Is it free software?
Posted Nov 28, 2012 13:24 UTC (Wed) by gerv
In reply to: Is it free software?
Parent article: Jolla offer a first look at their Sailfish smartphone OS (The Verge)
Should a company open every line of code they write before anything ships?
That's our plan for Firefox OS. At least, those parts we have control over the source of. AIUI no-one has yet managed to ship a phone (any phone, I _think_, and certainly not one in commercial quantities via standard channels) which is 100% open source software, and sadly Firefox OS, v1 at least, won't be it. But everything from Gecko upwards is open, and most of the lower parts too.
What happens to the business model and potentially the investor story in that case?
Much has been written on how to make money from free software. Our business development people certainly have ideas of how it can be done in our case. We have the advantage of a strong existing brand, of course.
Mobile companies, I suggest, are not interested in "another Android". Being "as open as Android" just leads to the response "well, then I can just use Android". You need to give carriers and OEMs more control - and the openness of your project is their guarantee of that control. Because you can't lock them out of the source tree if some agreement isn't renewed, so that e.g. in the Android case, they get the code six months later than everyone else. The elimination of that possibility should be attractive to them.
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