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Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
Promising, but never delivering
Posted Aug 29, 2011 22:55 UTC (Mon) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Anyway, the intended meaning was even less original: it was basically "if there is no apparent need for your product and no one is asking for it, then don't bother building it". The same could not be said about Android in 2007, by any stretch: there was a measurable need for an open, hackable phone with a wealth of mobile applications. Just look at the competition at that point: closed iPhones, weird Symbians, annoying Windows Phones, botched Neo 1973, even phone-less N800s.
Android does very well in many respects: open, open source, popular, well done, likable and easy to program for. Perhaps it is in the hackable axis where it fares worse, but the OpenMoko project has shown that market for hackable devices per se is (sadly) not near commercial sustainability. At this point a new platform should be more open than Android and more attractive than iPhone to be viable, and I don't think that a consortium without mobile phone manufacturers can do that.
Having said that, perhaps there is a market for tablets, set top boxes and in-vehicle infotainment where Meego can shine. Perhaps the unnecessary retooling and reworking of most internals was really necessary, and in a few years they will get there. Perhaps it will even be Free software after all. I wish them best luck, but I could hardly care less.
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