Good article, but to be honest, most people have no idea Android is based on Linux or is Open Source at all. So its not like the general public is choosing Linux over other platforms on purpose, its because to them Android can do more than the iPhone and iPad OS. As for the video codecs, its more nerd stuff that the general public wont care about.
Firstly, a market research firm in the US called The NPD Group revealed that sales of Google’s Android platform overtook those of Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter of 2010, propelling itself into second place behind the waning RIM.
Android is becoming increasingly competitive, spanning both the smartphone and the emerging tablet markets, with devices from Dell and Archos already available. This might be why Apple started a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC, using many of its Android-based phones as physical exhibits in its litigation.
Secondly, Google announced its intention to open source the VP8 video codec. This was acquired when it bought On2 earlier in the year and it will be used alongside Vorbis and the MKV container to create Google’s WebM video format. This is vitally important for Linux.
The nascent H.264 format, as used by Apple and many HTML5 video streams, is encumbered by patents, and current open-source implementations live under the shadow of legislation. VP8 and WebM have the potential to match it for quality, and while WebM will undoubtedly attract similar litigious trouble, having an umbrella the size of Google should satisfy many Linux distributions, especially when Mozilla, Opera and Adobe have already pledged their support.