The PlayStation Vita is a handheld game console developed and released by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices, it was released in Japan on December 17, 2011, with releases in North America and other worldwide regions starting on February 22, 2012. It competed with the Nintendo 3DS as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles; the original model of the handheld includes a 5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, two analog joysticks and shoulder push-button input, supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the Vita features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a quad-core SGX543MP graphics processing unit. A revised model, the PS Vita 2000 series, released across 2013 and 2014, sports all of the same features with a smaller size, extended battery life, an LCD screen replacing the OLED display. Sony released the PlayStation TV, a short-lived, re-purposed version of the Vita that allowed for the play of PS Vita games on a television screen similar to a home video game console, though the PS TV variant was discontinued by the end of 2015.
The system's design was created to meld the experience of big budget, dedicated video game platforms with the up-and-coming trend of mobile gaming through smart phones and tablets. However, in the year after the device's successful launch, sales of the hardware and its bigger budget games stalled, threatening to end its lifespan. A concentrated effort to attract smaller, indie developers in the West, combined with strong support from mid-level Japanese companies, helped keep the platform afloat. While this led to less diversity in its game library, it did garner strong support in Japanese-developed role-playing video games and visual novels alongside a wealth of Western-developed indie games, leading it to become a moderate seller in Japan, build a smaller, yet passionate userbase in the West. While Sony has not released exact sales figures, late-lifespan estimates in sales fall around 15 to 16 million units. In the platform's years, Sony promoted its ability to work in conjunction with its other gaming products, notably the ability to play PlayStation 4 games on it through the process of Remote Play, similar to the Wii U's function of Off-TV Play.
Production of the system and physical cartridge games ended in March 2019. After the massive success of Nintendo's Game Boy line of handheld game consoles throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with little in the way of market competition, Sony's massive success with its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 home video game consoles around the same time, Sony decided to enter the handheld market as well. In 2004, it released the PlayStation Portable to compete with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. After a slow start in the worldwide market, it was invigorated in Japan with multiple releases in the Monster Hunter series. With the series being less popular in western regions, it failed to revive the platform in the same way; the PSP ended up being a mixed result for the company. It was seen as a success in that it was the only handheld video game platform that had significantly competed with Nintendo for market share in a meaningful way, selling 80 million units in its lifespan the same amount as Nintendo's Game Boy Advance had during the sixth generation of video game consoles.
Despite this, it had still only managed to sell a little over half of what its actual market competitor, the DS, had sold, over 150 million units by the end of 2011. Rumors of a successor to the PSP came as early as July 2009 when Eurogamer reported that Sony was working on such a device, which would utilize the PowerVR SGX543MP processor and perform at a level similar to the original Xbox. Through mid-2010, websites continued to run stories about accounts of the existence of a "PSP 2". Reports arose during the Tokyo Game Show that the device was unveiled internally during a private meeting during mid-September held at Sony Computer Entertainment's headquarters in Aoyama, Tokyo. Shortly after, reports of development kits for the handheld had already been shipped to numerous video game developers including both first-party and third-party developers to start making games for the device, a report confirmed by Mortal Kombat Executive Producer Shaun Himmerick. By November, Senior Vice President of Electronic Arts, Patrick Soderlund, confirmed that he had seen that the PlayStation Portable successor existed, but could not confirm details.
In the same month, VG247 released pictures of an early prototype version showing a PSP Go-like slide-screen design along with two analog sticks, two cameras and a microphone, though the report mentioned that overheating issues had since caused them to move away from the design in favor of a model more similar to the original PlayStation Portable device. Throughout 2010, Sony would not confirm these reports of a PSP successor, but would make comments regarding making future hardware. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios revealed that his studio, despite being more involved with software, had a continued role in future hardware development at the time. In December, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that Sony aimed to appeal to a wide demographic of people by using multiple input methods on future hardware; the device was announced by Sony on January 27, 2011, at their "PlayStation Meeting" press conference held by the company in Japan. The system, only known by its code name "Next Generation Portable", wa
Metal Slug is a series of run and gun video games created by Nazca Corporation before merging with SNK 1996 after the completion of the first game in the series. Spin-off games include a third-person shooter to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the series and a tower defense game for the mobile platform. Created for Neo-Geo arcade machines hardware and the Neo-Geo home game consoles hardware, the original games have been ported to other consoles and mobile platforms though out the years, with several games created for various other platforms; the games focus on the Peregrine Falcon Squad, a small group of soldiers who fight against a rebel army and various other forces intent on world domination. The gameplay consists of run and gun elements as well as in releases shoot'em up mechanics; the run and gun pits a player against a large numbers of enemies with powerful weapons pick-ups. In most run and guns, contact with an enemy leads to damage. In this series, contact results in the opportunity to perform a melee attack and the opportunity for the enemy to perform a melee attack of his own, if he has one.
