Don Watkins of opensource.com interviews System76 marketing director, Louisa Bisio:
Don Watkins: Why are you building a factory in the United States when so much is offshored?
Louisa Bisio: Over the last 12 years, we’ve developed every capability, capital-wise, that an organically grown hardware company can. We can make careful and deliberate choices about hardware and our product line. We can customize all parts of the software stack from the firmware level to the operating system experience. But today, we can’t design and manufacture our products.
Louisa Bisio: Creating a computer that is open source from the physical design to the OS is the next step in our mission to empower our customers and the community. We believe that by leading with open source design, the rest of the industry will have to follow. The open source model leads to improved quality and greater experimentation through peer review and expert analysis. It also guarantees users’ freedom to own the product they’ve purchased, down to the design and how it was manufactured.
Don Watkins: Does having your own factory give you greater creative control in designing the Linux computers you sell?
Louisa Bisio: Absolutely. Current chassis manufacturing can require nearly four months to get a change in production. With our software-based design and fabrication approach, we’ll be able to introduce changes immediately after validation, similar to OS and web development processes. Owning the factory means we have complete control over manufacturing techniques, product quality, design characteristics, and the rapid iteration of design to match customer needs as they evolve.
I’m looking forward to what they come up with. Combined with Purism’s efforts, this is encouraging news for people who want open high-quality hardware for their GNU/Linux systems.