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back to article Nvidia CEO: Android 'the most disruptive operating system in decades'

Nvidia cofounder, president, and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is a big, big fan of the Android operating system – a fact that he made abundantly clear when speaking with analysts and reporters after announcing his company's financial results for the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year on Thursday. "Android is the most disruptive …

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Silver badge

Disruptive is a fair description

Whether you love Android or hate it, you must surely agree.

Windows etc: Controlled by MS, released on only a limited set of architectures and SOC options.

iOS: Apple make all the decisions.

Android: Anyone can port it to any CPU architecture that will support Linux. Heck, it even runs on Xilinx MicroBlaze.

That has completely shifted the powerbase of who gets to make decisions and who gets to play the game. That is surely the definition of "disruptive".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Disruptive is a fair description

Indeed, he was describing Android as being disruptive in a positive way, the headline here suggest a negative disruption.

It's only a negative for Microsoft, who have sat back for years and got fat on the money from Windows. That has now changed, Windows is no longer the defacto choice.

Chromebooks are outselling Windows 8 Laptops.

Android has a bigger marketshare than Windows.

Who would have thunk that 4 years ago?

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Bronze badge

Bad for both MS and Apple, I hasten to add.

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FIA

Re: Disruptive is a fair description

[...]

Android: Anyone can port it to any CPU architecture that will support Linux. Heck, it even runs on Xilinx MicroBlaze.

That has completely shifted the powerbase of who gets to make decisions and who gets to play the game. That is surely the definition of "disruptive".

It's only really shifted the decision making to Google though. ;) An increasingly large portion of the core is being moved to a closed source code base, entirely under Google's control. Plus if you want to use android on a commercial scale you pretty much have to play by Google's rules. (Good luck getting hardware made for your Google free android fork.)

True there's notionally a completely open version available, however as more and more APIs become part of the closed source Google play code base good luck finding apps that'll run on it.

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Re: Disruptive is a fair description

> An increasingly large portion of the core is being moved to a closed source code base, entirely under Google's control.

In what way ? The kernel mods have been submitted to the mainline kernel.

Google are working on a replacement for Dalvik called ART - Android Run Time - and the source code is available.

> good luck finding apps that'll run on it.

What are you saying ? That CyanogenMod can't run Android apps ?

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FIA

Re: Disruptive is a fair description

In what way ? The kernel mods have been submitted to the mainline kernel.

The kernel is Linux, which being GPL means the mods to that will always be available. However much of the higher level functions are being moved to the google play services. Which are closed source, leaving the existing open source components to stagnate. For example the launcher and SMS functionality in kitkat.

What are you saying ? That CyanogenMod can't run Android apps ?

No, not at all, however as more and more functionality is moved into closed source APIs that can't (legally) be used on non google approved devices the breadth of apps that run on those devices will decrease. For example Apis using mapping or locational functionality may find it harder to support non google approved forks. (Think mor Amazon and possibly in the future samsung).

Ars has a pretty good take on the issue here: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/

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Re: Disruptive is a fair description

> For example Apis using mapping or locational functionality may find it harder to support non google approved forks. (Think mor Amazon and possibly in the future samsung).

Google provides services and uses this to generate revenue. If an phone maker wants to make phones that access Google maps or search or play then he should make an agreement with Google to do so. If he wishes to use Apple or Nokia's mapping or Bing or someone else's services for anything then he would be expected to have an agreement with those services and include to APIs to access those.

There is no restriction from Google on using Android and having mapping APIs from any other mapper or search or whatever. What Google does is to restrict open-slather, unconstrained, access to its services by requiring makers to agree to particular terms.

Actually even a rouge fork can still access Google search and maps, but it would use the browser, or something similar, to do so.

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Gold badge

Who would have thunk that 4 years ago?

Oh, oh, I know, I know!

Me.

If you treat your customers like serfs and gain a sense of entitlement that you are owed X thousand dollars per endpoint shipped then don't be shocked and shaken when your market share drops. When you are a douche to the masses the masses say "up thataway" and buy somewhere else.

