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Ubuntu offers cloud freebie; openness of Android examined: news in brief

Canonical grows it personal cloud service to a million users, Android ranks last in open source analysis and other news in brief.

Ubuntu One cloud growing 
Canonical claims one million users of Ubuntu One, Canonical’s online cloud storage service. To thank its users, Canonical is giving the Ubuntu One basic plan an update, increasing its free storage from 2 GB to 5 GB, and changing its name to Ubuntu One Free. The new 5 GB limit puts Ubuntu One ahead of other popular personal cloud services, including Dropbox which offers 2 GB for free. Ubuntu One launched in May 2009.

As part of this update, the current Ubuntu One Mobile plan will also change, becoming the Music Streaming plan for iPhone and Android, which will provide unlimited music streaming and 20 GB of storage for $3.99 per month. Users can also add storage in 20 GB increments for $2.99 per month.

Canonical also has plans for an update to its Ubuntu One Windows client, which will allow more users to access the Ubuntu One personal cloud on their Windows PCs, and allowing users to use Ubuntu One to sync between Windows, Android, iPhone the Web and Ubuntu.

Android: Open source, but not that open
How open is open source? In the case of Android, not open enough, according to a recent study. A report, by VisionMobile, ranked Android as the least “open” of the eight mobile open source projects surveyed. The study also ranked Eclipse, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Firefox, Qt, Symbian and WebKit based on their open governance, inclusiveness, transparency, and ease of access to source code.

Not only did Android rank last, but it’s “openness score” was just 23% compared to the 58% that Qt received as the second-to-last on the list. Eclipse ranked first with a score of 84%, and the Linux kernel took second, with 71%.

In general, the report’s authors held that the more open a project is, the more successful it will be in the long run – a tough claim to make given Android’s huge market share. But, the researchers attributed Android’s success to other factors.  

“Android’s success may have little to do with the open source licensing of its public codebase. Android would not have risen to its current ubiquity were it not for Google’s financial muscle and famed engineering team. More importantly, Google has made Android available at zero cost, since Google’s core business is not software or search, but driving eyeballs to ads. As is now well understood, Google’s strategy has been to subsidize Android such that it can deliver cheap handsets and low-cost wireless Internet access in order to drive more eyeballs to Google’s ad inventory,” according to a statement by Liz Laffan, a research partner at VisionMobile.

CIC deploys Gluster
Communication Intelligence Corp., a supplier of electronic signature solutions for the financial services industry, is using Gluster’s open-source cloud storage technology to move applications to the cloud. This adoption by a company in a highly regulated industry shows the growing maturity of cloud computing, and the strong role open source has played in this sector of IT.

CIC selected Gluster to provide the storage in its Amazon Web Services and RightScale environment, allowing the delivery of its product and service offering without compromising its service level agreements, according to a press release.

"Our clients not only require 24/7 retrieval and access to documents, but also expect us to deliver these items quickly and efficiently," said Nhan Nguyen, chief scientist and CTO at CIC in a statement.

Asus chooses Linux for skinny netbook
Asus new Eee PC X101 Netbook will run MeeGo Linux, not Windows. Asus is one of a few companies shipping computers with this flavor of Linux.  Meego is less resource-hungry than other operating systems, an important factor with small netbooks with limited memory and processing power. The Asus netbook will be just 0.69-inch thick.

Eee PC product manager, Brian Tang told that Asus chose MeeGo because of its open source flexibility.   There is no release date for the Eee PC X101.


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