Open Source development has brought the world a stable operating system, reliable web server and thousands of free and very useful programs and scripts. Will it bring us the next great phone?
Last July 9, OpenMoko started selling from their website the Neo 1973 phone, which runs the company’s eponymous open source mobile software package. This is an early version, geared more toward developers and hackers.
OpenMoko is an open source operating system for mobile phones. It is built on the Linux kernel and various other open source software packages. It even has a software package management system that will allow users to easily manage, install, and remove applications in their phones.
I am an open source advocate so I may be a touch too optimistic about the project. But it’s easy to feel that way. You only have to use software such as Firefox, web content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal, or a Linux desktop (get Ubuntu!) to know that open source is a very viable development framework.
There is no need to list the merits of open source development as these are more than amply covered in a lot of websites.
But what makes the project hold such promise is that unlike in PCs where most people have become dependent on popular closed-source applications, in mobile phones there are no such dependencies.