Category: Acer


Is Aliyun OS really Linux? Android? A rip-off of both?

When Acer was ready to announce a new smartphone running Alibaba’s Aliyun operating system, Google responded with force. If it were to be released, Google would end its parternship with Acer, which uses Android for 90 percent of its smartphones.

Acer swiftly cancelled the release, but clearly Acer wasn’t happy about the state of affairs. Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, was even less happy.

Alibaba says it wants Aliyun OS to be the “Android of China,” claimign that they’ve spent years working on their Linux-based mobile operating system.

Google didn’t see it that way. Google thinks Alibaba is an Android rip-off.

In Google’s Android Official Blog, Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice president of mobile and digital content said:

“We built Android to be an open source mobile platform freely available to anyone wishing to use it. In 2008, Android was released under the Apache open source license and we continue to develop and innovate the platform under the same open source license — it is available to everyone at: http://source.android.com. This openness allows device manufacturers to customize Android and enable new user experiences, driving innovation and consumer choice.”

But: “While Android remains free for anyone to use as they would like, only Android compatible devices benefit from the full Android ecosystem. By joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), each member contributes to and builds one Android platform — not a bunch of incompatible versions.”

Android is a mobile operating system branch of Linux. While there have been disagreements between developers, Android and mainstream Linux buried the hatchet in March 2012.

So, from where Google sits, Aliyun OS is an incompatible Android fork.  John Spelich, Alibaba vice president of international corporate affairs replied oddly: “[Google] have no idea and are just speculating. Aliyun is different.”

How can Google have no idea about what Aliyun is if it is indeed, as Alibaba claims, a Linux fork? Linux is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2). Part of that license insists that if a GPLv2 program is released to general users, the source code must be made publicly available. Thus, perhaps Google doesn’t have any idea because, as Spelich indidicted and far as I’ve been able to find, Aliyun’s source code is not available anywhere. If indeed the source code isn’t open and freely available, even if Aliyun has no Android connection, this would still make it an illegal Linux fork.

Spelich went on to claim that Aliyun is “not a fork,” adding: “Ours is built on open-source Linux.” In addition, Aliyon runs “our own applications. It’s designed to run cloud apps designed in our own ecosystem. It can run some but not all Android apps.”

Rubin, in a Google+ post, replied, “We agree that the Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you’re under no requirement to be compatible.”

“However, ” he continued, “[t]he fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there’s really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that’s gone into that platform by the OHA.”

Hands on research by Android Police, a publication dedicated to Android reporting and analysis, shows that Aliyun app store includes pirated Google apps.

Android Police found that, “Aliyun’s app store appeared to be distributing Android apps scraped from the Play Store and other websites, not only downloadable to Aliyun devices as .apk files, but also provided by third parties not involved with the apps’ or games’ development. What’s more, we’ve received independent confirmation from the original developers of some of these apps that they did not in fact give consent for their products to be distributed in Aliyun’s app store.”

Not the least of the evidence is that the Aliyun includes Google’s own Android applications such as Google Translate, Google Sky Map, Google Drive, and Google Play Books. The odds of Google giving Aliyun permission to use its own applications are somewhere zero and none.

What we seem to have in Aliyun is an illegal Android and Linux fork, which supports a pirated software ecosystem. I only wonder that Google didn’t come down even harder on Acer and I really wonder how much due diligence, if any, Acer did before signing a deal with Alibaba.

Source: ZDNet

Acer sees HP changes chance to grab customers

World No. 2 computer vendor Acer believes the recent top management change at rival Hewlett-Packard is a huge opportunity for the former to win over some customers, Acer Europe head Walter Deppeler told a German daily.

Hewlett-Packard Co last week named former eBay Inc Chief Executive Meg Whitman its president and CEO, replacing Leo Apotheker in a bid to restore investor confidence in the iconic Silicon Valley company.

“That is a major chance for us because big customers and resellers are uncertain. They are asking themselves: what’s next, who can i work with?” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted Walter Deppeler as saying in a prerelease of its Tuesday edition.

“We want to use this as an opportunity for us,” he added.

Source: Reuters

Acer’s MacBook Air-cloning Aspire 3951 Ultrabook Leaks Out

A hinted-at Acer ultrabook may have had its first public sighting through leaked renders and details in Vietnam. The 13.3-inch Aspire 3951 would borrow more than a few cues from the MacBook Air Intel’s ultrabook spec is meant to imitate and would have a supposedly 0.51-inch thick, aluminum, 3.09-pound shell. In a nod to the Dell Adamo, however, Sohoa‘s look showed that most of the ports would be moved to the back, where the hinge design would make sure they stayed available.

