[Board] Intel - 23May11

maplabs at light42.com maplabs at light42.com
Mon May 23 21:50:52 PDT 2011

Dear OSGeo Board of Directors -

  I want to tell you about a recent contact at Intel, their mission, 
and outline some possible synergies between Intel and OSGeo. 
  On Monday, May 23 I attended an international developer conference 
in San Francicso centered on mobile devices and open source software, 
convened in a large part by Intel Corp. The Intel "Moblin" project has 
merged with the Nokia Maemo project to emerge in a new form called 
"MeeGo." The vast majority of the developers in attendance were 
europeans of various sorts. 
  MeeGo is based on a linux kernal, and uses QT heavily, along with 
WebKit, to form the basis of their software stack. MeeGo is targeted at 
mobile devices (phones), tablets and in-vehicle navigation systems. 
Hardware manufacturers are looking for software platforms to bring 
customer facing GUI, while handling short market cycles and price 
competitive environments. The MeeGo project and Intel have chosen the 
Linux Foundation to play a prominent role in reaching out to the 
developer communities, I believe, to emphasize that no single 
corporation is in control of the software ecosystem - specifically in 
contrast to Android and iPhone/iPad. The MeeGo Developer Conference has 
FOSS community people sprinkled through it (they are playing "werewolf" 
at the hotel right now as I write this letter, reinforcing the 
"community connection" to FOSS). The MeeGo Developer Conference is 
heavily funded, with every extra amenity at every turn of the head. 
Total attendance was fair but not large. The QT development people, 
many Germans and scandinavians, are there in abundance. 
  Bill and Kelly
  Intel is building an app store, to sell MeeGo applications to 
consumers. After speaking with "Kelly" a marketing professional with 
Intel, I was invited to a private developer relations event after 
hours. There, I met with "Bill", the senior director of the new App 
Store initiative from Intel. I dont know the total staffing and budget 
for this initiative, but it was clear that it is not insignificant. 
  I explained to Bill that OSGeo was founded about 5 years ago, that 
it is fashioned after the Mozilla Foundation, and in fact advisors from 
the Mozilla Foundation were part of creating the founding letters of 
OSGeo, that there were a dozen or more mature projects that had been 
accepted as OSGeo project, some of the scope of the projects, etc.. I 
explained that OSGeo had something to offer prospective developers in 
the way of significant software stacks, and that OSGeo was interested 
in opportunites to be seen and heard by wider developer audiences. (I 
can tell you that of the many highly informed people, mainly 
developers, at the conference, only three that I found had heard of 
OSGeo. Two of those three were very familiar with OSGeo)
  Bill began to ask about consumer facing applications, and what 
OSGeo might have to offer. I explained that although Google had 
excellent technology in the form of Google Maps, for reasons of license 
to use data, offline use cases, styling and branding control, there may 
be reasons that developers and partners would choose not to use Google 
Maps (or Bing). I explained a little bit about OpenLayers, and about 
server-side tile generation. 
  I believe that there may be a significant opportunity to partner 
with Intel, to further their offerings to their mobile developers on 
their MeeGo platform,  to substantally increase the visibility of 
OSGeo, and the use of OSGeo projects. 
  I would appreciate guidance from the Board and staff on the 
interest level OSGeo may have in such a partnership, and if needed, 
starting to plan how to move on partnering with Intel for this 
developer outreach, should the relationship develop. 

  best regards from the San Francisco Bay Area
  Brian M Hamlin
  OSGeo California Chapter

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