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Breaking News
posted by martyb on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the 'holla'-or-'yolla'-or-'hoya'-or-??? dept.

Finland-based Jolla Oy, developer of the Linux-based Sailfish OS for mobile devices as well as the creator of their namesake Jolla Phone and the soon-to-be-released Jolla Tablet, have announced that it will be restructuring the company. As per their official press release [pdf], the company has placed former Chairman of Board Dr. Antti Saarnio as its new leader, while former CEO Tomi Pienimäki has been appointed to a position outside of the company.

The press release states that a new company will be created to continue their hardware business while Jolla Oy (referred to as Jolla Ltd. in the press release) will be focusing its attention solely toward developing and licensing Sailfish OS itself.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by kadal on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:35PM

    by kadal (4731) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:35PM (#206601)

    Isn't this what Palm tried to do?

    Yup. It is. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_(PDA)#Recent_history [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 2) by Nerdfest on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:35PM

    by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:35PM (#206602)

    has been appointed to a position outside of the company

    That sounds like a nice way of saying "We got him a job as a Walmart greeter".

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:09PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:09PM (#206609)

      Many people would trade their jobs (or their Greek condo) in a heart beat for the opportunity to become Walmart greeter in Finland.
      Mostly people who don't live there yet, but still...

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by jmorris on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:16PM

      by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:16PM (#206612)

      Yup, sounds like he was "promoted to customer." After all, customers are the most important thing of all.....

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by slinches on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:57PM

    by slinches (5049) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:57PM (#206605)

    I wonder if Nokia is interested in buying the software side? They've already expressed interest in getting back into the phone/tablet market and may be looking into alternatives for Android.

    If they did and Sailfish was able to surpass Windows Phone in market share, it would be a hilariously ironic turn of events in the Nokia/Microsoft fiasco.

    • (Score: 1) by Kharnynb on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:57AM

      by Kharnynb (5468) on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:57AM (#206816)

      I've wondered for some time now if this has been the plan all a long, clean break with the huge mess that was all the old lines and the massive overhead it was causing, then jolla gets re-added after the agreed period that was in the microsoft contract.

      --
      Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:01AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:01AM (#206857)

        If they really were going to re-integrate into Nokia proper, they really need to bring back Symbian since it actually made money. Oh, and open source it, for real this time?

        • (Score: 2) by forkazoo on Thursday July 09 2015, @07:54PM

          by forkazoo (2561) on Thursday July 09 2015, @07:54PM (#207102)

          At this point, Symbian may no longer matter. At least not on > $30 phones. Sailfish can run on modest enough hardware that it would make sense to deploy it across the line. Symbian could probably have been grown into something amazing by now if Nokia had executed perfectly. But it didn't. Nokia executed badly in the post-iPhone world. So the old featurephone OS just isn't a big selling point to any new customer in 2016-2020. (Yes, I know stuff like n95 was a mindblowing smartphone by the standards of the time, but at this point it wouldn't really be considered in teh same category as Android/iOS.)

          Besides, split focus is a large part of what was killing Nokia originally. Just throwing their efforts at Sailfish and killing off internal competition politics as a possibility may be the strongest step forward.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gravis on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:59PM

    by Gravis (4596) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @08:59PM (#206606)

    how are they going to make money (to support themselves) without selling hardware? are they going to start selling the OS? i'm not sure they really thought this through.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:13PM (#206610)

      It's linux based, so if I were them, I'd make it so it could run on any android device.

      What hardware doesn't support linux? ;p

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:24PM (#206614)

      As mentioned by others, this is what Palm tried to do with their OS. In Palm's day, their OS wasn't much... Sailfish is open source based and significantly more powerful, in the right applications it could be a good play to license it.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:41PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:41PM (#206622)

        Advertise it as open source, sure that'll bring the money in. Written by a bunch of freetarded neckbeards, who would want to pay to license that?

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tftp on Wednesday July 08 2015, @10:11PM

      by tftp (806) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @10:11PM (#206628) Homepage

      As their product is Linux-based, I cannot readily imagine what market is out there for a non-free Linux-based OS in the world of free Debian/Ubuntu and Android. Why would anyone pay money for their OS? How much would *they* have to pay *me* for using their product? This definitely does not look good for the company.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:13AM

        by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:13AM (#206802) Journal

        Most of Sailfish's code seems to be open source except for (if I remember correctly) quite a bit of their GUI stuff. I'm not sure what they're getting at with this idea of licensing out their software. At one point in the past, I remember hearing that they fully intended to release their OS for a bunch of Android phones (specifically Samsung models) absolutely for free, but I guess that didn't quite work out or something? Or maybe I'm delusional and remember it all wrong.

        I was and still am way excited about Sailfish though. It's real Linux! It's more Linux than Android can ever be at this point. It's RPM-based, uses Wayland as the compositor, and when I looked at one of their git repositories the other day I remember seeing all sorts of stuff for libav and gstreamer and stuff. Jolla's always going on about how much they value freedom and the hacker community too; I love that.

