The title of the post might be misleading because its about Generic Hardware.
‘Generic Hardware’ - the term might make you think, ‘What’s he talking about?’. Well, this is something I always was thinking about. So, let me give an analogy on the software side and then move on to the hardware part.
We have technologies that were designed based on some specifications which many others can benefit from. For instance, HTML was designed based on some specifications so that every browser knows how to read it and respond to it. Just imagine if HTML wasn’t designed in the way it was and everyone created their own version, it would’ve been a issue. I don’t say it would be a show stopping issue because we will end up spending more time tying up dependencies and making things inter operable.
Don’t get me wrong here, because I am not saying anything about monopolizing technological innovation or anything like that and that’s not my intension. I am just trying to share my views on it.
So, when it comes to hardware part; vendors of Operating Systems create them in a way such that it runs on different hardware architectures like
Intel, AMD, Power PC, etc. For mobile platforms the vendors customize their OS to run on those resource constrained environments. Do the OS vendors have premium access to the hardware stuff and dominate them? (smells fishy )
The problem we face is installing our preferred OS on our mobile phones that we own. Are the manufactures purposely limiting our abilities in doing that or something else? Its like if I buy a motorbike and face some problems or do some modifications I can’t got a mechanic shop, rather reach the manufacturer. Its just for an example and don’t take it as such
Lets take our Android mobiles as an example. We see lot of geeky stuffs like rooting,
custom OS, Cyanogenmod, Replicant, etc., and lots of How to’s on them. But are those available to all the existing Android Phones. We see some custom OS’s that can run perfectly on one phone and not the other, even if they did they tend to cause some major issues.
All that a CPU needs are machine instructions to work on.
We can’t solely blame the mobile manufacturer because, various parts of the mobile like its CPU, wireless hardware, camera, etc., comes from different vendors. I say this because the issues might be due to lack of proper drivers for GPU’s, input devices and accessing other crucial hardware API’s. I can put it across like,
We own the phone but we don’t
My point is, if the mobile phones and the various supporting hardware in it are manufactured with some generic and open standards, then whatever the OS may be can be developed in such a way that it can run quite effectively with lesser tweaks.
I would really like you guys to share your views and point out if something is not right.