Linux on our MCs

There is a request for Linux OS on our MC from one of the my customers.
Before starting a CPR I would like to have some feedback from fellow TAs on similar requests and their results if any.

Thanks,
Valery
Kevin Horgan
Valery, The Kroger Co. has

Valery,

The Kroger Co. has been requesting Linux on our terminals for over six years.  My votes is YES!

Thanks,

KH
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Efrem Robinson
Valery, Back about 8 years

Valery,

Back about 8 years ago, we did this. We ported a version of Linux onto a terminal. One of the BIG US based home improvement chains wanted that particular combination of h/w and OS. I remember there being a LOT of challenges due to the fact that it is an open source operating system and a free-for-all when it involved any add/change/delete to the OS code base.

One of my retail customers threatened to place their 5,000 unit order with some little startup company because the startup 'claimed' to have a Linux based Mobile Computer solution. This customer had NO Microsoft products in use at the time other then on their desktop computers. They were using Red Hat Linux on their In Store Processors. After a brief evaluation and a review of the challenges, they agreed that using a Microsoft OS on the Mobile Computers was the way to go. We did get the 5,000 unit order with Microsoft on the devices.

As more and more of our customers develop thick client based applications, I can see MOT being caught in the middle when things don't work or are full of bugs. With the Microsoft OS, there is one throat to choke on the OS side and creating Operating Systems is what Microsoft does. Notice, I didn't comment on how well or poorly they accomplish this task.

Until there is global acceptance in the BUSINESS world to place a Linux variant on every desktop in an office I don't see there being acceptance on the business based Mobile Computer side.

It would be great to have the Mobile Computing Business Unit of MOT chime in on this topic....

Efrem
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Lawrence Annunziata
Linux on our devices

Linux on our devices particularly a low cost warehousing
devices could be a game changer.  All they do is TA anyway.

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Lawrence Annunziata
Linux on our devices

Linux on our devices particularly a low cost warehousing
devices could be a game changer.  All they do is TA anyway.

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Jack Burleson
As a TA supporting a large

As a TA supporting a large customer for whom we generated a "custom linux load" for one of our MCD devices back in the early 2000's - here is some items to consider.
1. The linux OS was "custom built" with a very specific set of features.  There was no "future support" built into the custom OS and that has caused major fire drills several times since then.
2. There were significant limitations / licensing concerns are voiced by Efrem (public domain licensing issues)
3. The OS did work (and is still deployed in older sites) and was trouble free - we only implemented standard Terminal Emulation.
4. Since the OS was a custom product - follow on support for changing standards (802.11i) did not occur.
5.  Development effort / time was significant and cost was large.  This time included TA time to help spec, test, etc.
6.  Since then we have moved the customer to newer products with Windows CE OS's that address many of the concerns that drove them to linux.  

Thus, think very carefully before going down a "custom OS" path - as you are on a very narrow and possibly short lived road unless the customer can afford to finance ongoing support of the OS; or is very large and the efforts worth it.  If the OS is a broad "Motorola" supported item, then it would be a better option as full support would be available both short term, and longer term.

Good Luck!
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Chris Matheson
About 5-6 years ago, Linux on

About 5-6 years ago, Linux on Mobile Devices was a bit of a hot topic. Customers were asking for it. When these same customers were asked for comitments if we made it for them, they declined and went with CE or WM. Many customers migrated to Linux on ISP's and other technology to save on capital costs with royalties and licensing, but quickly found out that operating costs surpased any savings as well as even the ability to effectivly support it. "open source" now scares most away from this request.

Today, especially in retail, customers want to use "standardized" and "fully supported" technology only. For example, trying to get one to use Filezilla as an FTP(S) server is a challenge because even though it works great, it is free and unsupported and therefore cannot be counted on in times of distress in their minds. Instead they want to use IIS because they can chase Microsoft for issues.

So, my only point here is, probe the customer deeply on this and determine if this is just another nice to have feature, or are they seriously going to use it if it is available. Most often, the request dies after explanation of why we support MS OS types. Especially when they want to use off the shelf applications that are Windows based.

Chris
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Roberto Mielle
I know that, it's a different

I know that, it's a different kind of philosophy (and platform), but here is a interisting new:

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/173355/motorola_no_longer_...

Rgds

Roberto Mielle
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Juergen Schirp
We had a retail customer

We had a retail customer first requiring LINUX as mandatory in a bid. On our MPA platform there was no chance due to intellectual properties. So we had to go the CPR way based on the FR Asia platform, that is an ODM product (no fusion sw, no MPA, ...). ANDROID was the OS of choice from the BU. At the end there were to much hw issues with the FR product, so that the program was terminated. We lost the bid. Btw.: The requirement LINUX as mandotory was relaxed to optional by the customer, because all the reasons mentionend before in the posts, made the customer realize of all potential risks, costs, work, ...
It would have been very smart and cool to have ANDROID on one of our products. A star could be born: MotoNdrd
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Daniel Teeters
We get a number of requests

We get a number of requests from unhappy customers who remember the old DOS days where they could have TE running on a stable platform for years with having to do an upgrade.

They are not asking for any specific OS but they want a simple TE client or WEB browser on an OS platform they do not have to upgrade every few months. 


I get this type of request from many of my customers.
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Arsen Bandurian
I got several requests as

I got several requests as well, now they're saying "Android" instead of just Linux. But those were small.
I even encountered two inquiries for Linux on our RFID readers instead of CE.
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