        I'm almost afraid to say it, but I'd pay. I'd pay to get away from Google and Microsoft. I just don't feel safe using Android, and I don't think Windows Phone OS XXX would be any different! But the second some really free, actually privacy-conscious OS comes around (like Sailfish is actually supposed to be??? I thought) - I'd jump ship in a heartbeat.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by tftp on Thursday July 09 2015, @06:12AM

          by tftp (806) on Thursday July 09 2015, @06:12AM (#206819) Homepage

          I'd pay to get away from Google and Microsoft

          Not sure what stops you now from using pure Linux. You can run Linux applications instead of Dalvik. Qt will support everything- not that you need much; a framebuffer would be enough.

          The conflict here is between your desire for "getting away from *" and everybody else's desire to jump in bed with those. You can never be sure what your phone runs unless you build it yourself. If you are concerned, don't carry a smartphone. I don't. I have no desire to pay for being spied upon. There is nothing of value on my primitive cell phone, and it has no IP address. You can do the same. A smartphone has a large attack surface; you cannot be monitoring all the ins and outs unless you dedicate all your life to watching over your gadget.

          Most of Sailfish's code seems to be open source except for (if I remember correctly) quite a bit of their GUI stuff.

          Well, all Android is open source [android.com]. What are you gaining over it with Sailfish?

          I remember hearing that they fully intended to release their OS for a bunch of Android phones (specifically Samsung models) absolutely for free

          The business model of such a move is entirely unclear to me. I can at least see why Google is doing it, with their billions in the bank and with their thousands of coders, and their web all over the Web. But where would be the upside for a tiny company? The only upside would be in selling the backdoor to TLAs. This means that a Google's product may be actually safer because Google is only after your habits, whereas this OS would be after your data. As I said already, if you don't want to be spied upon, don't carry a gadget. It's impossible to record phone conversations that you do not conduct.

          • (Score: 2) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:13AM

            by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:13AM (#206862) Journal

            If you are concerned, don't carry a smartphone. I don't. I have no desire to pay for being spied upon.

            I think I might follow your lead. I have a Galaxy Note 2 that I already disable pretty much every useful feature on, including GPS, and I refuse to even check my Yandex account's e-mail with it out of fear that it might phone home to Google with all my info. I am admittedly ignorant about how much data collection Android does, but after a few bad experiences back when I actually did use Google's Gmail and it somehow learned about all of my contacts that I had on my phone, I've become paranoid.

            Jolla's whole company policy seems/seemed(?) to be about privacy though. That's what made me excited about them and their OS.

            Well, all Android is open source. What are you gaining over it with Sailfish?

            Since Jolla did their own hardware for the Jolla Phone and Jolla Tablet, and since I'm lead to believe that their policy is all about privacy, I thought I'd be gaining confidence in knowing that the modem firmware and other miscellaneous firmware blobs aren't backdoored. Plus they're from Finland, so I have high hopes that they don't care too much about helping the US government continue about its patterns of spying on the citizenry.

            As for them releasing their software for Android phones -

            But where would be the upside for a tiny company?

            There are Sailfish builds for the Nexus 4 and possibly other Android phones. I thought the upside was that they were basically using it as a way to showcase their OS in hopes that people would enjoy it enough to buy an actually Jolla-branded phone created by their hardware division. But since they're apparently splintering their company's hardware division away, I'm honestly confounded about it now myself.

            • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Monday July 13 2015, @05:45PM

              by etherscythe (937) on Monday July 13 2015, @05:45PM (#208574) Journal

              Last I checked (less than 6 months ago when I finally needed to replace my trusty old N900) there were Sailfish builds in progress, but none of them in "production quality" status, and with no ETA for any of them. You might be able to dig up an alpha by checking a dev's blog or something, but actually getting a stable binary - forget it. There is the Jolla official hardware, and that's it as far as supported devices actually on the market (and that not yet available in the USA).

              I don't know about you, but I don't have time to roll it myself - if guys who do it for a living don't have time to get everything working on even the top 5 hardware, I certainly don't. I've toyed with the Stella Launcher preview edition they released for Android, and it all looks pretty interesting, but I simply couldn't wait on them any longer, myself.

              --
              "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:41PM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Wednesday July 08 2015, @09:41PM (#206621) Journal

    I bet the Russians have made a lucrative offer for the OS but have made it clear they don't want to be in the tablet business so they are splitting it off so the hardware side can die (and guess which company all those IndieGoGo supports will be shuffled over to?) while they cash out by selling the OS side to the Russians. All those that bought Jolla hardware can join the Ouya and HP Touchpad owners in the "shit that will never been updated or supported" line while the owners cash a big check and walk away.

    --
    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:19AM

      by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:19AM (#206807) Journal

      All those that bought Jolla hardware can join the Ouya and HP Touchpad owners in the "shit that will never been updated or supported" line while the owners cash a big check and walk away.

      I hope that you're wrong! I really do.

