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We started as the first commercial effort to bring Android to the PC. We're still at it, now on GitHub rebuilding - combining the best of the open-source world, with cutting-edge commercial drivers, licensed from Intel. (Console.com.co)
We started as the first commercial effort to bring Android to the PC. We're still at it, now on GitHub rebuilding - combining the best of the open-source world, with cutting-edge commercial drivers, licensed from Intel. (Console.com.co)
5,695 backers pledged $78,497 to help bring this project to life.

Post Soft Launch Update

Posted by Mobile Media Ventures, Inc. (Creator)
10 likes

First, thank you to everyone that has tried the soft relaunch of Console OS. We appreciate the feedback, and it’s going into what we consider the hard launch.

Since launching, we’ve revamped nearly every page on our Wiki. Before we get to Console OS itself, we wanted to point that out so you can benefit from the updated documentation. Furthermore, we're going to begin going over our entire web presence and revising - making it easier to obtain Console OS and spread the word.

Extending Lollipop, Assimilating Remix OS

In our last release, we asked people what they wanted us to do - race to Marshmallow or focus on Lollipop. This time around, the feedback we got was substantially different… people said we should focus on Lollipop. Since we a stable bake of Lollipop already, most people said we should keep a good thing going.

Sticking with Lollipop makes sense for several reasons. One, it is by far the most used version of Android today. Most developers target it first, and all other versions of Android second. Two, it's the first release of the Android Runtime in final form. Future versions of Android (both Marshmallow and Android N) have to stay tied to it, much more than older Dalvik-based versions of Android (Android 1.0 - 4.4.4).

While some were critical of our decision to fork Android-x86, we’re proud of it. We are delivering on our commitment to keep Console OS alive in the wake of Android-IA for PC being discontinued.

On a related note, we’re happy to report that our competitors at Jide has recently begun complying with the GNU GPL.

This is something we feel we unfairly got a lot more flack over, despite being the one that avoided the shakedowns, committed to being open-source, and took the marketing heat for it.

During that whole time, we complied with the GNU General Public License, and Jide’s Remix OS did not. There’s no question on that. We still can’t find their repository for source code related to Jide’s Remix Mini, either, so we can’t say right now that they are in full compliance with the GPL.

One thing that we can do, however, is continue to be the corporate force for good that we’ve always intended to. So starting next week, we’ll begin a code audit that will infuse open-source code from Remix OS, into Console OS. Our GitHub repository will refresh with that, following the completion of that code audit... the whole process will take a couple of weeks.

By doing so, we’re carving out an entirely new space in Android for PC, as the member of the community that is fully open-source, with commercial components. Kinda like some popular Android distribution for phones

The benefit to this, is that you get the best of all worlds with Console OS. You get the stability of a corporate-managed Android kernel for PC, with the security of knowing every line of our source code can be vetted (and you can build it yourself). You can’t do that with Remix OS, but with Console OS, you’ll still benefit from improvements they are required to release to the community.

On Windows, Linux, and Astoria

Last week you may have heard that Microsoft has announced something that we have to admit, is pretty darn cool: Windows 10 will soon allow you to run select Linux applications. Without virtualization of any kind.

We hate to pour ice water on what may be running wild in your mind, but it’s not exactly the game-changer it sounds.

For years, people have been running Linux and Linux-recompiled apps inside Windows. Apps like Cygwin have even allowed you to compile Linux applications - using Linux apps - from inside Windows. To understand what Microsoft is doing, you need an understanding of what makes up a Linux distribution.

The Linux kernel is all that’s needed to run basic Linux apps. Even web serving apps, databases, etc, pretty much typically run with the kernel, and some dependencies that (typically) also only require a working Linux kernel. To run a traditional Linux desktop (GUI, etc), you need things like an X-Windows interface, graphics drivers, and other subsystems. Each on their own may work with Linux, but require finely-tuned dependencies, all that talk to one-another.

This, is where Microsoft apparently failed. The work being launched today appears to track back to Project Astoria, where Microsoft planned to allow Android apps to natively run on Windows 10 Mobile. Getting important things like the Android Runtime (ARC), NDK, SurfaceFlinger, and a lot (lot) more to work together, inside of a Windows kernel, is even harder than getting Android apps to run inside Chrome OS… which it too, didn’t pan out too well.