The player's melee attack is much stronger than most shots. This leads to the players ability to run in and use melee attacks to take down a number of enemies at once, as well as the ability to defeat enemies that can take plenty of damage, such as the mummies in Metal Slug 2; the player starts with only a simple semi-automatic handgun. The player can only use one weapon at a time; when a new weapon is found, it replaces the previous one. When ammunition runs out, the player reverts to using the handgun, which has unlimited ammunition. A new system was implemented with Metal Slug 6 allowing players to carry and switch between the handgun and two other weapons; the player is equipped with grenades which can be used to throw at enemies and cause more damage, however the number of grenades is limited and must be replenished periodically with ammunition found along the way. The SV-001 or'Metal Slug' is the main vehicle of the Metal Slug franchise, it is a cartoonish silver-gray tank propelled by caterpillar treads.
The tank is armed with one cannon which shoots powerful bombs in limited numbers, twin vulcan cannons which shoot unlimited tracer bullets. The vehicle can crouch. Crouching opens a hatch on the top of the tank through which grenades in the player's possession can be thrown; the grenades remain independent of the cannon's ammunition system. The vehicle's bombs can be replenished with ammunition boxes found along the way; the vehicle can run over infantry and perform a suicide attack, with the driver jumping clear and the tank ramming into and exploding upon the target. The vehicle can take three direct hits before it is destroyed, at which point a warning will be given to eject before the vehicle explodes; the enemy chaser variant has a shield. Over time, these specifications changed into any vehicle armed with a vulcan cannon and a cannon variant suited to the role of the vehicle, propelled suitably for that vehicle's environment; some vehicles will only provide vulcan cannons, but neither special bombs nor armored protection to the player.
In Metal Slug 6, the playable character Tarma can lock the vulcan cannons into one position and fire continuously. Metal Slug games have 6 levels; the exceptions are Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug 5, Metal Slug 6, which have 5 and Metal Slug 7 which has 7. In several of the arcade and console versions, the game would have the blood censored, showing white sweat instead of blood in its place. However, there is a code to disable this censor within the BIOS of the Neo-Geo hardware both on the home and arcade ports respectively; the first game's story involved the Peregrine Falcon Squad, a small but skilled team of soldiers serving under the Regular Army's special operations division, who fight against the army of General Donald Morden in order to prevent a massive coup d'état and the creation of a New World Order. Games featured characters from the Sparrows Unit, under the control of the Regular Army's intelligence division. Beginning with Metal Slug 2, the PF Squad battles an alien threat to Earth, as well as several other supernatural threats including yetis, ambulatory Venus flytraps, giant crabs, mummies.
These outlandish elements were removed from the fourth game to return to the feel of the original title. The fifth moved to the motif of modern guerrilla warfare, leaving only traces of the series' signature quirky humor and paranormal enemies, with the exception of the final boss. Metal Slug 6 returned to the plot of the first three installments, bringing back Morden's Rebel Army and the Mars People. Metal Slug 7 has less outlandish elements with the Mars People replaced by an alternative universe of Morden's Army with futuristic equipment and weapons. HeroesMarco Rossi and Tarma Roving were the only playable characters in the first game, each was reserved to the first and second player, respectively. From the second installment, characters can be chosen independently, Eri Kasamoto and Fiolina "Fio" Germi were added to the cast; these four are considered to be the quintessential Metal Slug team. In the fourth game, Nadia Cassel an
A ROM cartridge referred to as a cartridge or cart, is a removable memory card containing ROM designed to be connected to a consumer electronics device such as a home computer, video game console and to a lesser extent, electronic musical instruments. ROM cartridges can be used to load software such as other application programs; the cartridge slot could be used for hardware additions, for example speech synthesis. Some cartridges had battery-backed static random-access memory, allowing a user to save data such as game progress or scores between uses. ROM cartridges allowed the user to load and access programs and data without the expense of a floppy drive, an expensive peripheral during the home computer era, without using slow and unreliable Compact Cassette tape. An advantage for the manufacturer was the relative security of the software in cartridge form, difficult for end users to replicate. However, cartridges were expensive to manufacture compared to making a floppy disk or CD-ROM; as disk drives became more common and software expanded beyond the practical limits of ROM size, cartridge slots disappeared from game consoles and personal computers.
