like they’re from the 90s.
Xbox Live integration finally offers Nokia the chance to succeed in a market they’ve long dreamed of owning. And given that Microsoft is partially batting for the Nokia team now, who wouldn’t hope for a Nokia branded handset with Xbox Live integration to take on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play?
More languages for WP7
One of the highlights from the official Nokia/Microsoft announcement was that:
Nokia will help drive and define the future of Windows Phone. Nokia will contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
Nokia phones are in more countries than any other manufacturer… There’s a reason they were the world’s biggest and most influential mobile phone company. By partnering with them, Microsoft have essentially given themselves a huge leg up in not only global distribution, but also in terms of language support. With Nokia’s extensive support for different countries and languages, Windows Phone 7 will receive a huge shot in the arm to help it become a real smartphone competitor.
Better operator billing arrangements for WP7
This one may not be quite as relevant for Australians, but for Windows Phone 7 users around the world this will be extremely advantageous. Nokia has been in the mobile space for a long time, and as such has some pretty solid relationships with different carriers, allowing Nokia users to purchase apps, music or other entertainment through the Nokia device with the purchase charged to your mobile bill. While WP7 has a similar arrangement with Telstra here in Australia, adding that same functionality through carriers around the world will help drive Windows as one of the premiere smartphone platforms.
It may take a little while for this kind of integration to roll out, but when it does, it will give the Nokia/Microsoft partnership a distinct advantage over other platforms.
Ovi store not dead, integrated with marketplace
With the partnership, you might think that Nokia would take their oft-maligned Ovi store out the back and put it out of its misery. Not so! The Finns announced that:
Nokia’s content and application store will be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.
What that means isn’t exactly clear yet. Will Ovi apps automatically appear in the Windows Phone Marketplace? Will Windows be given the ability to run Ovi apps natively? Will Ovi appear as a separate app store within the marketplace, to keep Nokia’s developers happy?
There’s no answer to these questions yet, but the fact it was mentioned at all is good news for the legions of Nokia smartphone users concerned about the Windows announcement.
Competition is Good
Take a quick look at the computer operating system market. While Windows runs the vast majority of PCs around the world, and OS X has a small slice of the pie on every Mac sold, it’s the third OS where the most exciting innovations come from: Linux.
Now come back to the smartphone OS market. iOS and Android are clearly leading the charge, battling it out for supremacy. But the market needs a third player. I’m not suggesting for a second that Windows Phone 7 is the Linux of the smartphone world, but it is the smallest of the three and has introduced a number of pretty radical concepts to a market that’s constantly evolving.
Ultimately, the market needs competition, and by partnering with Nokia, the WP7 camp has a much stronger chance of survival in a pretty cutthroat business. Ultimately, this choice is better for us.
(Credit - Gizmodo)
Sunday, February 6, 2011
- The largest library of programs and applications.
- Some commercial games work only with Windows and DirectX.
- Almost all hardware has drivers which are compatible with Windows.
- Most widely used.
- Prone to viruses, spyware, and adware if proper steps not taken such as installation of internet security software, which reduces performance speed.
- Requires regular maintenance to avoid system errors and reduced performance.
- Even with maintenance, issues can slowly accumulate requiring a re-installation of Windows to restore performance and fix software issues.
- Purchasing a Windows license/install disk can be relatively expensive
- Windows Vista, the most recent version of Windows, has high system requirements.
- Windows Vista has relatively high system requirements compared to its Windows XP and other operating systems. This has caused many individuals and businesses to continue using the older Windows XP.
- The two most common versions of Windows are Windows XP and Windows Vista. Vista, although it has some issues, does have some new features such as search-as-you-type search and a 3D-accelerated desktop, features up until now only found in Mac OS X and some versions of Linux.
- With the introduction of Virtual-machine software, Windows has become a popular add-on for Mac and Linux in order allow those computers to support Windows-only software or hardware when needed.
- The Windows market share has seen some decrease in recent years and months.
- People who must use Windows-only software for work or school.
- People or businesses looking for an inexpensive computer yet do not have the ability to use Linux.