      My first thought was that it's a shame when early adopters get burned. My second thought was that my Android phone hasn't been updated in a couple years either though; meanwhile I've been reading about all these massive updates Jolla is releasing with Sailfish... Blah. I wish Jolla would make some statements to clear up what they actually intend their future to be like; it's so conflicting to me at this point that I don't know if I want to go with them or not anymore, even though I've personally been saving up money for a Jolla tablet (when I'd rather have a phablet anyway).

      • (Score: 1) by szopin on Monday July 27 2015, @04:54PM

        by szopin (5710) on Monday July 27 2015, @04:54PM (#214400) Homepage Journal

        17th update just rolled out recently, their 2.0 release (tablet compatible) will also support their almost 2yo phone (so far no slowdowns, their demo devices in shanghai were actually jollas)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:04AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:04AM (#206859)

      ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? The Finns had to fight off the Russians in a war within a war (WWII to be exact), and now the Russians under Putin are threatening the same thing. I have a hard time believing the Finns are that stupid now--I mean, losing Linus to US is one thing, but...

      Oh yeah, and last I checked, the Russians don't have money right now.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @10:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @10:20PM (#206629)

    i think like with many cool techie stuff it is again the "last mile problem":

    there exists a modern, glass encladed CAD design office somewhere were good/great ideas get born.
    there exists a more or less slave run factory in some place we can't read the language that can churn out these
    cool ideas/devices with easy.
    then everybody sits on their ass and waits for some magical fairies on unicorn to dump bags of money on their
    door step and whisk away the now new physical form taken ideas ...

    srsly tho, i live in a completely technological backwater place with about 70 million souls and i'm (probably) the soul owner of a xeon 2609 processor in the whole shithole because someone send it to me from another country (and yes i asked around ALOT!)

    point is that for any new gadget/cool idea project the logistics of physically moving the device to the customer never goes out the window.

    i think the first thing one would/should built is a warehouse, real package making maids, a shitload of postage stamps, carton boxes, twine
    and a payment handling department before even considering really creating the device/gadget ...

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by dyingtolive on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:21AM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Thursday July 09 2015, @05:21AM (#206808)

      I live in the midwest US too.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
      • (Score: 2) by forkazoo on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:07PM

        by forkazoo (2561) on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:07PM (#207105)

        If I had to guess, maybe Turkey. Possibly Iran. I've never seen anybody assert the population of the midwest at 70 million. They'd just give the population of a particular state. Besides, you get get Xeons shipped from within the country via NewEgg pretty easily. Scoring high end gear in Iran usually requires hitting an electronics store in a neighboring country where the retail dude at Best Buy (DG Sharaf) doesn't particularly care about some US embargo nonsense when he is on commission. Xeons are more likely to be business to business transactions with paper trails and such, which can cause some more complications. Hence having to beg for off the books personal shipments from friends to get certain kinds of gear. Turkey I am less familiar with than Iran, but I imagine the domestic market isn't great there either.

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday July 08 2015, @11:07PM

    by Freeman (732) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @11:07PM (#206644) Journal

    Ok, maybe it's a good thing, but it does make one wonder what their plans are.

    --
    Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
    • (Score: 2) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday July 09 2015, @04:59AM

      by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday July 09 2015, @04:59AM (#206797) Journal

      Yeah, doesn't it feel so sudden? At least the press release kind of assures us that the crowdfunded Jolla Tablet is going to get shipped (I hope?). I was looking forward to writing a game or two for it, if I ever got ahold of one and found out that I like Sailfish as much as I think I would...

      I'm still glad I didn't pre-order one. The press release mentioned (for the first time that I'm aware of) that they're having supply issues with some hardware components they need, too. It's a real damn shame that early adopters and backers seem to get burned on almost every big crowdfunded project - that's what made me decide to just wait for it to appear on Amazon instead of contributing on their Indiegogo page.

      Whatever their future may be, I hope they're able to at least fulfil their obligations to their Indiegogo backers.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Beige on Thursday July 09 2015, @04:55AM

    by Beige (3989) on Thursday July 09 2015, @04:55AM (#206796) Homepage

    Perhaps a bit OT, but since I have a Jolla phone which I'm generally happy with I really hope the guys rethink their swipe gesture UI. Right now it seems like different apps and phone orientations all behave a bit differently as far as gesture control goes, so a lot of the time I just end up having to swipe the screen randomly until the phone does what I want it to do. Or end up having to lock/unlock the phone in order to reliably get back to the main desktop. As-is I can't really recommend the phone to others, and that's a real shame since I really want Jolla to succeed.

    This is obviously just MHO, but even replacing the gestures with the old Maemo way of navigating from one app to another would improve UI usability 100%.

    • (Score: 2) by SGT CAPSLOCK on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:18AM

      by SGT CAPSLOCK (118) on Thursday July 09 2015, @08:18AM (#206865) Journal

      Since I was so interested in Sailfish, I've actually been reading quite a bit about how they're interested in solving the same problems you brought up with their UI. At least they seem to be aware of them and interested in looking for ways to unify things properly.

      I really hope their company isn't sinking. I want to try it myself and see some day.