The system would also make the solid-state drive optional. Buyers could pick the likely Intel-made 160GB SSD or opt for more traditional 250GB and 500GB hard drives. Not much is known about the choice of processor other than using a 2011 Core chip, although the Aspire would follow Apple into including Bluetooth 4.0 while swapping out the Thunderbolt for a plainer HDMI output. A card reader is in view on the right-hand side.

Acer is believed to be focusing on longevity, offering a competent though shorter six hours of battery use as well as 30 days of standby; the long idle time might only be true for the SSD option. Moving from sleep to wake should take 1.7 seconds.

Earlier rumors have had Acer’s ultrabook shipping at the very end of the year. The 3951 might undercut the MacBook Air with estimated prices of between $769 to $961 depending on the model, although it’s not clear what a base model would involve. Any lower pricing is likely to entail a slower rotating hard drive and might go below the 1.7GHz Core i5 Apple uses in its own system.

Intel devised the ultrabook spec as a way of sustaining notebook sales in the face of tablets through taking a cue from the Air. The decision may have triggered a pushback from Windows PC builders who have been fighting to lower the price after they were worried they would have no choice but to match Apple’s price after Intel set similar quality and performance goals.

Source: Electronista

Acer makes the shoddiest laptops, say IT professionals

TechRepublic recently polled its audience of IT pros about which vendors make the best and worst laptops. One thing was nearly unanimous: Acer machines are the worst.

It’s no secret that as laptops have dropped in price in recent years — dipping from an normal price tag of about $1500 just 5-10 years ago to roughly $500 for many of today’s most popular models — the quality and reliability of those laptops has decreased just as precipitously.

While it’s still true that corporate IT departments don’t typically buy the cheapest laptops on the market, the price of business-class portables have dropped as well. IT departments that used to pay $1500-$2000 for their laptops now typically pay $700-$1000 per machine.

The biggest difference is that IT departments are looking for laptops with the best reliability, so that they can service them as little as possible, since it’s expensive every time an IT professional has to take the time to deal with a bad system.

TechRepublic recently asked its massive audience of IT professionals which vendors make the most reliable laptops and which ones make the least reliable laptops. Since most IT departments tend to use multiple vendors and/or switch vendors every 2-3 years in order to land the best deal, we thought IT departments would have a great perspective on this.

Plus, there’s also the factor that most IT professionals tend to serve as the de facto tech support departments for many of their friends, family, and neighbors. So they tend to see a lot of different consumer laptops as well, especially the ones that have the most problems.

Not surprisingly, the results of our two polls in May had Hewlett-Packard and Dell at or near the top of both lists. Since those two vendors both sell so many machines, both offer drastically different levels of support, and both have very diverse products lines, we regularly hear from lots of happy customers and lost of disgruntled ones as well.

The most consistent data point on both polls was that IT professionals consider Acer laptops to be the most shoddy. Of the top seven laptop sellers that were asked about in the two polls, Acer ranked first (24%) among the least reliable laptops and last (6%) in the most reliable laptops. Check out the full results below.

Source: ZDNet

Acer Introduces Aspire Timeline X Family of Notebooks

Acer’s offering a notebook for every application, with the U.S. introduction of its Aspire TimelineX family. Made up of four — five, really — new notebooks in a range of screen sizes, the family resemblance runs to eight hours of battery life, a choice of Intel Core i3 or i5 processors, choices of 3GB or 4GB of memory, LED backlit displays, power-management features and slim physiques.

Users wanting a full-size notebook should look to either the 5.5-pound, 15.6-inch Aspire 5820T or the 14-inch, 4.65-pound Aspire 4820T. These two come equipped with integrated optical drives, 4GB of memory and a choice of 320GB or 500GB hard drives. Media Controls on both offer one-touch access to most-used applications, and on the 15-incher — accountants, listen up! — a dedicated numeric keypad is included.

Starting price for both notebooks is $749.99.

Discrete graphics your thing? A version of the 4820T, the 14-inch Aspire 4820TG, features ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics with full DirectX 11 support. Switchable Graphics technology allows users to extend battery life when needed, while Acer’s PowerSmart technology can automatically adjust the PC’s power settings to maximize performance.

The 4820TG is available in two configurations — with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 320GB hard drive for a starting price of $799.99; or, with an Intel Core i5 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 500GB internal hard drive, starting at $899.99.

