Kano Abandoning the PI platform?

There was something on the internet the other day that Kano was abandoning the PI platform and laying off people associated with it.
Does this mean a end to our " Life Time" of support? I have 4 of the PI Kano’s and do not plan to go the PC route.


As far as I know they’ll continue to support the current raspberry pi kits and answer questions, but they’re not planning on making new kits based on raspberry pi.

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From the News story, it sounded like Kano was also laying off the people who were involved in the PI. Too bad my post was removed, it had a link to the story. I am not anti Kano, last count, I have purchased 3 of the Touch, 1 computer kit, 1 screen kit, 3 pixels kits, 3 motion kits and 2 Harry Potter wands, all on the PI platform.

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Well I guess they didn’t need some of them as they are now focusing on the Kano PC.

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Very sad news. I have Computer Touch Kit, Pixel Kit.
I was considering Harry Potter kit but I’m not interested in any Windows platform.

Let they opensource KanoOS (with all components) at least to allow community to develop this amazing platform.


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as far as I am aware there should be a way to download linux distros such as kano os, ubuntu, raspbian, ect.
unless they make it impossible to remove windows witch with kano would be surprising since they try to make things easy while still teaching kids even some adults about computers and even if they did that someone would eventually find a way around it

thanks -summiner12

also @mlesn you should be able to install the current kano os then unzip the file and change to files for the kano pc specs like a said “should”

You might be able to install Ubuntu or other distros, but until someone tests it
out, we don’t know if there will be compatible drivers for the Kano pc with linux. Hopefully we’ll be able to though!

“Support” being a very loose term. They’ve still not addressed the issue I logged in October.

Here is a link to a good article on KANO’s current state. They have moved completely away from the PI and gone over to Windows. There was a reduction in workforce and common sense would tell us that it would have been on the PI end of the business.


If there able to stay in business, I believe there abandoning more than just the Pi. It looks like there moving away from computer hardware all together. At the time of this post, none o there various computer kits are in stock. The only items That you can order are the various themed coding kits. I’m guessing this is where the bulk of there profit has been lately. I’m not sure how well this bodes for the platform. There probably just trying to survive till someone can buy them out.

Kano dudes - If you are listening, you might consider listening to the maker movement…open up your system, get more of the hackers/developers involved and create a maker community around your product.

It might mean moving away from total control, to embracing community provided feedback/updates. Make it a hackable platform…give yourself a chance.

Windows is great as a desktop productivity solution, it’s not designed to inspire makers/creators/hackers!!!


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It would be a major shame to stop supporting and developing Kano OS! I bought 30 RPi systems to teach STEM at a Middle School. The only issue really was around the older RPi systems and speed. I’d be really interested in how it runs on a Pi 4 as I think any of the quirks will be a thing of the past. Teaching kids the Linux shell and configuring mini web servers has been amazing. I’ve managed to teach kids PHP, Python, and Bash scripting. If you aren’t going to support the community let the community support this platform. I’d even think a Asus Tinkerboard S Port would be killer.

Hey Trevor! I was Kano’s 5th hire and I thought I could shed some light on this. Worth noting that all these opinions are totally my own and don’t represent the company at all (as I don’t work there now).

As a maker myself I totally get where you’re coming from. Opening up the codebase to the community has the advantage of more eyeballs on problems and features. Over the years Kano definitely tried this on more than one occasion.

The big challenge is when you’re building a commercial product used by 100,000s of kids globally. There will be timelines that they need to meet internally, and it’s super difficult to ask a community giving up their time for free to work to a schedule.

It’s also really hard to get people aligned on a company’s vision for a product when they’re not working for it. You only need to look at the fractures that have been created in many open source projects that result in forks.They also need pretty hefty amounts of resource to maintain and manage a cohort of OSS developers which is expensive when you’re small.

On top of all that, you’ve then got the licensed IP from the likes of Disney and Warner Brothers to contend with!

I’d also disagree about Windows only being a productivity platform. Microsoft is now the largest contributor to open source projects globally, and with the Linux subsystem integration that’s coming and the ability to already add the Ubuntu terminal, it’s becoming far easier to make the case for Windows as a maker platform.

So, how could we start? Perhaps it would be worth building a small community dev team around a single app to begin with and seeing how it goes. Is there an app in particular you’d be able to help with?


Thanks Mathew. Appreciate you taking the time to write up such a detailed note.

I do see where you are coming from with regards to challenges working with open source community, intellectual IP ownership, etc. The move to Windows is definitely a business decision for Kano and not something i can comment on.

If i wanted to purchase a windows machine and connect a few sensors, learning tools to do that i wouldn’t be spending on a Kano, there’s tons of good resources out there to help me accomplish that. The power of the opensource movement, the insight you can gain working on linux, the type of maker projects/skills one can build working on an open platform like Linux (v/s a closed platform like windows), the number of development platforms you get access to working on an open platform like Linux are unparalleled and Windows just can’t come close to it. Having spent the last 20 years working on Linux, various opensource platforms including MS windows at work i quite understand where Kano is coming from.

Good on MS for investing in it’s opensource strategy. Am sure there are good business reasons why it does it.

In the end it;s horses for courses. Wishing Kano the best.


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