I’m on the fence with the framework laptop, I love the concept but I cannot make my mind up, because I cannot be sure framework will be around in 4 years. Are there any plans to make the laptop open-source incase anything detrimental happens to the company?
You should make the decision as if you’re buying the laptop for the specs and price available, then determine how much extra you’re willing to pay for repairability vs. a standard laptop of the same specs for a lower price.
As for the repairability itself, this thing can be taken apart and serviced the very day you have it. Even if Framework were to go out of business in a year, you’d still have a laptop more repairable than a standard manufacturer for a good while. That’s my two cents
I’ve had mine for about a week now and I can say that even if they fail (which I really REALLY hope they don’t), this computer was well worth the price. The build quality is comparable to other premium laptops I own from Dell and Apple, and it looks as good and runs even better. As far as I can tell, the absolute worst outcome is you end up with an absolutely awesome laptop.
The way I see it is even if Framework were to go out of business—which it likely won’t at the current rate, with orders being backlogged until October as of writing this—one of two outcomes will likely occur. Either a) Framework will open-source everything to keep their vision alive, which I find most likely, or b) Framework won’t open-source anything or everything, but also won’t bother suing people who make compatible components, as lawsuits cost money, and Framework has nothing to gain from it. Buying the laptop would show confidence in R2R and might help move the market in the right direction. If you can afford to pay around $100-200 above a more conventional laptop, Framework will almost certainly save you that money many times over in the long run. I speak as somebody who essentially only upgrades to a new laptop because of issues not related to the CPU/GPU/motherboard, and has needed to do so more times than they would like. Better buy it quick though, before your batch ships in 2023. I wish I needed a new laptop.
Just something to keep in mind, in the event that Framework goes bankrupt the creditors/new owners will almost certainly not want to open-source the IP since that would dilute the value of the company. I’m sure the founders would rather open-source to keep their product and vision alive but they may not have a choice in the matter.
If the laptop meets your needs, buy it. Framework going under would only affect the availability of the modules and of the mainboard. Everything else being replaceable is already built into the laptop, you’ll be able to buy and replace parts as they break even if framework isn’t around.