Thursday, June 26, 2008

Open source mobile hype

The hype about open source based mobile phones is increasing all the time.

- Google Android is coming, although might be a bit late
- OpenMoko based Neo Freerunner is ready to be shipped
- Symbian is about to be open sourced
- Nokia bought Trolltech that has implemented a open source mobile platfrom Qtopia as well as the highly popular cross- platform GUI application framework Qt
- LIPS forum, Open Handset Alliance and LiMo foundation are gaining popularity
- Nokia has announced to bring a Linux based device to market that has telephony sutpport

And so on. Don't even get me started on MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) and UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PC)... (Well, I have to: Atom, maemo, UME, mobilin etc. :) )

There seems to be a huge hype about these and for a reason. Open source enables smaller companies to step up and enter the markets. It enables users to customize and freely develop applications and the platform to better suit their needs. It makes open innovation possible.

Problem still seems to be that the rules and regulations (both juridical and the community rules) seem to be a bit hard for companies to gasp. Almost everyone know nowadays that open source is good thing and now we are thinking how to gain benefit from it? Someone introduced already that we are moving towards FOSS 2.0 where we really get business benefit from open source.

I'm currently working on "Benefit from open source" course and I'm full of ideas. The problem is that the course is just one day long and there won't be enough time to go through all the exciting stuff. What do you think are the most important things a company should understand when starting to do business with open source?

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