GCDS part one: Open-PC

Posted by on Jul 5, 2009 in KDE | 8 Comments
Akademy here in Gran Canaria is fantastic. The sea, the sun and the conference center are great. But the most important aspect are the great people of course. It´s always so much fun to meet old friends and make new ones. What I especially like are the great discussions about strategic and technical
topics and how we can make the Linux and KDE Desktop even more successful.
Yesterday I gave my first presentation here which was a lightning talk about the Open-PC project. You can finde the slides here:
The Open-PC is a crazy idea. I had a lot of discussions about the need for a really good configured, easy to use and affordable Linux PC. A lot of people are not happy with the current Linux Netbooks, Notebooks and Desktops.
I really think we need and we can deliver something better.
The idea is that we as a community vote what we kind of hardware we want to have in such a PC. We decide which software we want to see on such a product. We develop the logo, building up the brand, building the software image and we run the web store. Than we look for hardware vendors to build and sell our PC.
A part of the income goes back to the free software project.
After more thinking and talking to people I realized that the idea isn´t that crazy and unrealistic.
I talked to the boss of a hardware manufacturer and he likes the idea. He is willing to become our first partner. So i decided to start and announce this project officially here in Gran Canaria.
I´m really optimistic that we can launch a great product this fall.
I´m looking forward to your feedback.
Together we can create an innovative and successful Linux PC


  1. Alexander van Loon

    I don’t think it’s really necessary, and I doubt it will be successful.

    True, Acer and Asus ceased shipping netbooks with Linux, and the most recent Ubuntu version Dell is shipping is apparently 8.04. However, Intel is pushing Moblin, and when ARM-based netbooks (smartbooks they call them) enter the market their products will likely use a Linux flavour (remember that Canonical made a deal – http://www.ubuntu.com/news/arm-linux – with ARM) because they don’t use the x86 architecture. Nokia will finally introduce a Linux-based smartphone/internet tablet (not counting Android here), that is actually useful, the N900. That should make us forget about the apparent failure of the Openmoko project.

    What I’m saying is, while there’s setbacks for Linux on the desktop, there’s also a buildup of increasing momentum. One step back but two steps forward probably. And I predict that the momentum will keep building up as Linux develops more.

    In summary, the Open-PC initiative won’t be necessary to make Linux succeed, because the large companies will do that. The Open-PC initiative will likely suffer from limited exposure, low sales and customers who don’t like the choice of hardware (even if the hardware choice is determined democratically, there will be a limited amount of products). Kind of similar to Openmoko.

    Sorry if I’m discouraging, but I’m just being realistic. I wish you luck though if you decide to continue.

    Personally, I can’t find any notebook or netbook which runs Linux and combines that with the hardware I like, I doubt the Open-PC project will change that and I will probably buy a notebook with Windows, and demand a refund for the Windows license instead.

  2. Hans


    I like the Open-PC initiative, but there is one thing I wonder about. On http://open-pc.com/ you can read:
    “fall 2009 – Start of shipment of the Open-PC”

    I understand that this is not an exact plan but more like a “roadmap”; however, I still feel that it’s very optimistic.

    Let’s say that it’s been decided that Open-PC will be a Netbook. Are you going to use an existing model that matches the hardware specs or make your own? Please enlighten me.

  3. Thomas Thym

    I think it’s a great idea! Selling a Notebook/PC/Netbook designed for Linux (with excellent working hardware) with the support of a community is a business model of the future. Bringing Linux to the Desktop (or Netbook) will be much easier when it’s preinstalled and working really smoothly. Thumbs up! And remember: Communities are as powerful than big companies (or even more powerful).

  4. mikmach


    You are right, after some time this initiative will fall.

    But in meantime it will increase awareness of problems, will spread word about Free/Open Software, etc.

    If someone is betting their existence on it, will put his last savings and expects to become millionaire he is wrong. But as project which will last 2-3 years and will not leave anyone involved with nothing – may be a good idea.

  5. nitrofurano

    great knowing about this! +1! i wish you and all people envolved all the success with this project! hardware free of ms-taxes and proprietary bios should be very popular and very easily accessible on computer shops and everywhere.

  6. Andrej

    Dieser Kommentar wurde vom Autor entfernt.

  7. Andrej

    I think that open pc should be as cheap as netbooks, so people won’t hesitate to buy one just to try this ‘new’ technology. Price over $300 will make this quite difficult.

  8. nilleholger@googlemail.com

    Der Kommentar wurde von einem Blog-Administrator entfernt.


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