Here is a second Jolla summary, some month after the first one. Now that we have a lot of more information, there is, again, a need to recap everything.
TL, DR ? Read the quick recap at the end.
(EDITED thanks to MartinK on TMO that points that Mer does not provide a Kernel)
Jolla, the company
Jolla, the company, was founded by Jussi Hurmola (CEO) and Marc Dillon (COO) two person that worked at Nokia and beileved in the Maemo / MeeGo dream. After the 11 feb announce by Elop, and the deconstruction step by step of the Linux mobile computer branch inside Nokia, that was recently concluded with the sale of Qt to Digia, they decided to create a new company, Jolla, that have the ambitious task to continue to work on Linux powered smartphones.
Key informations about Jolla as a company
- Currently, ~60 employees
- Growing at a very fast pace (want to reach 100 employees by the end of the year)
- Based in Helsinki
It is interesting to see that Jolla recruited a lot of talented people, like Valério Domingos Valério, who worked on the Nokia N9, Marko Mattila, a (very) good Qt hacker, or Carol Chen, a community manager, chairwomen of Devaamo, that is quite known from the finnish (and worldwide) community around Maemo / MeeGo.
The company also have a very dynamic management, since there is only a hiearchy that have 3 levels. There is also a system of goals to reach that is very motivating, and it seems to be nice to work on that company.
Jolla announced a partnership very early with DPhone. DPhone is the largest phone retailer in China. This first announce shown the desire of Jolla to be a major player in China. This strategy was confirmed yesterday when Jolla also announced the creation of the Sailfish platform (more on that later) and the creation of an alliance grouping asian companies around that platform, as well as the use of datacenters in Hong Kong and the creation of R&D labs in HK and China.
Although small, Jolla is already trying to spread in Asia, and particularly China, that is a huge but competitve market.
About funds, Jolla secured 10 millions euros for their first product, and the Sailfish alliance will invest 200 millions euros to build this platform. They also wanted to reach the target of selling 100 000 devices, that will ensure enough cash for developing their next products and grow.
Jolla wanted to continue MeeGo, and the next incarnation of that abandonned OS is Jolla OS. Actually, the structure of Jolla OS is quite complicated, since it is divided in 3 levels.
Mer core and the Mer project
Mer (or the mer project) was created after MeeGo was abandonned, first by Nokia, and then by Intel, that “continued” MeeGo with Samsung, by creating Tizen. The creators of Mer wanted to have a meritocratic approach, that is both transparent, and fair, and didn’t wanted to reproduce the errors in the MeeGo project (one of these points was the lack of transparency). Mer means MeeGo reconstructed, and is a complete rebuild of the old project into some core components (“software packages”).
Mer did not provide any user interface. Instead, it tries to be an universal base for those (companies or hackers) that wanted to build, or hack on mobile Linux devices. In order to build an OS from Mer, only two more components are needed, that are the user interface, and the adaptation layers (kernel, hardware drivers etc.) All other components, that are the package manager, basic libraries,
kernel etc. are already provided.
Although Mer do not provide user interface, it provides toolkits for building them. For instance the X display manager, that is helped by Qt, is provided to help developing quickly UIs.
Mer is opensource and everybody can contribute to it. Both KDE and Jolla are contributing back to the project.
The Sailfish platform
Yesterday, Jolla announced the creation of the Sailfish platform. Although no much informations were given on this platform, I can guess that it is a more complete platform.
The Sailfish platform seems to be made for OEM that wants a fully complete solution for their device. Since that inside the alliance there are chip makers, the harware adaptation layer should be present. Some helpers about UI, and additional components, for example those used to build app-stores might also be present.
UI do not seems to be shipped, since UI is a great factor of differenciation between manufacturers. While UI is not shipped, both Mer, and maybe also Sailfish will ship helpers, that make the developement of a complete user experience even easier.
Sailfish might or might not be opensourced, but is mostly made of opensource components, like Mer and Qt.
Jolla Os will be the first incarnation of an OS based on the Sailfish platform. It will integrate Jolla user experience and Jolla services. The system seems to be closed-source, but Jolla said that they might open as much as possible the device.
Misc and recap
TL, DR ? Read this quick recap !
- Jolla is a very dynamic company that is growing
- Jolla build some alliances and partnership (Sailfish, DPhone)
- Sailfish is an alliance that will build a customizable Linux OS for mobile
- Jolla OS is based on Sailfish and Sailfish is based on Mer
- There will (obviously) be an app-store, although they want to go beyond the principle of apps
- Jolla wants to build a new ecosystem, and break the duo Apple-Google
- Used technologies are Qt, Qt components
- About the UI, nothing can be said from now, but they love N9 multitask and data integration and want the user to use the phone insead of the phone using the user.
- They also want a phone that is not selfish, but is capable of sharing (between family etc.)
- They want to cooperate with Joikuspot
- Jussi loves keyboard
- They also love opensource
Jolla will announce the UI and SDK at Slush, the 21 & 22 of November. Save the date !
Press release follows:
Jolla Ltd. Sets the date to reveal the Jolla user interface and developer story
A date and place has been set to reveal the new Jolla smartphone user interface and deliver the Jolla developer story and SDK. Jolla Ltd. will demonstrate the Jolla user interface, based on the recently announced Sailfish alliance OS, at the Slush event in Helsinki, Finland on 21-22 November. Jolla is very excited to be able to share the user interface, and talk about the Jolla SDK and application ecosystem with the developers. Jolla will publish the device information, ID and expected availability before Christmas.
Peter Vesterbacka, a founder of Slush: “Slush has grown up to be the biggest entrepreneurship event in Northern Europe. It’s great to see hot new startups like Jolla use Slush as the venue for their major announcements. New business creation and innovation is alive and kicking at Slush and in the region”.
Mikko Kuusi, CEO of Startup Sauna: “Jolla is a great example of what happens, when you combine the extreme technical talent found in Finland with the right attitude and ambition level of companies like Rovio.”
In addition, Jolla will be hosting a separate, in-depth session to showcase the user interface, and a press Q&A session. The Jolla user interface will be incorporated into the previously announced Sailfish alliance software. Jolla has been working on the scalability and user experience based on MeeGo in order to be able to support multiple different device categories. This development has now reached a point that Jolla can showcase the user interface, its differentiation from the existing mobile UI’s and its possibilities as part of the Sailfish alliance.
Jussi Hurmola, CEO of Jolla: “I’m thrilled to finally be able to show the user interface we have been working on, and it will be exciting to open the developer story with SDK and applications to the public.”
- Interview of Jussi Hurmola
- Second interview of Jussi Hurmola
- Tweet about the app store
- Press release about Sailfish
- Press release about #JollaDay
- Interview about Jussi loving keyboard
- Interview of Jussi Hurmola for Jollatides (about Joikuspot)