Posted December 13, 2006on:
Wi-Fi on Linux is about to get much better, thanks to the release of an advanced Wi-Fi driver stack to the Linux community under the GPL.
As reported by eWeek (here’s the full article) and LinuxDevices.com (read the full article), Devicescape has released their advanced Wi-Fi driver stack under the GPL (read the press release) in order to speed the adoption of Linux-based Wi-Fi devices. Having wrestled with Wi-Fi support on Linux on more than a few occasions, I can attest to the difficulty of trying to get online with a less-than-perfectly-supported Wi-Fi card.
If you’re lucky enough to have a Wi-Fi card that is fully supported by the Linux distribution of your choice, then great. Unfortunately, that list of supported Wi-Fi cards is rather slim, and excludes a great many of the retail cards available to consumers. Horror stories abound regarding trying to get a retail Wi-Fi card working under Linux, and these are the stories that prevent ordinary people from being willing to give Linux a try.
Hopefully, the inclusion of this new technology into mainstream Linux distributions will vastly improve Wi-Fi support on Linux and help continue to drive the adoption of Linux across business and consumer segments.
You may be wondering why I’m pushing for greater adoption of Linux. Microsoft does it’s best work when it’s faced with great competition. For quite a while now, there hasn’t been a serious competitor to Windows, and so Windows has lagged a bit (OK, perhaps more than a bit). A stronger and more vital Linux would give Microsoft the competition it needs to perform better. In addition, I believe that increased choice in operating systems can only lead to good things.
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