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OpenMoko gains some independence

OpenMoko is now a separate operation within Taiwanese manufacturer FIC, and it's got some new executives and a deal with Dash Navigation for a GPS device.

OpenMoko's Neo1973 Linux-powered phone OpenMoko

Google's Android project has stolen most of the thunder, but another Linux-based mobile phone effort is still making a go of it, and on Wednesday, OpenMoko announced it's gained a measure of independence.

OpenMoko now is a separate operation of its parent company, Taiwan-based First International Computer. In addition, the company announced two new employees: Steven Mosher, vice president of worldwide marketing and formerly of Creative Labs; and Wolfgang Spraul, vice president of engineering and formerly of DataViz. In November, the company hired Carsten "The Rasterman" Haitzler to be lead graphics architect. Haitzler is creator of the Enlightenment window manager software, which he said he plans to extend for mobile devices.

OpenMoko's first phone, the Neo1973, went on sale in July. Also on Wednesday, OpenMoko said Dash Navigation is using its software to power an Internet-connected GPS device, the Dash Express. FIC Mobility will manufacture the device, FIC said.