Consumer Electronics: is open source in store for the next generation?

opensource_compWith high performance quad-core smartphones and tablets dominating the market, more and more of our data getting stored in the cloud each second, the number of users carrying laptops and running desktop OS-es is diminishing each day. The battle between open and closed source consumer electronics is more exciting than ever with open source in advantage right now. The question is – Is this going to be epic and decisive and change the way the next generations look at technology? What will it be? Without barriers or tightly bound?

Open source seems to me a natural selection as long as it’s truly usable and not just for geeks. And it has already reached there in the form of popular mobile operating systems with more emerging every other day. Alternatives galore! How do they fit in? All of us want our families, our friends and even our governments open, free and easily accessible, then why not these things we need everyday? There are some who still believe that if you pay for something, a priority service is guaranteed, I am not one of them thanks to the experience in a developing country and my professional experience. From the best of the organizations selling closed source goodies to the newest of them, there is seldom one which accepts with dignity (both theirs and yours) that the service is flawed. It’s against nature, why should organizations be any different? On the other hand, in case of open source, I can either fix it myself or raise a bug to notify the developer community. Sometimes they don’t accept the obvious too, but the difference is that everything is open, others can also see, justify or strengthen my point if it’s valid and moreover it’s a community, multiple developers express their opinion openly at the same place. In contrast, a closed organization is a single and mostly enveloped entity to me, a third-party. Add to that the hidden classification of customers ranging from Premium to Regular. How many of those who live and breathe Apple know the who’s who in Apple and how to reach them? Now change the brand to Linux or Ubuntu or Red Hat or Android or GNOME. Spend 5 minutes in Google and you’ll know the full hierarchy of developers, maintainers and mailing lists. It’s all about getting restless on what the status of your grievance report is versus knowing exactly who is trying to make it work and HOW. In case of open source, the moment you get involved in any way, you are a part of the process.

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