what is the difference between openMoko and windows mobile based phones

hank williams hank777 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 18 14:45:46 CET 2007

Thanks. Great, very helpful answer!


On 1/18/07, Sencer <alisencer at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/18/07, hank williams <hank777 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > What I mean by this is that it seems everyone is saying that the big
> > difference is that you can get 3rd party *real apps* on the phone.
> Actually I think most people are saying, that you have full access to
> a) the hardware and b) to the sources of all applications that run on
> it. And not only do you have access to the source, but the freedom to
> change and redistribute the changed application. That's the deciding
> factor. "3rd party apps" in general have been a distinct feature of
> every smartphone so far, the only reason it's being discussed today at
> all, is because Apple is disallowing it.
> > Now I am not saying open source isnt great. But from your *average*
> users
> > perspective I would love to hear the advantages of the open source for
> these
> > devices.
> By "average" user, I assume you mean those people that do not program
> or administer complex software. Well, let me try it with an analogy:
> What benefit does somebody have from "freedom", when he is not
> interested in making use of it (i.e. working the same job all his
> life, voting the same party no matter what, etc.) because his main
> objectives - feeding his family, doing X or doing Y - are equally
> possible under a repressive regime and in a free country? It's simple,
> you'll likely still be better of in the free country, because the
> freedom enables improvements that you will eventually benefit from,
> even if you never specifically worked (in a hands-on way) towards
> those specific interests. Now that doesn't mean that as soon as there
> is freedom, you automatically and directly are better of if you don't
> make use of it; it's merely the beginning of a process. So today, and
> for the 1st generation devices that run openmoko, you may (as an
> average user) not reap immediate benefits, but you will help enable a
> success through freedom, in that the other people that do have the
> interest and/or skill necessary to turn that freedom into a benefit
> for everybody.
> > Is this just a geek issue? It seems like most of the apps described
> > on this list could be done with any of the windows mobile phones. I'd
> just
> > love, for my own edification, to hear why this is wrong.
> For example the PIM/Messaging applications (which areguably are the
> core of a smaratphone) are not limited by what the device-makers are
> able and willing to develop. You could add sending SMS over HTTP,
> sending voice-mails via E-Mail, automatically sending notifications
> that you are delayed for appointments and for how long (by checking
> the calendar, the GPS coordinates, and the average speed of your
> movement). Now the point is not only, that it is possible to write
> these applications, but that the functionality can be seamlessly
> integrated into the existing base-applications, and everybody is able
> to benefit from it. With bluetooth and usb on board, there is a very
> real possibility of expanding the possibilites in a way that is simply
> not possible on windows mobile or symbian, because you simply cannot
> access certain aspects of the phone. As a simple example: Many older
> wifi-cards that can do WEP but can't do WPA are limited due to
> software, not hardware reasons. But given that you already paid for
> them there is no incentive to do that work. Similar with bluetooth
> functionality, many early phones (looks at nokia) only had a very
> limited support for certain bluetooth functionality ("profiles"), and
> that limitation was due to sotware reasons, not hardware reasons. And
> interested people that had the time and skill still couldn't do
> anything about it. People were simply stuck with a castrated phone.
> [Quoting from a later mail:]
> > This is because big open source projects are often done by teams where
> everyone can do
> > what they want. This tends to mean there is no singular unified design
> vision.
> That's not necessarily the case. In fact I know plenty of counter
> examples. Open source does not dictate _how_ the software is to be
> developed or designed. So when you say:
> > But good UI doesn't work that way.
> that is correct, but it's not necessarily a statement about open
> source in general.
> > But the bottom line is that my biggest problem with phones is that they
> are just not
> > designed well. The pretty much all suck!
> Well, I do not think that open source is a huge enabled in that
> respect either. So while it doesn't necessarily have to be better or
> worse than closed source, the code-licence simply isn't a good
> indicator to judge the likely quality of the UI.
> Regards
> Sencer
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