- Relatively simple and intuitive interface with many advanced features.
- Not a target for virus or malware attacks, generally: there are no Mac OS X viruses in the wild, and with its UNIX base, it is fairly resilient. There are a small number of trojans (malicious software) which have been known to take effect through applications running in Mac OS X, though they are almost always found on illegal-content-based websites and are not of significant concern. Apple has begun integrating malware blacklists into Mac OS X to prevent infection.
- Second-largest selection of software, with many high-quality Mac-only programs in existence, such as those found in iLife. Although at one point software for certain tasks were not Mac-compatible, most software is now either Mac-compatible or has an equivalent that is. Most advanced games have also recently became compatible with Mac OS X.
- Reliable and high performance.
- Limited to Apple-manufactured hardware.
- Some hardware does not have Mac-compatible drivers, though the number of this hardware has recently become small and negligible.
- In some cases, it may be difficult to do cross-platform network hardware sharing for a Mac OS X based computer in a Windows network or visa-versa. For example, a printer's Mac driver may not support cross-platform printing to a Windows-connected printer, and replacement drivers may or may not exist.
- Smaller library of applications in comparison to Windows.
- Macs occupy the medium-range to high-end computer market and as such are not sold for the same prices of some low-end PC brands (e.g. the low-end Mac Mini costs $600 USD yet many mainstream low-end PC brand desktops can be purchased for around $400-500). As a result, Macs are popularly considered to be more expensive than PCs, however Macs have been shown to have competitive pricing to comparable PCs (e.g. the Lenovo Thinpad X300 costs about $2,500 while the MacBook Air runs between $1,800 and $2,700 and outperforms the Thinkpad, or the Dell XPS One prices at about $150 higher than a comparable iMac. Additionally, the following factors can cause the total price of owning a Mac to be even less compared than that of a PC: Apple iWork is relatively inexpensive compared to Microsoft Office, PCs experience hardware or software failures more frequently than Macs, increasing service and replacement costs, Macs do not require the frequently expensive internet security software subscriptions.
- Though Mac OS X suffers from relatively very few real-world hacks, security holes in Mac OS X do exist, just like in any other operating system. Also like in other operating systems, they are fixed with software updates upon their discovery.
- With a relatively low market share compared to Windows, there are still individual programs which are only Windows compatible. However, virtual machine software with a Windows installation or compatibility layer software can allow those programs to run even on a Mac.
- The Mac has seen significant market share increases in recent years and months, something which has also increased the amount of Mac-compatible software.
- Students who are not required to use Windows-specific software (though Windows can easily be installed to use Windows software). A recent study indicated that the number of American students intending to purchase Macs has neared that of Windows-based PCs.
- Home users looking for an easy and reliable computing experience who are willing to pay more than low-end PC prices.
- Graphic designers and photographers.
- Low number of viruses and other malware, similar to Mac OS X
- Usually free
- Large selection of Linux distributions to choose from.
- Has a large amount of free and open source software equivalents to commercial Windows and Mac software
- More easily customizable
- Can run many Windows programs with the use of a compatibility layer such as Wine. (Programs such as Cedega can be used to run many Windows games)
- Reliable with good performance and low requirements.
- Advanced use and installation of some software may require more advanced knowledge than is required for use of Windows and Mac.
- Many commercial programs do not support Linux
- Small commercial game library
- There are a few main types of Linux: Debian, Fedora, Red Hat, and SUSE. Ubuntu, a type of Debian, is highly popular among home users, as is SUSE, to a lesser extent. Fedora is more popular among businesses.
- There are many other (non-Linux) UNIX-based operating systems (with the same UNIX base as Linux), including Mac OS X and SunOS (which are based on Free-BSD). There are also some UNIX-like operating systems.
- Through customization and software like Beryl, Linux can be made to have advanced desktop effects similar to Aero on Windows Vista or Aqua on Mac OS X.
- "Dependency hell" can make installation of certain programs on Linux difficult even for advanced users.
- Experienced computer users looking for a good, free operating system.
- Businesses looking for reliable and affordable computing, so long as they do not need Windows-only software and have a competent IT manager.