MeeGo and Pandora: a nice match? members have been long interested in the open Linux device project Pandora, both seriously and in lovingly jesting fashion.

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?


4 responses to “MeeGo and Pandora: a nice match?

  1. Carsten Munk

    Pandora getting MeeGo by their own community is obviously a good idea but partnering LF and Pandora sounds like a recipe for disaster. I can’t imagine they’d want to be tied up with a product that is so tainted by now with fraud accusations, delays and misinformation..

    Instead of focusing on a single hardware product, the real evolution in hardware would happen in the fact that hardware vendors no longer have to spend endless time building their software systems and concentrate on drivers and hardware. Focusing on one hardware project may instead block innovation – I think it’s important to be hardware agnostic from MeeGo point of view.

    This would also open the door to cheap chinese vendors who can make a cheap (see the SmartQ devices) device with a full MeeGo stack. See what road this is going down?

    • Good points. I think Pandora was bound to experience the drawbacks you mention due to its audacious nature, and the optimist in me would hope that an agency with the Linux Foundation’s credentials could help. Of course the argument could be made the other way that a shaky project like Pandora could do more harm than good to a partner.

      And while yes I focused on Pandora, that’s only due to its uniqueness– I’m hard-pressed to identify another product in its class that’s even made it as far as Pandora’s first device. With that said, what I’m really setting the stage for here is a discussion of open source hardware development in general. In other words, another presentation is brewing… 😉

  2. At this point I like the idea of two, better than one. Since, I really don’t know what either will look like, I prefer to have two options, then I can use and support the one I like best, if not both. I guess what I am saying is I prefer my eggs in two baskets.

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