Especially for the non-technical among us, getting an alternative operating system like Linux or BeOS to work with hardware can be tricky -- mostly because there's "some sort of configuration that the development team didn't expect, and this leads to often complicated workarounds..." says OS News contributor Ryan Theissen. So the news that Sony's PS3 will include preinstalled Linux has huge implications for alternative OSs.
Knowing exactly what hardware they're aiming for (the PS3) will enable alternative OS vendors and development teams to prepare for the configurations that they otherwise wouldn't expect and work out the glitches that would ordinarily turn users away, Theissen says. The end result will be "a stable platform on known hardware" similar to what Apple now provides with OS X.
Granted, the PS3 is consumer tech, but as Theissen points out, this is a perfect opportunity to expose the masses to the possibilities that alternative operating systems present.