But holy fnord that crap you take in the comments section of a tech publication for speaking that truth to the entrenched power of brand tribalist fanboys.

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Bronze badge

OS?

I was under the impression that Android was a Java UI running on a Linux OS.

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Re: OS?

I think Java/Android is doomed to PC History ...

I hope, maybe this explains it to you, http://www.ubuntu.com/phone

Some of my favourite bits are ...

"Ready for your phone, With all-native core apps and no Java overhead, Ubuntu runs well on entry-level smartphones — yet it uses the same drivers as Android. "

or " A fast-evolving app ecosystem We’re working closely with selected partners to get their apps onto Ubuntu; Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Evernote and Amazon will be available at launch. "

and the biggies ,

"And at the high end, Ubuntu paves the way for a new category of superphones, with a full PC desktop accessible just by docking the device to a monitor and keyboard. A handheld PC is the future of personal computing — true convergence"

" And because it enjoys the full capabilities of Ubuntu — including kernel-level control of every app — it puts the security and manageability of UNIX in your pocket" "

I hope anything based on Java, is gone, if a device can run Android, why not have Linux instead ?

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Paris Hilton

Re: OS?

> I think Java/Android is doomed to PC History ...

This is not about "PC History" though.

> [Ubuntu biggening]

But you won't have "Linux", you will have "Ubuntu", whatever that will be once THE DAY arrives. It looks like it will have some considerable forkage by then, Java or no Java (but of course you WILL have Java or a very similar VM-based language, there is no way around THAT)

And what is "kernel-level control of every app"??

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Re: OS?

Android allows both Dalvik and native apps to coexist as first-class citizens; Dalvik is oriented towards a completely independent implementation of Java. Android sits upon the Linux kernel but in modern terms the kernel is just a tiny fragment of an operating system. The libraries, widgets, etc are just as much what people think of when they think of an OS.

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Silver badge

Re: OS?

Except Ubuntu's Unity interface sucks goat balls on PC and its impact on smart phones can be rounded off to zero.

Not a contender.

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Re: OS?

@ Vociferous

If u don't read it's not my fault, Unity is not part of it, MIR is, thats why I gave a link, read, learn ....

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Re: OS?

@ Destroy All Monsters

"This is not about "PC History" though.

> [Ubuntu biggening]"

"Nvidia CEO: Android 'the most disruptive operating system in decades" IS TITLE ?

How is Linux not a answer' to it, Other Linux Phone software, http://www.freesmartphone.org//

As with all things Linux different folks are working on it, I RUN Ubuntu NOW on my Sony xperia S, with bluetooth mouse/keyboard, HDMI port on side, its a laptop, that runs desktop software....

Java will be dissected, filleted, absorbed, but it is gone, maybe something sim, but not Java, I am playing in qml .....

"kernel-level control of every app"??, maybe you have a read, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel

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Re: OS?

Sounds like a lot of sales speak, something Linux has avoided until now

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Gold badge

Re: OS?

Mir sucks decomposed goat balls.

Ubuntu can't make an interface to save their wretched little souls. Not that they care. Ubuntu is at this point nothing more than a vanity project for a madman so utterly out of touch with what actual users want he makes Microsoft seem sane.

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Re: OS?

@ Trevor_Pott

Agreed, but Ubuntu is one flavour, once it is done it will be adapted, to other "flavours" of linux, Ubuntu is the foot in the door, and the rest of linux will follow is to be expected. This all a evolution, I see this last 43 years working in PC's, people so "invested" in OS, they don't want any change, well sorry, I dont think PC industry works like that, and it may not be linux either, its just the way it looks to me ATM ...

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Silver badge

Nvidia is going to push hard for Steam box

They lost out on the XBone and PS4 to AMD, so their console win is with the Gaben. Intel too. That means more open drivers, more kernel contributions, more Linux support.

Android is a huge growth driver for everybody who's using it. Vast scale is being accomplished in a ridiculously short period of time. Five years ago there was no such thing and today it's moving nearly a quarter billion units a quarter when you add smartphones to tablets and other. That's bigger than the PC market has ever been.

