Now some are asking if MeeGo might look good sitting on a Pandora device, and I have to admit the thought is intriguing. There shouldn’t be any insurmountable technical hurdles, and each open project could reinforce the legitimacy of the other.
But why not take that a step further?
Since MeeGo will be an open source solution freely available to any device or class of device, what would keep the Linux Foundation from broadening the scope of sponsorship? Why not partner very closely with the Pandora project in every aspect? The Foundation could even bring Pandora under its wing as the hardware sibling to MeeGo.
Of course that gets into a sticky area. Hardware-driven sponsors like Nokia, which will be of course producing its own devices to run MeeGo, might balk at providing partial funding to the Linux Foundation if it got too deeply into open source hardware. Then again, think of such a venture more as open source research and development rather than simple competition, and even Nokia may see a benefit. Just as MeeGo drives down its software overhead, so could a sponsored Pandora do the same for hardware.
The value for Nokia and other corporate interests in such a scenario is that the attention on the mundane is diminished and differentiation becomes an even larger, more visible part of revenue contributions– and that is where companies need to focus their bottom line to improve margins anyway.
Naturally, such a scenario relies on all parties seeing a win-win, and Pandora’s leadership may not. In addition, the Linux Foundation could not be faulted for focusing exclusively on the softer side of this equation and avoiding meddling with hardware. Perhaps Pandora could instead evolve into the same sort of organization, ultimately gaining sponsorship from Nokia and others. In that alternative, the Pandora organization and the Linux Foundation could form a partnership of mutual interest without any sort of actual merger.
Personally I find this potentially exciting and believe that sooner or later it’s inevitable… but as always, I’m highly interested in the opinions of readers. Well?