Recently Microsoft inferred that Project Astoria wasn’t going to happen. The Windows Subsystem for Linux appears to be the functional survivor of that project, but an Android Runtime it most certainly is not.

So yes, you can now run command-line tools (as native Linux apps), without virtualization of any kind. That’s awesome and cool. But that was the easy part, and that is where Microsoft stopped. We’re sure some enterprising open-source hackers will create an alternate graphics system, and even a working Linux desktop… but it doesn’t change our mission statement.

To recap, our mission statement is native Android apps work best in cutting-edge, high performance Android devices… which run Android. Nothing last week dents our competitive advantages.

Finally...

As we mentioned in our last update (April Fools day jokes aside), Console OS has become a long-tail play. We can't really generate revenue off of it until Android N settles in, and Google clearly defines where it will play in the Android-on-PC space. The PC makers (OEMs) are waiting, and we have to wait too.

As a result, and as we explained in our last update, we're pivoting back to hardware. Real devices that you won't have to back on Kickstarter to buy. In fact, your credit card won't be charged until some industrious individual in China is building a production version of your device. And we promise the devices we make will be both unique, and compelling.

While we won't be doing a crowdfunding campaign for that upcoming project, we do promise to reward our loyal backers with a special offer related to it when it launches.

Overall, work continues on several other fronts. We hope to have an update soon on physical perks, and we just began photography for our upcoming product. It's a new space for us, one we're revving up to be playing in. We hope to announce it some time within the next month.

Comments

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    1. Mobile Media Ventures, Inc. Creator on

      @Angjelko - We're happy to respond point-by-point, and we're not ashamed at all.

      1. We have been open and transparent on the evolution of Console OS. Nobody is more disappointed about the loss of Android-IA for PC than we are. However we stated the risks, and changes to the AOSP ecosystem was one of them. You knew that risk when you backed, and we have continued to evolve the project despite that crushing loss.

      2. Not true, we refused to pay a threat and a shakedown. See our update here for the full evolution of that. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mmv/console-os-dual-boot-android-remastered-for-the-pc/posts/1453171

      3. We fail to see forking FOSS code as bad. If Android-x86 didn't want people to use their code in a FOSS manner, they shouldn't have launched it as a FOSS project. The creator of Android-x86 proudly touts it as a FOSS project. As noted by backers below, forks are a part of that. If forking is a bad thing, then open-source software is dead.

      4 & 5. See above, we've said all we need to on that matter.

    2. Missing avatar

      Angjelko Miloshevski on

      First of all let me clear that I'm not offending anyone in this comment I'm respectful and considerate, I only express my opinion.

      Aren't you a bit ashamed, of what are you doing and posting in the updates:

      1. First you fail to deliver as you promised
      2. Second you attack Android x86 Creator/Maintainer
      3. You use Android x86 Code
      4. You speak how you are better than Remix OS
      5. You will use Remix OS code for code

      Even if its an open source code, which anyone can access, still its not nice to try to defend yourself and attack the creators, which people, invested their life and free time on this for 0$ and you didn't push single code even that you had $78,497 on your back.

      Tell me did you push any new feature or any line of code that's unique to Console OS...shame on you..that's not how open source works!

    3. Ng Wei Gee on

      Not trying to defend anyone here, but seriously, when you chose to back a project here in KS, you should have reasonably expected that the product you receive may be substantially different from what was originally described or even not delivered. If you no longer believe in the philosophy on the way forward for Console OS, you can simply walk away.

      Product development takes time, and taking open source code to speed up the development seems like a reasonable option as opposed to shutting down the project altogether. As open source code contributors, they would also have a reasonable expectation that their codes may be reused in other projects for other purposes. That is the spirit of open source and GPL.

    4. Dave McAlister on

      Stop trying to ignore the question. It's a very simple one that we, as backers, are entitled to know the answer to. Exactly how many lines of code have you written?

    5. Mobile Media Ventures, Inc. Creator on

      @Jason Fisher - See our last reply. We are not communicating with you further, due to your daily insulting comments.

    6. \_/ Refunded 04.06.16. Hush $$? \=/ on

      so, which featured did you write?

