Microsoft trying to achieve the faster booting times in upcoming Windows 8 (on i7, 2nd generation processor with 8 GB RAM) while browser based OS Google Chrome (Chromium Project) claims that they already achieved, There is a new OS jumped in to this arena named ‘xPUD’ which is again a browser based OS based on the popular browser Firefox integrated with Linux. The difference is xPUD can provide the faster boot even in older hardwares. xPUD boots inl ess than 10 seconds, some users claim under 5 seconds.
Other than the fast booting, xPUD has other advantages. It is very light while running and in size. Surprisingly the image of xPUD’s current version 0.9.2 is around 45 MB and it only requires 64 MB of free hard disk space to install it. So xPUD becomes primary choice of OS for portable devices as it has limitations for the storage space. Another great advantage of this OS is it has it’s own App Center, but it has very few apps for now, we can expect more in the future but not for sure. So far the apps supporting are OpenOffice, DropBox, Skype, codecs for media playing and some extra utilities.
Coming to the interface of the OS, it is very simple having one window for all with 4 activity based tabs. Apps and programs are scattered among these tabs. There is no task bar to see the running applications. Mozilla’s Firefox and its gecko engine is the default browser to experience the web.
xPUD can be used by anyone and has nothing great to explore in it except the simplicity and lightness. You can not use this OS for more than browsing the web and some basic media experiences. So it can’t be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but it can be a obvious choice for the portable OS options ( pen drive OS ). It works better than Chrome except chrome has lots of applications.
Download and Try xPUD yourself, try running on virtual machine using VMware or Virtual Box or any other player of your choice. Install it in your device’s partition only if you satisfied on VMs.
Canonical, the backbone of Ubuntu OS lately announced a new concept which transforms an android phone in to a complete ubuntu Desktop when it is docked. Docked in sense, connected to a bigger display, keyboard and mouse. As most of the other major details about this is not yet disclosed by canonical, it is unknown that the docking also extends for speakers, microphone and other extensions.
In a dual core android phone, ubuntu runs concurrently on the processor with android in different cores at different run times. This is possible because both android and ubuntu uses same kernel. The shared applications runs in the two different platforms are tightly coupled using a convergence API module, this helps sharing of data between the same application running in the two different environment namely the desktop and mobile environment.
Lets take a scenario, you browsing alvistor.com in your android mobile and checking your gmail in another tab while roaming outside, now your getting back to your home and connect your phone to the dock with bigger screen, keyboard, mouse and other utils. What happens now is the magic, ubuntu boots up seamlessly in your bigger screen and now you can continue your browsing in the desktop environment either in chrome or firefox which comes default with ubuntu. Even after connected to the dock you can access your contacts, messages and other phonely things like calling, messaging through your desktop interface. Nice ahh!
Okay now time for the limitations. As the minimal requirement for the implementation is 1 Ghz Dual core processor, that is sufficient for some basic desktop operations, but when it comes multitasking it is not performing to the expectation. Opening few tabs on chromium browser results in slowdown. Ubuntu claims that performance limitations only depends on hardware factors like memory resources and processor capabilities.
In my view,when the mobile phone manufacturers improves the processing capabilities for android phones, then we can expect a acceptably complete functional Desktop over a tiny android device, until then this concept stays experimental. Over the past decade smart phones are grown to this level of performance and it is sure that they are going to accommodate the powers of multiple desktops sooner. Who knows? at that time these smart phones may replaces all the PCs and Desktops in our home.
For more info, visit Ubuntu site at http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android