For the frequent flyer set, there’s the sub-4-pound Aspire 3820T. It features a 13.3-inch LED backlit CineCrystal display, a choice of Core i3 or i5 processors, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 320GB or 500GB hard drive.

Or, lighter still, the Aspire 1830T weighs in at 3.09 pounds and features an 11.6-inch display, paired with a full-size keyboard. For a starting price of $699.99, it comes with the Intel Core i5 ultra-low voltage (ULV) processor with Turbo Boost, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 500GB hard drive. Save a hundred bucks, and the configuration drops to the ULV Core i3, 3GB of DDR3 memory and a 320GB hard drive.

All models include 802.11 b/g/n and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, a 1.3-megapixel HD Webcam, a built-in digital microphone and HDMI connectivity. Bluetooth is on some models but not others.

Rounding out the multimedia experience, the Aspire 3820T, 4820T and 5820T come with Dolby Home Theater v3, while the Aspire 1830T was paired with 2nd Generation Dolby Sound Room Audio Enhancement.

The whole family, however, comes with a Backup Manager — a “set it and forget it” scheduled backup solution — as well as multi-touch touchpads, for pinching, flicking and quick-scrolling one’s way through documents and Web pages. Anyone who prefers a mouse, however, can disable the touchpad with a single button touch.

Source: eWeek

Acer Liquid E Android Smartphone Available in Canada

Acer has released its Liquid E smartphone in Canada exclusively through Rogers Communications. The Acer Liquid E runs Android 2.1 with a 3.5″ capacitive touchscreen, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a 5 megapixel camera and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon process. Here is more info on the Acer Liquid E Android smartphone:

Measuring just 115mm long x 64mm wide x 12.75mm thick, the Liquid E is sleek, yet comes with a 3.5-inch WVGA capacitive display offering ample viewing area and intuitive, precise operation. The Qualcomm 8250 768 “Snapdragon” processor and embedded 3D graphics accelerator provide the power to instantly open applications and advanced games running in parallel with other functions for optimum productivity. Integrated WiFi b/g and HSDPA 7.2Mbps fuel fast connectivity that’s accessible almost anywhere. The battery affords up to five hours of talk time and up to 400 hours in standby mode.

The Liquid E offers three XT9 keyboards, which include Qwerty, Half Qwerty and 12-Digit Numeric that can be conveniently viewed in both landscape and portrait modes. All three keyboards are intelligent, offering predictive and corrective text input and a multilingual dictionary with just one click necessary to toggle between languages. When users search for a contact via the digital keypad, predictive input suggests contacts to save users time keying in the entire name. When texting, predictive input guesses the word the user is spelling, extending the ability to select the word without having to finish typing it. Corrective input provides one or more options for correcting a misspelled word.

Liquid E offers the ability to synchronize and back up files, contacts and the calendar with a PC. The new contacts application provides the flexibility necessary to organize the phonebook for maximum efficiency. The enhanced dialer makes finding contacts faster than before and Quick Contacts is an easy way to engage with associates, family and friends using functions like Call, Send Message, Send Email, Open Details Card and Locate on a Map from various areas of the phone.

Source: MobileTechReview

Acer Makes Handheld Push With New E-reader, Android Tablet

Acer showed off a prototype tablet device and an e-reader at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, setting the stage for the company to push into new mobile product segments.

It runs Google’s Android operating system, has a 7-inch display a keypad . Acer didn’t reveal when the tablet will be released or how much it will cost.

Acer’s LumiRead is closer to market. The e-reader weighs 290 grams, has a 6-inch e-ink display and a barcode scanner that can read the ISBN numbers from physical books to search online bookstores or to make wish lists.

It can connect to Wi-Fi and 3G networks, and has an Internet browser and the ability to convert Web content into an e-book format. It will also share e-books and audiobooks with other Acer devices and computers through the company’s new clear.fi system, which is based on the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) home networking standard.

Next week, Acer will name the company that developed the browser that will be used in the LumiRead, said Trisha Pan, a senior product marketing manager at Acer. The browser, which Acer customized, will not be Google’s Chrome OS, she said.

The LumiRead is 10.3 millimeters thick, has 2GB of internal memory — enough to hold 1,500 books — and a microSD slot for additional memory, Acer said.

Users will be able to purchase and download e-books from several companies. Acer has signed agreements to make content available  from Barnes & Noble in the U.S. and Libri.de, in Germany. Books will also be available from Chinese IT company Founder Group, which owns a library of 600,000 e-books.

Source: Yahoo