Cartridges are still used today with handheld gaming consoles such as the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, the tablet-like hybrid console Nintendo Switch. Due to its widespread usage for video gaming, ROM cartridges were colloquially referred to as a game cartridge. ROM cartridges were popularized by early home computers which featured a special bus port for the insertion of cartridges containing software in ROM. In most cases the designs were crude, with the entire address and data buses exposed by the port and attached via an edge connector; the Texas Instruments TI 59 family of programmable scientific calculators used interchangeable ROM cartridges that could be installed in a slot at the back of the calculator. The calculator came with a module that provides several standard mathematical functions including solution of simultaneous equations. Other modules were specialized for financial calculations, or other subject areas, a "games" module. Modules were not user-programmable.
The Hewlett-Packard HP-41C had expansion slots which could hold ROM memory as well as I/O expansion ports. Notable computers using cartridges in addition to magnetic media were the Commodore VIC-20 and 64, MSX standard, the Atari 8-bit family, the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A and the IBM PCjr; some arcade system boards, such as Capcom's CP System and SNK's Neo Geo used ROM cartridges. The modern take on game cartridges was invented by Jerry Lawson as part of the Fairchild Channel F home console in 1976; the cartridge approach gained more popularity with the Atari 2600 released the following year. From the late 1970s to mid-1990s, the majority of home video game systems were cartridge-based; as compact disc technology came to be used for data storage, most hardware companies moved from cartridges to CD-based game systems. Nintendo remained the lone hold-out. SNK still released games on the cartridge-based Neo Geo until 2004, with the final official release being Samurai Shodown V Special. Nintendo's handheld consoles, continued to use cartridges due to their faster loading times and minimal equipment for data reading being beneficial for playing video games in short, several-minute intervals.
ROM cartridges can not only additional hardware expansion as well. Examples include the Super FX coprocessor chip in some Super NES game paks, The SVP chip in the Sega Genesis Version Of Virtua Racing, voice and chess modules in the Magnavox Odyssey². Micro Machines 2 on the Genesis/Mega Drive used a custom "J-Cart" cartridge design by Codemasters which incorporated two additional gamepad ports; this allowed players to have up to four gamepads connected to the console without the need for an additional multi-controller adapter. The ROM cartridge slot principle continues in various mobile devices, thanks to the development of high density low-cost flash memory. For example, a GPS navigation device might allow user updates of maps by inserting a flash memory chip into an expansion slot. An E-book reader can store the text of several thousand books on a flash chip. Personal computers may allow the user to boot and install an operating system off a USB flash drive instead of CD ROM or floppy disks.
Digital cameras with flash drive slots allow users to exchange cards when full, allow rapid transfer of pictures to a computer or printer. Storing software on ROM cartridges has a number of advantages over other methods of storage like floppy disks and optical media; as the ROM cartridge is memory mapped into the system's normal address space, software stored in the ROM can be read like normal memory. Software run directly from ROM uses less RAM, leaving memory free for other processes. While the standard size of optical media dictates a minimum size for devices which can read disks, ROM cartridges can be manufactured in different sizes, allowing for smaller devices like handheld game systems. ROM cartridges can be damaged, but they are more robust and resistant to damage than optical media.
An arcade cabinet known as an arcade/coin-op machine, is the housing within which an arcade game's electronic hardware resides. Most cabinets designed since the mid-1980s conform to the Japanese Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association wiring standard; some include. Because arcade cabinets vary according to the games they were built for or contain, they may well not possess all of the parts listed below: An output, on which the game is displayed, they may display either vector graphics, raster being most common. Standard resolution is between 315 vertical lines, depending on the refresh rate. Slower refresh rates allow for better vertical resolution. Monitors may be oriented horizontally or vertically, depending on the game; some games use more than one monitor. Some newer cabinets have monitors. Printed circuit boards or arcade system boards, the actual hardware upon which the game runs. Hidden within the cabinet; some systems, such as the SNK Neo-Geo MVS, use a main board with game carts. Some main boards may hold multiple game carts as well.