      How many lines of code are staged up to the git and how many of those lines did you or your "team" create, produce, read: not copy from other projects.

      Very straight forward questions. Should only take a second to answer, yet you choose to continually deflect. It would seem that's how you want your reality.

      Come on, MMV, just give us something to believe you!

    7. Mobile Media Ventures, Inc. Creator on

      @Jonathan - After Intel discontinued Android-IA for PC, we had to react to the situation. Our plan with Intel called for them to manage the kernel, and we would focus on user-facing features.

      So, this has become an open source discussion. Our reaction to the loss of Android-IA for PC, was to fundamentally change how Console OS was built - and what it served.

      Today, Console OS sits as the middle ground between closed-source Android for PC, and open-source. We go into this more in the update above.

      Anyone that uses Console OS today, can see how it is differentiated from Android-x86. Going back to the old project plan is unsustainable, and Kickstarter allows us to react to stated risks.

      So, instead of making our own map app, we're probably going to use HERE Maps in the long run. Instead of having our own DVR app, we're going to probably align with SiliconDust/DirecTV/Dish and integrate their services. We've already done this with the Amazon Appstore for example.

      The only other option, was to shut down Console OS. We aren't going to do that, and we're excited about the road ahead.

    8. Missing avatar

      Jonathan De Leon on

      This is not a discussion about open source code, it is simply a fact that all you have done is take the code from open sources without any or little of your own.

      Answer me this, in terms of LOC how many in total is there in your git and how many did you actually wrote.

      Which features of Console OS that you promessed are

    9. Mobile Media Ventures, Inc. Creator on

      Frankly that argument is non sensical. Auditing and stabilizing other code bases is a quick, logical solution to speeding up the recovery from Android-IA for PC being discontinued.

      Additionally it will give open source builders the ability to have all the stability improvements from the Remix OS kernel, in a FOSS build path. That is significant, and we think the next step. It will also make it easier for Android-x86 to mainline those commits, because the audit will be pushed to GitHub with each change documented.

    10. \_/ Refunded 04.06.16. Hush $$? \=/ on

      Just deliver what we purchased.

      Stop trying to make ithe sound like you're working so hard. Stop copying all the other projects that are actually achieving the things you sold us!

    11. Missing avatar

      Scott Kuban on

      It's understandable that you are so concerned about other people's open source, as every working feature in ConsoleOS seems to be someone else's code. Here's a thought though: spend less time listing excuses and more time writing code yourself.

    12. Zwarteziel on

      Hi MMV,

      Thanks for responding. My comment wasn't targeted at the content of your message, but rather at the mixed tone that was used. Anyway, I look forward to trying the hard launch of ConsoleOS.

    13. Mobile Media Ventures, Inc. Creator on

      @Dave @Zerotown - We have said that we appreicate that Jide is complying with the GPL.

      When people comply with the GPL, we all win. Remix OS can use our open-source code, and we can now use theirs. It's a win-win when people comply with the GPL.

      Frankly, nobody should be punished in the court of public opinion for using GPL code in an open-source manner. We certainly will fight tooth-and-nail the assertion that using Remix OS's code in that manner, would "harm" our reputation in the industry.

      If there were a threat that using GPL code could burn bridges in the open-source community, it undermines the very nature of open-source software. We think we're obligated to intake Remix OS's code base, and that it's directly a part of delivering on what we promised backers.

      And because of all of the above, we're excited about starting on that effort!

    14. Dave McAlister on

      Stop worrying about what Jide are doing and concentrate on what you promised us!

    15. Zwarteziel on

      Hello MMV,

      Thank you for the update. I look forward to the 'hard' launch of the current iteration of Console OS. A bit of constrictive critism, if I may: in the newsbit about RemixOS you first congratulate them for going open source, then berate them for not doing so earlier and finally announce you'll be incorporating their work. To me, this comes across as unnecessarily agressive and a bit opportunistic.

      Like many backers, I've been reading the arguments on the main comment-wall. A lot of discussion stems from disappointment about delivery times and features. I'm afraid that, while you may certainly use RemixOS' code, posting about it in this manner will further estrange ConsoleOS from potential users and communities. Just my 2 cents regarding this subject.