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6/26/2008
12:10 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Mobile Linux Organizations Merge In Effort To Survive

This week's announcement from Nokia and Symbian appears to have had an immediate effect on the mobile Linux community. Today, the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum announced that it will join forces with the LiMo Foundation and create one entity pushing for a standard mobile Linux platform. In the face of the forthcoming open source Symbian platform and Google's Android platform, mobile Lin

This week's announcement from Nokia and Symbian appears to have had an immediate effect on the mobile Linux community. Today, the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum announced that it will join forces with the LiMo Foundation and create one entity pushing for a standard mobile Linux platform. In the face of the forthcoming open source Symbian platform and Google's Android platform, mobile Linux needs a shot in the arm to compete.It appears that news of the Symbian Foundation, which will be providing an open source mobile operating system, has jolted the mobile Linux organizations. With a large number of industry heavy-weights backing it up, the Symbian Foundation will have a large developer base and assets to draw from. If Linux is to make any inroads to mobile handsets, pooling resources will be key.

It is with that in mind that LiPS has decided that it will be best to merge operations with LiMo. The two organizations announced their intent to merge today. According to a press release, "The move will encompass LiPS Forum members from across the mobile ecosystem, including chipset suppliers, Linux OS and mobile stack vendors, handset designers, and OEMs and regional and global wireless operators. It follows announcements by other LiPS members who have joined LiMo Foundation."

The push for mobile Linux doesn't have just the Symbian Foundation to worry about. Though Google's Android platform is based on Linux, Google and the Open Handset Alliance are going in their own direction, with Google calling a lot of the shots. The growing strength of smartphone platforms, such as those from Microsoft, Symbian and Google, will be major roadblocks for mobile Linux to overcome because they have handset OEM and network operator support.

"LiPS Forum is proud of our standardization efforts, development activities and other achievements of the last three years," said Haila Wang, LiPS Forum president. "Today, our membership agrees that LiPS' greatest impact can be realized by adding our members' expertise and resources to LiMo Foundation. Together, the member companies can better strive for a unified and ubiquitous Linux-based mobile platform."

The end goal is to accelerate the time to market of a single mobile Linux standard and create a better support framework for Linux developers.

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