N900: a great milestone for the free software community

Posted by berto on August 27, 2009

With all the fuss that’s going on around the announcement of the Nokia N900, I honestly didn’t want to write yet another post about it.

But I can’t resist ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not going to talk about its features or its specs. I just want to say that it’s really exciting for me to see the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones releasing a high-end handset with a GNU/Linux-based operating system.

I think that this is a great milestone for the free software movement as a whole, because none of this could have been possible without all the work that Linux, GNOME, Debian and other projects have been doing before this.

Being part of the N900 team, of course I want this new device to hit the big time; but what I really want to see is not just the success of this particular model, but the proof that free software has entered the mobile phone market to stay. For good.

Let’s make it happen.

Did I say I’m excited? ๐Ÿ™‚


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  1. aboalgabb Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:02:49 CEST

    Maemo is there to stay…..it will change the the world of mobiles

  2. Jamie Bennett Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:15:39 CEST

    Good points and I agree with most but you could argue that Google showed the way of the Linux phone with Android.

    Nether-the-less, today’s announcement (and lets not forget its an announcement and ‘real’ users haven’t got to test it properly yet) is a clear signal that the worlds largest mobile phone vendor is 100% behind Linux on the mobile phone.

    Well done Nokia.

  3. berto Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:31:35 CEST

    Jamie: of course I didn’t mean that this was the first phone in the world to run Linux ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t want to detract from Google or Palm.

    But the fact that it’s the world’s largest phone manufacturer and that is running a Debian-based system with most of the same components and development tools that you have in your desktop computer makes it even more exciting.

    Android is Linux, but the N900 is GNU/Linux, if you know what I mean ๐Ÿ™‚ (no religious war intended)

  4. Anonymous Thu, 27 Aug 2009 21:52:45 CEST

    Free software and yet no Theora/Vorbis/Matroska support….

  5. berto Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:10:20 CEST

    Yeah, it’s a shame that they didn’t include those codecs by default, but fortunately that’s something we can solve: http://twitter.com/quimgil/status/3586568219

  6. Daniel "NeoStrider" Monteiro Fri, 28 Aug 2009 02:42:18 CEST

    Being a open source maemo game developer since the project announcement (late 2005, right?) its really a exciting time for me. Im very proud of it.

    Now, the big question: Ovi Store for Maemo?

  7. foo Fri, 28 Aug 2009 05:18:18 CEST

    It would be nice if the site mentioned Maemo is Debian based. Ubuntu also failed in this regard a while ago.

  8. berto Fri, 28 Aug 2009 11:27:18 CEST
  9. Two months after… « root'ing the net Fri, 25 Sep 2009 12:10:45 CEST

    […] was the announcement of the shiny Nokia N900. I have resisted the temptation then, because a lot of things have already been said about it. We systems administrators are usually in the shadows, but even so […]

  10. Faz Sun, 29 Nov 2009 12:41:56 CEST

    Any plans on a Maemo 5 / N900 version of Vagalume please?

    Migrated from N810 + E90 to an N900 for a few days and I’m really missing my favourite Last.fm app.

  11. The world won’t listen » N9 Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:35:42 CEST

    […] sad, cynic or pessimistic, particularly considering all the excitement and hopes that many people (including me) had when the N900 came […]