Disruptive? Yupyoubetcha. And a wonderful disruption it is too.

Meanwhile, back in PC land they're still selling 15" laptops with lower absolute pixel count than my Nexus 5 5" phone. They have no intention of moving the lower bar to higher than 1080p any time soon, even though ordinary 10" fondleslabs go far beyond on this key spec. And they're making 3-5% margins on that: roughly, $10-$15 per low-end laptop. About as much as the shipping to simply deliver the thing is what they earn to design, build, test, advertise and sell it.

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Doesn't play well with others?

Is this bork still in place ....... "SHIELD is initially available only in the United States and Canada. .... http://shield.nvidia.com/faq/

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Facepalm

Epic whoring, but why?

"Android is the most disruptive operating system that we've seen in a few decades ... probably the most versatile operating system that we've ever known .. and has the benefit of also being connected to the cloud"

It's like next he will be telling us [other operating system] is a state sponsor of terror, responsible for spreading hatred and extremism throughout the ecosystem while Android is taking important steps towards peace and the two-state solution.

YOU CAN JUST BUY IT, M'KAY? It's nothing political.

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Terminator

Re: Epic whoring, but why?

"It's like next he will be telling us [other operating system] is a state sponsor of terror, responsible for spreading hatred and extremism throughout the ecosystem"

Ahem!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/01/rockstar_consortium_patent_suit_battery/

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Silver badge

Disruptive is the wrong word

it does sound a bit negative for what is really progress despite the market incumbents efforts to prevent it.

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MJI
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Good terms

Disruptive can be good, some of us just forgot.

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Bronze badge

We can all agree that

This is great news for us as competition is much better than being held to ransom by a dictatorship like Microsft/Apple. The sooner they are forced into open source the better for us all

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Re: We can all agree that

Rubbish, no-one should be forced into Open Source. It should be good enough that people see it as a better option than its competitors.

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usefully disruptive to Nvidia

By coming late to the Android party, Nvidia are still a minor player and cannot repeat the crap they pulled on PC. Dominant enough at times they could simply say 'won't fix' to bug reports (AKA 'screw you') and weren't afraid to simply remove features without warning (PAL TV support went MIA after updating drivers on my last NVidia card).

Anything that disrupts that shitty attitude is great news ;)

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Virus Attractor...

Android is NOT the OS that most geeks think it is. It's very very old in design, heck even uses a large number of 20 year old Microsoft patented software designs, for which MS gets a LOT of money for. It's not 100% ready out of the "box" for any device, so it's not free by any measure. Heck, even Samsung is giving up 50% of their development resources to Android to make it work on their devices. That's a lot of time and money to a "free" os... Plus, due to it's aged design, it's a safe haven for virus writers. Android is neat, but far from good. Very far from good. The safety of my info is not worth it's ancient open architecture.

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Re: Virus Attractor...

> heck even uses a large number of 20 year old Microsoft patented software designs,

The 'designs' are vfat long name construction which are easily avoided _unless_ the device wants to plug in SD cards from other devices, such as cameras, which use fat32, or connect to a Windows computer over USB and act as a thumbdrive.

This is why Nexus 5 does not have a SD card slot, uses a transfer protocol over USB and can't mount a FAT SD card on its OTG port - it doesn't use 30 year old Microsoft designs. Microsoft still does.

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Not perfect

Android is good, but I don't like how after a year or so, a vendor will abandon a device and leave it without anymore OS updates. Aftermarket firmwares are helpful for some devices, but its not a fix for all. If I'm spending $400 or more on a phone or tablet, I think it would be great to move to Kitkat or whatever comes next without having buy another one. Especially as its base usage is simply as a phone, texting, Internet browser and email. Minimizing the phone OS bloat with new revisions would help combat this, I'm sure.

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Re: Not perfect

> after a year or so, a vendor will abandon a device and leave it without anymore OS updates.

The device still works as well as it did when you bought it, possibly better. (granted it may need a replacement battery).

You don't complain that your car's engine hasn't been updated recently do you ?

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