0xlab is a innovative movement. Taiwan, our home country, has been doing IT hardware manufacture for quite a long time and is fairly successful. The thing about hardware manufacture is that it’s all about cost-down. Once your competitors know how to make the same product, it all goes down to the scale and production management.
On the other hand, the software industry in Taiwan has always been poor, as long as I can remember. The only two big local (maybe not so local) software companies here are TrendMicro and Cyberlink. Considering the fact that Taiwanese students always do great in the global programming competitions, the performance of software industry is relatively not that significant.
The involvement of FOSS here used to be in a really really bad condition. Giants like Asus has been using FOSS to create consumer products for years, but they didn’t really understand how to play nice with other kids, until suited by people like Harald Welte. It’s not like “I’ll only open up if I absolutely have to”, the involvement of FOSS is actully becoming a good business strategy now. Just think about why giants like Intel, Novell, Apple and Google are getting more and more involved in open source. There are reasons behind all these.
We should really use our advantage in hardware to join this trend. 0xlab is the first step, and I hope there are many to follow.