A power supply to provide DC power to the arcade system boards and low voltage lighting for the coin slots and lighted buttons. A marquee, a sign above the monitor displaying the game's title, they are brightly colored and backlit. A bezel, the border around the monitor, it may contain instructions or artwork. A control panel, a level surface near the monitor, upon which the game's controls are arranged. Control panels sometimes have playing instructions. Players pile their coins or tokens on the control panels of upright and cocktail cabinets. Coin slots, coin returns and the coin box, which allow for the exchange of money or tokens, they are below the control panel. Translucent red plastic buttons are placed in between the coin return and the coin slot; when they are pressed, a coin or token that has become jammed in the coin mechanism is returned to the player. See coin acceptor. Early coin slots could be defeated using a piezo-electric gas fire or gas oven igniter held against the steel bodywork of the cabinet, thus enabling free credits to be obtained.
In some arcades, the coin slot is replaced with a card reader that reads data from a game card bought from the arcade operator. The sides of the arcade cabinet are decorated with brightly coloured stickers or paint, representing the gameplay of their particular game. There are many types of some in fact being custom-made for a particular game. Upright cabinets are by far the most common in North America, they are made of wood and metal, about six feet or two meters tall, with the control panel set perpendicular to the monitor at above waist level. The monitor is housed inside the cabinet, at eye level; the marquee is above it, overhangs it. Controls are most a joystick for as many players as the game allows, plus action buttons and "player" buttons which serve the same purpose as the start button on console gamepads. Trackballs are sometimes used instead of joysticks in games from the early 1980s. Spinners are used to control game elements that move horizontally or vertically, such as the paddles in Arkanoid and Pong.
Games such as Robotron: 2084, Smash TV and Battlezone use double joysticks instead of action buttons. Some versions of the original Street Fighter had pressure-sensitive rubber pads instead of buttons. If an upright is housing a driving game, it may have a steering wheel and throttle pedal instead of a joystick and buttons. If the upright is housing a shooting game, it may have light guns attached to the front of the machine, via durable cables; some arcade machines had the monitor placed at the bottom of the cabinet with a mirror mounted at around 45 degrees above the screen facing the player. This was done to save space, a large CRT monitor would otherwise poke out the back of the cabinet, to avoid eye strain from looking directly up-close at the monitor. To correct for the mirrored image, some games had an option to flip the video output using a dip switch setting. Other genres of game such as Guitar Freaks feature controllers resembling musical instruments. Upright cabinet shape designs varies from the simplest symmetric perpendicular boxes as with Star Trek to complicated asymmetric forms.
Games are for one or two players. Cocktail cabinets are shaped like low, rectangular tables, with the controls set at either of the broad ends, or, though not as common, at the narrow ends, the monitor inside the table, the screen facing upward. Two-player games housed in cocktails were alternant, each player taking turns; the monitor reverses its orientation for each player, so that everything seems right-side-up from each perspective. This requires special programming of the cocktail versions of the game; the monitor's orientation is in player two's favour only in two-player games when it's player two's turn, in player one's favour all other times. Simultaneous, 4 player games that are built as a cocktail include Warlords, others. Cocktail cabinet versions were released alongside the upright version of the same game, they were common in the 1980s during the Golden Age of Arcade Games, but have since lost popularity. Their main advantage over upright cabinets was their smaller size, making them seem less obtrusive, although requiring
Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Windows families include Windows Embedded. Defunct Windows families include Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh. On PCs, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones.
In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25 %. This comparison however may not be relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. Still, numbers for server use of Windows show one third market share, similar to that for end user use; as of October 2018, the most recent version of Windows for PCs, tablets and embedded devices is Windows 10. The most recent versions for server computers is Windows Server 2019. A specialized version of Windows runs on the Xbox One video game console. Microsoft, the developer of Windows, has registered several trademarks, each of which denote a family of Windows operating systems that target a specific sector of the computing industry; as of 2014, the following Windows families are being developed: Windows NT: Started as a family of operating systems with Windows NT 3.1, an operating system for server computers and workstations. It now consists of three operating system subfamilies that are released at the same time and share the same kernel: Windows: The operating system for mainstream personal computers and smartphones.
