Openmoko Gets New Life in Brazil After Being Declared Dead

Jul 14, 2009

Thanks to Jon "Maddog" Hall the Openmoko project has got a new stimulus: a Brazilian university has offered to partipate in Openmoko development. The blessing of the Brazilian government could lead to new Openmoko models.

Jon "Maddog" Hall is not only a regular blog writer at Linux Magazine, but an ambassador for all things Linux. In this function he seems to have managed to breathe life back into the Openmoko project that has long been declared dead.

The future of Openmoko could be Brazil, where Maddog recently made an acquaintance with Dr. Marcelo Zuffo, professor and head of the Laboratory for Integrated Systems at the University of São Paulo. The subject of Openmoko came up (Zuffo is also CTO of Koolu) and Maddog was all ears. It seems the university wants to provide resources (production facilities, circuit designs and more) and manpower to drive the project forward. Not only that, but Zuffo discussed the project with the Brazilian Minister of Telecommunications, who was "very enthusiastic about the concept."

The university sponsorship brings further benefits. In order not to operate commercial production and collide with companies in the market, unit production shouldn't exceed 10,000 units. Thus the goal is to provide licensing free to manufacturers. Maddog offered to coordinate with various other universities in collaborating by phone and mailing lists. The Openmoko mailing list is currently discussing the proposal. It would be exciting to see this agreement lead to a lucrative collaboration.

The Brazilian government, unlike many others, is quite open to open source software and it plays a much greater role in Brazilian society. Evidence of that is a visit from Brazil's president Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva to the Forum Internacional Software Livre (FISL) open source conference in Porto Alegre in June. Maddog was there as well.

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  • Tsc

    If you think Brazilian Minister of Telecommunications will help anything open , you dont know nothing about brazil.

    If you wanna know what this man represents, watch the movie "Beyond Citizen Kane", made by the London BBC.
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