KBD47 wrote: I would love to see Mint take a hard look at WebOS and/or Chromium OS or some other open source mobile/cloud platform and build for future mobile, cloud based devices, and hook up with more hardware vendors. Though there will be millions of old computers around for a long time able to run Linux, the technological landscape is changing very fast.
Despite the claims of tablet/smartphone enthusiasts, desktop computers are not going to go anywhere. We still have radios even though TV's have been available for decades. It's just a case of right tool for the right job, and there are still going to be plenty of use cases where tablets or even laptops are inadequate for the job, for the foreseeable future.
I don't think it would be beneficial for Mint to "go mobile" - firstly, because the competition there is brutal, and it's a much more volatile market than the desktop space. Without huge resources it's very hard to penetrate that market. And secondly, because the current unfortunate situation is, that without OEM AND carrier support you have snowball's chances in a really hot place of making it in the mobile market. What we really need is open hardware tablets and smartphones, mobile devices that behave just like desktop computers in that they'd have a bios (or equivalent) and the possibility to install whatever OS you want. Currently it's just hard to accomplish, because all the different ARM platforms are incompatible with each other, and it's impossible to make a single ISO that would run on any ARM device. ARMv8 will probably (hopefully) help with that problem, but it's still probably a year or two away. And carriers are going to resist this, because their business model is partially based on locking up and controlling what goes on people's devices.
Anyway, I don't think it would be wise for Mint to go for the mobile computing space. I think Mint should stick with what it does best, providing a clean, usable and fast desktop/laptop-oriented system for desktop/laptop computers. Too many are getting their fingers burned chasing the latest trends. If and when we get mobile hardware that is truly open, in that you can install any OS you want on it, then the situation might be different, and a spin-off mobile version of Mint might be appropriate. But right now, I don't think it'd be wise.
As for cloud-based computing, it's still highly problematic due to various reasons - privacy concerns, erraticity and varying quality/bandwidth of internet connections, etc. Google makes chromium profitable because the minute you open your chromebook, you start using google's web services and producing more data for them. You use an open source OS locally, but you connect to google's closed and proprietary server-side applications. That's just another type of lock-in, and not an example that Mint should follow.