Thiruvananthapuram: US-based tech firm Purism has plans to start manufacturing of laptops in Kerala and the initial talks for the purpose have begun, the company founder and CEO Todd Weaver said in Thiruvananthapuram. Purism, headquartered in San Francisco, manufactures free software laptops and mobile phones under the brand name ‘Librem’.
The company will also launch the free software cellphone ‘Librem 5’, Weaver said, speaking on the sidelines of the 6th edition of Swatantra 2017, the two-day triennial free software conference, organised by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an autonomous organisation under the Kerala government’s IT Department, in the Kerala capital.
“Kerala has a mandate for using free software and we can also do assembly anywhere. During the initial stage, 10 per cent of the manufacturing of the laptop, mainly assembly, will be done in Kerala and it will be increased gradually,” he added.
“We are in touch with the Kerala officials if we can supply and start local assembly and then move to fabrication that allows us to sell the products in the Indian market. Our growth plan is really to work with the state government to start local assembly. Afterwards, we will start fabricating the mother board,” he said.
“We produce hardware products combined with free software. We make it a convenient bundle and thus allow average users to be able to open up a machine and use completely free software fully supported,” the CEO said, adding that the firm stands for ease of use.
On Thursday, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced in the US the addition of PureOS, developed by Purism, to its list of recommended GNU/Linux distributions.
“PureOS is a GNU operating system that embodies privacy, security, and convenience strictly with free software throughout. Using PureOS ensures you are using an ethical operating system, committed to providing the best in privacy, security and freedom,” Weaver explained.
PureOS is a derivative of Debian GNU/Linux main, with added emphasis on privacy protection, where it has pre-installed the best privacy-protecting software applications that allow users to easily encrypt their hard drive. The company sells the 13-inch laptop at a price of US$ 1399 while a 15-inch laptop is priced at US$ 1599. The free software cellphone is priced at US$ 599.
Founded in 2014, Purism manufactures premium quality laptops, tablets and phones, creating powerful devices meant to protect users’ digital lives without requiring a compromise on ease of use.
Thirty-six speakers from around the globe led various sessions at the event that discussed various facets and implications of free and open source software. Around 400 free software enthusiasts from the IT sector attended the conference.