OpenMoko Is Still Around & They Just Launched Something
Phoronix: OpenMoko Is Still Around & They Just Launched Something
OpenMoko, one of the original projects aimed to create open-source mobile phones, is rarely heard about these days with Google's Android and Apple's iOS dominating the markets. While they had the Neo 1973 as a true Linux phone it didn't sell too much nor its successor, the OpenMoko FreeRunner, which is still available for purchase. Aside from phones, OpenMoko had developed the WikiReader as a mobile device that's capable of reading Wikipedia articles without a persistent Internet connection. Today they've also announced their latest project: Shiftd...
Note that this is about Openmoko Inc the company, which has not been affiliated with Openmoko the project related to phones besides hosting the web services since 2009.
And the project is quite loose term as well, as it's mostly a community of people interested in free software running on Neo1973 and Neo FreeRunner. But it's also largely the birth place of a community of running free software on any phone that has some hope on the driver side - best success probably on Palm Pre and Nokia N900 and maybe a few of the older HTC phones.
There also is no such thing as "Openmoko Linux" since 2009. It was abandoned by the company and community and the community is nowadays involved with distributions like SHR, Debian, QtMoko (based on Debian) and an Android effort for armv4.
Finally, there is a Openmoko phone product ("GTA04") coming from a German company Golden Delicious - firstly now a replacement OMAP3 + 3G etc. board for the FreeRunner case, using the same screen. So this is not a doing of Openmoko Inc, but they have let GD use the brand since it simplifies a few aspects of getting the hardware certified.
So, Openmoko term is a loose thing, just wanted to point it out.
I'd actually like to see someone with some cash (Shuttleworth?) try and get the other OSS hardware groups to work together under one banner, would be nice to have the OpenMoko, Beagle Board, Little Linux Laptop and OpenPandora guys working together, at least to see if they can get better deals on component pricing. But idealy it would be best for them to be one company, with all of these products so as to raise awareness that they even exist since even most Linux guys I've talked to have never even heard of them.
One camp, one store, making things we actually want to buy, since almost all of these groups lack the resources to even produce and updated version of their products, just take groups like http://www.pchdtv.com/ who seem to have completely dried up, people have been begging them since "07 or a PCIe version of their tuner cards. You have any idea how hard it is to find a machine these days that has more then 1 PCI card slot? Yet you can get mobos that can handle 10 PCIe 1x cards
So, who here wouldn't like to see an OSS hardware company cranking out new and or updated gear at least once every 18 months? Beats saying, "well maybe *BigBoxCompany* will release AM based hardware this year that'll run Linux" While this may finally be kinda happening with Android based devices, we should have had it years ago, but we know that the 800Lb gorillas that are Microsoft and Intel fought that tooth and nail as it would have cannibalized the low end x86 market