The latest version is Windows 10. The main competitor of this family is macOS by Apple for personal computers and Android for mobile devices. Windows Server: The operating system for server computers; the latest version is Windows Server 2019. Unlike its client sibling, it has adopted a strong naming scheme; the main competitor of this family is Linux. Windows PE: A lightweight version of its Windows sibling, meant to operate as a live operating system, used for installing Windows on bare-metal computers, recovery or troubleshooting purposes; the latest version is Windows PE 10. Windows IoT: Initially, Microsoft developed Windows CE as a general-purpose operating system for every device, too resource-limited to be called a full-fledged computer. However, Windows CE was renamed Windows Embedded Compact and was folded under Windows Compact trademark which consists of Windows Embedded Industry, Windows Embedded Professional, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows Embedded Automotive.
The following Windows families are no longer being developed: Windows 9x: An operating system that targeted consumers market. Discontinued because of suboptimal performance. Microsoft now caters to the consumer market with Windows NT. Windows Mobile: The predecessor to Windows Phone, it was a mobile phone operating system; the first version was called Pocket PC 2000. The last version is Windows Mobile 6.5. Windows Phone: An operating system sold only to manufacturers of smartphones; the first version was Windows Phone 7, followed by Windows Phone 8, the last version Windows Phone 8.1. It was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile; the term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft operating system products. These products are categorized as follows: The history of Windows dates back to 1981, when Microsoft started work on a program called "Interface Manager", it was announced in November 1983 under the name "Windows", but Windows 1.0 was not released until November 1985.
Windows 1.0 was to achieved little popularity. Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system. The shell of Windows 1.0 is a program known as the MS-DOS Executive. Components included Calculator, Cardfile, Clipboard viewer, Control Panel, Paint, Reversi and Write. Windows 1.0 does not allow overlapping windows. Instead all windows are tiled. Only modal dialog boxes may appear over other windows. Microsoft sold as included Windows Development libraries with the C development environment, which included numerous windows samples. Windows 2.0 was released in December 1987, was more popular than its predecessor. It features several improvements to the user memory management. Windows 2.03 changed the OS from tiled windows to overlapping windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights. Windows 2.0
The PlayStation Portable is a handheld game console, developed by Sony Computer Entertainment and competed with the Nintendo DS as part of the seventh generation of video-game consoles. Development of the handheld console was announced during E3 2003 and it was unveiled on May 11, 2004, at a Sony press conference before the next E3; the system was released in Japan on December 12, 2004. The PSP was the most powerful portable console, it was the first real competitor of Nintendo's handheld consoles after many challengers, such as SNK's Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage, had failed. Its advanced graphics made the PSP a popular mobile-entertainment device, which can connect to the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 games consoles, computers running Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh software, other PSPs and the Internet; the PSP is the only handheld console to use an optical disc format – Universal Media Disc – as its primary storage medium. It was received positively by most video-game critics and sold 76 million units by 2012.
Several models of the console were released. The PSP line was succeeded by the PlayStation Vita, released in December 2011 in Japan and worldwide in February 2012; the Vita has backward compatibility with many PSP games that were released on the PlayStation Network through the PlayStation Store, which became the main method of purchasing PSP games after Sony shut down access to the PlayStation Store from PSPs on March 31, 2016. Hardware shipments ended worldwide in 2014. Production of UMDs ended when the last Japanese factory making them closed in late 2016. Sony Computer Entertainment first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference preceding E3 2003. Although samples were not presented, Sony released extensive technical details. CEO Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st century". Several gaming websites were impressed with the handheld's computing capabilities and looked forward to its potential as a gaming platform. In the 1990s, Nintendo had dominated the handheld market since launching its Game Boy in 1989, experiencing close competition only from Bandai's WonderSwan in Japan and Sega's Game Gear.
In January 1999, Sony had released the successful PocketStation in Japan as its first foray into the handheld gaming market. The SNK Neo Geo Pocket and Nokia's N-Gage failed to cut into Nintendo's share. According to an IDC analyst in 2004, the PSP was the "first legitimate competitor to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market"; the first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2003 at a Sony corporate strategy meeting and showed it having flat buttons and no analog joystick. Although some reviewers expressed concern about the lack of an analog stick, these fears were allayed when the PSP was unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004. Sony released a list of 99 developer companies. Several game demos such as Konami's Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpool's Wipeout Pure were shown at the conference. On October 17, 2004, Sony announced that the PSP base model would be launched in Japan on December 12 that year for ¥19,800 while the Value System would launch for ¥24,800.
