Freerunner's Future

Warren Baird wjbaird at
Tue Jun 2 20:24:51 CEST 2009

Hi Sean,

Thanks for the honesty.  I'd like to echo Rui's thank you - I've survived a
couple of lay-offs in my day, and I know it's not pleasant for anyone
involved.   I hope that OpenMoko thrives in it's new form.

I've been using my FR as my daily phone for about 6 months now, first with
QtE and recently with OM2009, and although I've had the occasional missed
call, it's overall been an OK experience, and it is getting better and

You have my hopes for smooth sailing and a successful future!


On Tue, Jun 2, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Sean Moss-Pultz <sean at> wrote:

> Dear Community,
> As some of you have heard, we had a layoff at Openmoko on Monday, May
> 25th. First of all let me second the comments made here congratulating
> the Openmoko team on all that was accomplished. And let me add that
> everything accomplished was only possible because of the amazing
> efforts of the community.
> Bringing the Neo products to market, first the 1973 and then the
> Freerunner, has been the most exceptional experience of our lives. I
> can undeniably say that the most important thing we have learned over
> these years is that the power of people bound by ideals, rather than
> contracts, cannot be underestimated. These phones are your success.
> From simple things like group sales to complex undertakings like
> developing and maintaining entire distributions, you made this happen.
> You always came through for us. As CEO, I have to determine the best
> path forward for our phone business. And after long discussions with
> my key people and Board, we've decided that the best path foreword is
> to turn the future of the Freerunner over to the community.
> We've always said that the talent and creativity of those outside the
> company is superior to that inside the company. We have stuck to these
> principles. We've have opened up more than any other phone, from any
> other company, in the history of this industry. Every time we chose
> openness over internal control, we have been rewarded.
> Former Openmoko employees have already started redesigning the
> Freerunner hardware (gta02-core) using only Free Software tools.
> Werner Almesberger, working with many others, has made great progress.
> Recently, we have released more information to accelerate their
> efforts. In the coming weeks, all the design information will be
> handed over to the community along with all of (Wiki,
> GIT, Trac, Planet, ...). Openmoko Inc. then will act as the sponsor of
> this effort. We will continue to fund all necessary server
> infrastructure and support, in areas where corporate help is needed,
> future open phone development. (Parts of this process will require
> legal work - so I request your patience.)
> I am extremely excited about the idea of an entirely community-built
> open phone. Especially since, when the next design is complete, it
> will have the benefits of everything uncovered since the Freerunner
> shipped last July. It will be buzz free, glamo free, and free of the
> recamping bug (#1024) - which I am happy to announce has been solved
> this past week. We promise to support these efforts with additional
> resources such as components to build prototypes of the new design. We
> will help to empower you to build the open phone of our future.
> After all this, there is one last thing that Openmoko the company can
> do: we can enable the community to use the Openmoko brand and
> trademark for these efforts. For us, the Openmoko brand is synonymous
> with the people who built the products: Harald, Mickey, Werner,
> Raster, all of my coworkers in our Taiwan office, Sureda, Tuxbrain,
> Bearstech, and countless others. I personally want to give an extra
> special thanks to Steve Mosher who has taught me so much about
> marketing, writing, and Without his guidance, this all
> would have only been an idea in my notebook.
> I have asked Steve to lead an effort, over the next few weeks, to
> gather input from the community on how best to implement this
> transition. (He will follow up shortly on the community mailing list.)
> As always we can expect some negative comments, that comes with the
> territory. But we believe a community that owns everything of
> importance, with regard to the Freerunner, will focus efforts and
> energies on the future - not the past.
> Sales of the current FreeRunner (A7), will continue as before. We have
> plenty more in stock. Now that the phone is freed, and its future
> entrusted to the hands of the community, Openmoko Inc. will start
> another effort on an altogether different type of device. We've sized
> our company to go do that task. Please wish us the very best of luck!
> More details will follow in the coming months...
> Sincerely,
> Sean Moss-Pultz
> _______________________________________________
> Openmoko community mailing list
> community at

Warren Baird - Photographer and Digital Artist
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