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10/20/2009
01:52 PM
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Symbian Foundation Loses Key Contributor

Catalyst and futurist David Wood will be leaving as the foundation prepares to release the first version of the open source Symbian.

The Symbian Foundation will be losing a key employee, as David Wood will be leaving after nearly 20 years working on the Symbian platform.

Over the last 18 months, Wood has served a critical leadership position with the Symbian Foundation in its goal to turn Symbian into an open source, royalty-free operating system. His official title was "catalyst and futurist," and Wood did not specify his professional ambitions post-Symbian, but he indicated interest in exploring how technology impacts lives in fields like accelerated climate change, life extension, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

"In summary, I've spent 21 hectic years envisioning, architecting, implementing, supporting, and avidly using smart mobile devices. It's been a fantastic experience," Wood said on his personal blog. "However, there's more to life than smart mobile devices. For a number of years, I've been nursing a growing desire to explore alternative career options and future scenarios. The milestone of my 50th birthday a few months back has helped to intensify this desire."

The move comes as the foundation is preparing to have its first full release, as a version of the OS is expected to hit the market when Sony Ericsson releases the Satio smartphone. The foundation is also picking up high-profile members like Hewlett-Packard and Qualcomm, in addition to founders like Nokia, Samsung, LG Electronics, AT&T, and Vodafone.

While Symbian still is the world's most popular smartphone OS, it is facing increased competition from the likes of Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and others. Motorola was a founding member of the foundation, but it is placing its weight behind Google's Android OS.


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