The launch was a success. Color variations were sold in bundle packs that cost around $200. Sony announced on February 3, 2005, that the PSP would go on sale in North America on March 24 in one configuration for an MSRP of US$249/CA$299; some commentators expressed concern over the high price, US$20 higher than that of the Japanese model and more than $100 higher than the Nintendo DS. Despite these concerns, the PSP's North American launch was a success. Sony said 500,000 units were sold in the first two days, though it was reported that this figure was below expectations; the PSP was intended to have a simultaneous PAL region and North American launch, but on March 15, 2005, Sony announced that the PAL region launch would be delayed because of high demand for the console in Japan and North America. The next month it announced that the PSP would be launched in the PAL region on September 1, 2005, for €249/£179. Sony defended the high price by saying North American consumers had to pay local sales taxes and that the Value Added Tax was higher in the UK than the US.
Despite the high price, the console's PAL region launch was a success, selling more than 185,000 units in the UK. All stock of the PSP in the UK sold out within three hours of launch, more than doubling the previous first-day sales record of 87,000 units set by the Nintendo DS; the system enjoyed great success in other areas of the PAL region. The PlayStation Portable uses the common "bar" form factor; the original model measures 6.7 by 2.9 by 0.9 inches and weighs 9.9 ounces. The front of the console is dominated by the system's 4.3-inch LCD screen, capable of 480 × 272 pixel video playback with 24-bit color, outperforming the Nintendo DS. On the unit's front are four PlayStation face buttons; the system has two shoulder buttons, a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console, a WLAN switch and power cable input on the bottom. The back of the PSP features a read-only Universal Media Disc drive for access to movies a
Linux is a family of free and open-source software operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is packaged in a Linux distribution. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word "Linux" in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy. Popular Linux distributions include Debian and Ubuntu. Commercial distributions include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system such as X11 or Wayland, a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE Plasma. Distributions intended for servers may omit graphics altogether, include a solution stack such as LAMP; because Linux is redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any purpose. Linux was developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system.
Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers. It is used by around 2.3 percent of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20 percent of sub-$300 notebook sales in the US. Linux runs on embedded systems, i.e. devices whose operating system is built into the firmware and is tailored to the system. This includes routers, automation controls, digital video recorders, video game consoles, smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run other Linux derivatives; because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of open-source software collaboration; the source code may be used and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.
The Unix operating system was conceived and implemented in 1969, at AT&T's Bell Laboratories in the United States by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, Joe Ossanna. First released in 1971, Unix was written in assembly language, as was common practice at the time. In a key pioneering approach in 1973, it was rewritten in the C programming language by Dennis Ritchie; the availability of a high-level language implementation of Unix made its porting to different computer platforms easier. Due to an earlier antitrust case forbidding it from entering the computer business, AT&T was required to license the operating system's source code to anyone who asked; as a result, Unix grew and became adopted by academic institutions and businesses. In 1984, AT&T divested itself of Bell Labs; the GNU Project, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" composed of free software. Work began in 1984. In 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and wrote the GNU General Public License in 1989.
By the early 1990s, many of the programs required in an operating system were completed, although low-level elements such as device drivers and the kernel, called GNU/Hurd, were stalled and incomplete. Linus Torvalds has stated that if the GNU kernel had been available at the time, he would not have decided to write his own. Although not released until 1992, due to legal complications, development of 386BSD, from which NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD descended, predated that of Linux. Torvalds has stated that if 386BSD had been available at the time, he would not have created Linux. MINIX was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor, released in 1987 as a minimal Unix-like operating system targeted at students and others who wanted to learn the operating system principles. Although the complete source code of MINIX was available, the licensing terms prevented it from being free software until the licensing changed in April 2000. In 1991, while attending the University of Helsinki, Torvalds became curious about operating systems.
Frustrated by the licensing of MINIX, which at the time limited it to educational use only, he began to work on his own operating system kernel, which became the Linux kernel. Torvalds began the development of the Linux kernel on MINIX and applications written for MINIX were used on Linux. Linux matured and further Linux kernel development took place on Linux systems. GNU applications replaced all MINIX components, because it was advantageous to use the available code from the GNU Project with the fledgling operating system. Torvalds initiated a switch from his original license, which prohibited commercial redistribution, to the GNU GPL. Developers worked to integrate GNU components with the Linux kernel, making a functional and free operating system. Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention "Freax", a portmant