Linux Top Product: SteamOS, Chromebooks and Ubuntu Edge

2013 was another year of evolution and growth for Linux across multiple areas. At the high-end, Linux continues to dominate the list of the world’s top supercomputers. At the other end of the spectrum, Linux continues to dominate the market for embedded and mobile devices as well.

In between those two extremes, there were at least three noteworthy trends observed by Linux Planet in 2013.

1) SteamOS

For as long as people have been running Linux on desktop PCs, users have have been asking for games to play on them.

In 2013, that really began to change thanks to the efforts of Valve and its Steam gaming client. Steam is now available for Linux and has a long list of popular games available. Going a step further though is the evolution of Steam from just a client to becoming a full fledged gaming system.

Valve decided in 2013 that Linux is the future of gaming and its SteamOS is Linux based as a result. SteamOS is Valve’s Steam Machine operating system and will be part of a big official hardware rollout early in the new year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

SteamOS represents a new type of operating system in the Linux marketplace, one that is specifically for gaming. Though it’s a new target market, SteamOS stands on the shoulders of Debian at its core and enhancements that optimize graphics and gameplay are likely to improve Linux as a whole over time.

2) Chromebooks

Linux hardware on consumer desktops grew dramatically in 2013 thanks to tremendous interest in Google’s Chromebook platforms.

At the core, Google’s Chromebooks run a thin Linux system that enables users to run the Chrome browser as a gateway to online services in the cloud.

According to new datafrom NPD Group, Google Chromebooks represented 21 percent of all notebook sales in 2013. That’s a dramatic rise from what NPD calls a ‘negligible’ share in 2012.

3) Ubuntu Edge

Though it did not end as Mark Shuttleworth would have like, Ubuntu’s effort to crowdfund a new Linux superphone was among the most audacious Linux efforts of 2013.

Shuttleworth set the goal of raising $32 million in 30 days. The final tally came in at $12.8 million, which was still a record breaking amount for a crowdfunding effort.

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