SAMSUNG HAS TAKEN A SHOT at Microsoft with the announcement that owners of its Galaxy smartphones will soon be able to run a full-fledged Linux operating system.
At the launch of the Galaxy S8 earlier this year, Samsung first introduced DeX, a system that allows you to connect your handset to an external display, mouse, and keyboard in order to bring a desktop-like experience to your smartphone.
Until now, S8 and Note 8 users have been able to run Android apps in this desktop environment, but soon, users will be able to transform their device into a GNU/Linux PC.
At its Developer Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Samsung took a shot at Microsoft's now-defunct Continuum feature with the news that it's developing an app called Linux on Galaxy that will let users - most likely developers - to load a DeX-compatible Linux environment.
"Linux on Galaxy gives smartphones the capability to run multiple operating systems, enabling developers to work with their preferred Linux-based distributions on their mobile devices," Samsung said.
"Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment, utilizing the same Linux kernel that powers the Android OS."
Linux on Galaxy is being aimed squarely at developers, unsurprisingly, as the open source OS remains the number one choice when it comes to software development - likely the reason that Microsoft built a Linux subsystem built into Windows 10.
"Now developers can code using their mobile on-the-go and seamlessly continue the task on a larger display with Samsung DeX," Samsung said.
The firm also announced that while any games can already be played while using DeX, albeit with mixed results, it is adding more and more titles supported by its platform. Those include Vainglory, Survival Arena, Eric Froemling's BombSquad, Lineage 2 Revolution, and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition.
There's no word on when Linux on Galaxy will debut, with Samsung describes the project as "still a work in progress." Those interested can sign up to the firm's email notification service. µ
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