OK, so that's the disappointing news ... things have otherwise been fantastic. I have to say that I am personally overwhelmed by the level of support and interest we've been receiving. To all of you who are cheering us on: thank you, thank you, thank you.
You will be able to read about Spark in upcoming issues of both Linux Magazine and Linux Magazine Spain, and I'll be joining the Linux Action Show this weekend to talk about Spark with them. Many other journalists have lined up to help spread the word as well, and that's just fantastic. The ultimate goal is to not only be covered in the F/OSS media but break into the general technology press once shipping starts; we need to spread the word that open computing is coming to mobile and that there is something better available than application buckets for people looking for a tablet.
We've also received numerous inquiries from both ISVs and potential retail partners. The potential for using Spark (and subsequent) devices for vertical applications has not been lost on the savvy. Use in educational settings, for medical imaging applications and in customer service roles have all been raised. We're also speaking with interested parties in both Europe and North America about retail distribution, so hopefully we'll have excellent reach into these markets on launch day.
A quick shout-out to Linux Fest Northwest as well: at the end of April attendees to LFNW will be able to enter a raffle where one of the prizes will be a Spark tablet and, if it works out logistically, will be able to pick up one of a limited number of devices that will be on-site.
Work with service partnerships also is growing and by the time CEBIT rolls around we'll be able to talk about some of those more openly and with greater detail. Added to that, we've been approached by a number of software developers and ISVs who will be getting involved with Plasma Active and various add-ons for it.
If it seems like we're purposefully building a strong network of participation, that isn't accidental. One of our goals with Spark is (excuse the punning ...) to help light entrepreneurial fires and bring companies with a strong desire to work with open devices a place to congregate and work together. Apple has iOS; Google has Android; what about the rest of us .. what do we get to participate in, build on top of and work towards success (whatever that means for us individually) using? Well .. I bet you can guess my answer. ;) And I hope it becomes the answer more and more of us wanting an open future for devices, for ethical or pragmatic reasons (or both), can really around.
For a final bit of great news, I'd like to share a little video that I posted on identi.ca the other day (so some of you have probably already seen it) showing Plasma Active running live on the device:
.. and we still have more performance to yet squeeze out of the device. :)
(Note that many of the UI elements in that video will be slightly different in the shipping device, e.g. sizes of thumbnails, margins around items .. in the video it is using the optimized-for-10"-screens theming, though we'll be shipping with configuration more suitable to the smaller screen size .. thankfully our use of QML and SVG makes that beyond trivial to achieve. :)