R: New Oceans

Michele Manzato michele.manzato at verona.miz.it
Thu Jun 28 12:19:28 CEST 2007

Welcome back! Thanks for the news and for your efforts to keep the OpenMoko
project going and growing. Thanks for your excellent work, and thanks to all
in FIC and Neo/OpenMoko group that supported the project so far.

That said, our ship lost sight of the shore long ago. Eventually, the ship
crew will want to drop anchor into a nice harbour, settle down and perhaps
build a new town :-))

Apparently the first release of the Neo hardware is in fact settled and is
ready to take over the mobile phone market... or at least a fair share of
it. The quest will only succeed if the Openmoko software platform proves to
be robust and performing, with a comprehensive (and integrated) set of smart
core applications, with an intuitive and appealing user interface and all
those gadgets (themes, ringtones, visual effects...) that potential
customers would expect from a >400$ handset (GTA02).

If you spare some gaps in your priority list, here are some:

1) Architecture: Several posts have recently questioned the OpenMoko
application framework architecture, mostly the choice of gtk+. The framework
architecture should be reviewed, layered and argumented against a)
performance b) modularity c) extensibility d) maintanability.

2) UI: Like it or not, the Apple iPhone UI will soon become state-of-the-art
in the phone market. That's why OpenMoko must be able to be as good as the
iPhone, or even set higher standards. What we need is not just a couple of
wiki pages, but rather a skilled and _committed_ group of people working on
designing the UI guidelines for the OpenMoko mass market applications.

3) Business users: we definitely need an OpenMokoOffice (addressbook,
calendar, agenda, notepad, etc.) which must be state-of-the-art and must
sync smoothly with the major desktop office/enterprise applications. Seek
sinergies with other FOSS projects (Koffice, OpenOffice, Kontact, etc).

4) Ease of use: mass customers won't all be hackers. Those things that make
OpenMoko so unique should be simplified as far as possible. OS upgrade
should be as easy as possible, as this may be a rather frequent operation in
the early stages. Application search, download, install, remove and so on
should be foolproof.

Some other points to keep in mind for the long term:

5) Field applications: the framework should grant support for non
mass-market applications on embedded devices, such as in-vehicle devices,
"tablet Neos", etc.

6) Commercial apps: it is important to try to promote the Neo also among
commercial vendors. Hands up who wouldn't buy an OpenMoko TomTom...


-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: community-bounces at lists.openmoko.org
[mailto:community-bounces at lists.openmoko.org] Per conto di Sean Moss-Pultz
Inviato: giovedì 28 giugno 2007 3.20
A: community
Cc: announce at lists.openmoko.org
Oggetto: New Oceans

Dear Community,

Andre Gide once said, "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the
courage to lose sight of the shore." Sexism aside, I can't think of a better
way to describe our adventures this past year. 

Around the end of March, we were three months behind schedule. Critical
hardware bugs were being discovered almost weekly. I had just returned from
an exhausting trip around the world. Harald landed in Taiwan the following
week. One look at his face and I knew he was in basically the same depleted
state I was in. But, we were both dedicated to keep pushing forward. We've
come to realize, largely because of your support, that failure is not an
option for this project. 

For the people pushing this project, an open phone is not really even a
product. It's the very embodiment of our vision of technology. We
absolutely, passionately, believe that something as fundamental to our lives
as the mobile phone must be open. 

OpenMoko has become far bigger than just a small group of people trying to
build an open mobile platform. I can tell you for sure, things will never be
the same again inside FIC. To their credit, whole departments and divisions
have been reorganized to maximize the opportunity for OpenMoko. This is the
reason for my absence from this list for so long. 

The people inside FIC are amazingly open-minded. Our CEO and Chairman are
the two greatest supporters inside this company. Earlier this month they did
something courageous and support of the communities commitment.
The entire mobile communications division was restructured to build devices
for OpenMoko. And OpenMoko -- the project will officially become OpenMoko --
the company. This is how much they believe in us. This is how much faith
they have that we will be successful. 

What does all this mean to us as a company and community? 

In one word: focus. 

