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Anything Up With OpenMoko These Days?

Free Software

Published on 26 December 2011 10:56 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
11 Comments

After writing last week about the latest open-source promise from VIA Technologies and documentation on the GPU for the Neo FreeRunner, it made me wonder what's up with OpenMoko going into 2012.

OpenMoko, one of the original efforts to deliver a true open-source Linux smart-phone going back to 2007, isn't doing much these days.

After releasing the Neo 1973 (GTA01) and Neo FreeRunner (GTA02) mobile phones that were not really successful (just a few thousand sales, mostly to dedicated open-source enthusiasts), they diverted their efforts to other devices. In 2008 they had the Dash Express, which ran OpenMoko Linux and was just a GPS device. The GTA03 and GTA04 phones never saw any wide-scale launch while Google's Android platform is flourishing as an open-source Linux mobile phone platform.

The only OpenMoko device to debut since that point has been the WikiReader, which came in 2009 as an offline mobile device to read Wikipedia. The device runs OpenMoko Linux and the Wikipedia content is stored on microSD storage cards, except the interface is text-only, no support for Wikipedia tables, and possesses other limitations.

This past summer the OpenMoko project did launch something new, but it wasn't a new device or even a software update to OpenMoko Linux... It was Shiftd, what is basically a simple social networking site. "Today I get to do one of the things I love most about my job; announce our next product. This time, it's very different from what we've built in the past. No circuit boards were printed. Steel tooling wasn't cut. Mass production didn't dent our view of reality. No. This time, ones and zeros were all it took to assembly Openmoko's fourth product: shiftd.com - A web service to bookmark, share, and discover videos worth watching."

Shiftd.com hasn't exactly taken off in popularity.

Most of the news on the OpenMoko web-site dates back to 2009. The OpenMoko mailing lists have also been quiet for the mpst part. The last announcement was back in June when Shiftd launched and the development list only sees a few random messages per month, but the community mailing list does still see a fair amount of activity.

On OpenMoko's community list is various updates to QtMoko, new themes, various software changes for GTA02, attempted group buys of the GTA04 and other random discussions.

Sadly there isn't much going on within the OpenMoko project.

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