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18 | Sep 23 2014 | Pre-Vator Update
#1
Hi everyone, we're trying to align marketing and engineering updates to help keep from overloading you. Please let us know in the comments if you want more or less updates... we're still trying to gauge a diverse set of backers on that front.

The Latest

First, thanks again to everyone who helped Console OS go to the top of the charts at Vator Splash LA Startup Competition. You made us #1 earlier this month in the first competition round. And, we're happy to announce that the judges agree, and Console OS is now a finalist for the judges' deciding round of voting which will take place October 2.

We're working hard to have some great live demos that we hope to simulcast - and make available online shortly afterwards.

Special thanks to Rackspace - as a finalist we will be receiving a massive amount of free hosting (over $15,000 worth). Every download of Console OS initially will run through Rackspace's servers.

Engineering Update

Platform

We'll get the bad news out of the way first - UEFI32 booting is going to be a late October or early November affair.

We have been delaying Developer Release 1 (DR1) to try and get those early devices like Dell Venue 8 Pro into DR1. Unfortunately, late payments from Kickstarter (which cost us contract windows) and delays from driver vendors have pushed it too far. We don't want to hold up DR1 anymore, and we're working on a "DR1.5" build that will bring UEFI32 back into the loop.

We realize there are a lot (as in, a lot-a-lot) of people with these UEFI32 devices, and homebrew solutions are certainly making progress there. But we have internal standards, and hacking up support for these devices is not our goal. Our goal is to make things manufacturer-grade.

Now, when is DR1 going to ship, and what is it going to consist of? We did note that the payment delay may cost us the ability to ship in September, and indeed it's looking like we'll be shipping DR1 in October for 64-bit Atom and Core devices. UEFI32 devices will either join that in late October or mid-November... provided driver vendors deliver.

The what-should-we-ship is a tougher question. Based on Hardware Voting, you have pretty strongly said we should switch to a release schedule that focuses on being ready for Android L. That means more spartan KitKat builds that allow us to keep our powder dry for battling that code. Expect DR1 to provide a very functional AOSP-superset with some nice performance and design wins.

Sidebar: Android L was announced after our debut of Console OS on Kickstarter. Source code is not available yet for it, only a pre-built Developer Preview for Nexus 5 & 7. As a result of evaluating that code, we've found it makes broad/sweeping changes to the Android Runtime (ART) that make system-level code break, even compared to the ART preview in KitKat. This is why, based on Hardware Voting results, we're adjusting our feature timetables and engineering plans to accommodate the broad/sweeping changes there.

On the UX side - one last minute thing we're toying around with is bringing back the Jelly Bean-era task bar. Of course, this is one of those things that may not work in Android L... but we are interested in hearing your feedback in the comments on. If we could roll the status bar up into the navigation bar at the bottom, would you like us to go old-school or use the un-tablet Android style today?

Distribution

Building Console OS isn't just about the code. It's about being able to obtain, use, and get proper support for the code. We're building an entire support infrastructure from scratch - and that's no small task. We've completed final component selection for all the relevant software stacks to do that, and now implementing.

Some of this work is custom too, like we're implementing Hashcash.IO - using HTML5 tech so you don't have to type in captcha's. We hate captchas too.

Again, many thanks to Rackspace for the free hosting - we'll be putting it to good use in vending Developer Release 1 by next month.

Hardware Voting - First Impressions
Hardware Voting really got back on track after we did that final round of fixes. We have two things left to do there: 1) Send out ballots to people that couldn't complete payment with Amazon. And 2) Send out the "add-on ballots" for those that had more than five systems to vote.

Still, we're getting some strong insights already:

* Demand is stronger for high-performance Android devices. Intel Core 2-in-1's top the charts.
* You want us to focus on being as ready as possible for Android L over shoring up KitKat.
* A lot of you really want to dual-boot with SteamOS.
* More people than we expected are ready to dive head-first into Android as a primary OS for their machines.

We wanted to wait until the number of ballots per day dipped below the dozens rate, and that just happened over the weekend. These are just very early insights, we'll be providing much more thorough data in the coming weeks. If you haven't participated in Hardware Voting, please do so now!! People who couldn't pay with Amazon should get their ballots over the next 24 hours. Contact us if you don't have a ballot by Wednesday.


Attached Files
.pdf   Update_18_Pre-Vator_Update_Console_OS_Dual-Boot_Android_Remaster.pdf (Size: 536.54 KB / Downloads: 59)
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