We now have full control over the future of OpenMoko and the resources
needed to give it every possible chance of succeeding. Behind us (well
actually still in the same building :-) sits an supportive 800 pound gorilla
in the OEM/ODM world, eagerly waiting to work with us to make our dreams a

OpenMoko -- together with all of you in the community -- will design, from
the ground up, open devices and write the free software platform that powers
them. FIC will build the hardware and help us set phones free around the
world. This is about the most perfect relationship we can think of. Sure
there will be rough times ahead. If it were easy, you know who would have
done this long before. Making new things is never easy. But we're in this
together. This project has changed me, changed you, and changed FIC.
Hopefully, one day, this project will change the world.

Now that OpenMoko is officially a company inside the FIC Group, blueprints
of our office modifications cover the desk and walls where I'm sitting.
Writing this letter to you all is finally giving me time to reflect on this
thrilling roller coaster ride. Sorry for putting so many bits into your
inbox. But I just can't help it. It's been months that we could hardly step
back and see things from a big picture. Now, I really don't think I've been
this excited since the day I got my first set of Lincoln Logs. For those of
us that love to build new things, Taiwan, especially now at FIC and
OpenMoko, is a great place to be. 

So here's the point of this email, finally after more than one year, we're
entering into a new ocean. 

In our factory in China, 400 Neos are waiting for you all. Another 600 will
be ready before next week. More are queued up waiting for us to say go. 

We've had a particularly challenging time trying to setup the online
infrastructure and figure out how to ship these phones. Sometime later today
or early tomorrow we're going to make another announcement asking for some

(Here come the details.)

Starting July 9th, we will launch openmoko.com and start taking orders.
We're going to have two configurations:

Neo Base -- everything the mobile application developer needs to enjoy the
benefits of the first freed phone, the Neo 1973:

 * Neo 1973 (GTA01B_v4)
 * Battery
 * Stylus
 * Headset
 * AC Charger
 * Phone Pouch
 * Lanyard
 * SanDisk 512MB MicroSD Card (2x)
 * Micro USB Connectivity Cable

Neo Advanced -- everything the mobile device hacker wants to get down and
dirty with the first freed phone, the Neo 1973:

 * Neo 1973 (GTA01B_v4)
 * Battery (2x)
 * Stylus
 * Headset
 * AC Charger
 * Phone Pouch
 * Lanyard
 * SanDisk 512MB MicroSD Card (2x)
 * Mini USB Connectivity Cable (2x)
 * USB Host Mode Cable
 * Debug Flex Cable
 * Debug Board v2 (JTAG and serial console)
 * Ruggedized Toolbox with shoulder strap
 * Guitar Pick (for opening case)
 * Torx T6 screwdriver

The delays have been expensive for us and annoying for you. We've decided
that instead of setting up a complicated return or tracking system to
remember who gets a discount for GTA02, we going to give you _all_ a
discount on GTA01. 

We're going to sell the Neo Base for $300. The Neo Advanced will be $450. 

GTA02 (AKA: The Mass Market Neo 1973) is on schedule to go on sale in
October. It will have the following new hardware components:

 * 802.11 b/g WiFi
 * Samsung 2442 SoC
 * SMedia 3362 Graphics Accelerator
 * 2 3D Accelerometers
 * 256MB Flash

We will sell this device through multiple channels. Direct from
openmoko.com, the price will be $450 for the Neo Base and $600 for Neo

We have three more mobile devices planned for next year (not including
GTA02). During the next few months we will be adding serious resources to
both FIC and OpenMoko to support these projects. I will update you all after
we stabilize GTA02. Right now we must collectively focus everything on
turning the Neo into mass marketable device that proves,
once and for all, the power of an open phone.   

Finally, more than a few of you have complained about a lack of transparency
during the past few months. You have my word that we will always best to be
as open as possible. But sometimes we must make compromises. I had to make a
choice: keep up my travel schedule building support for this project and
tend to this list, or fix these real issues.

Ignoring this list was one of the hardest things for me to do. All of your
comments give us our drive to keep pushing. But if we didn't keep the
project on track and make the necessary organizational changes this project
would be even later. And I knew that when I could come back to explain this
to you all, you would understand. Thank you.

We're back now. I can tell you like nobody else can, this project is
stronger than ever. We've got a whole new ocean in front of us just begging
for exploration.


OpenMoko and FIC. 

P.S. It seems that in all this restructuring, someone has been eavesdropping
on us. It could be a spy. Or it could be a ninja. Only time will tell. So
stay tuned ;-)

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