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Symbian Foundation Gains More Support

The open source operating system will be combine elements of the Symbian OS with Nokia's S60, DoCoMo MOAP, and UIQ to create an open mobile software platform.
The Symbian Foundation announced Thursday nine new members are backing its initiative to develop a free, open-source mobile operating system.

The new members include mobile operators 3, America Mobil, and TIM. Also joining the initiative are Aplix, EB, EMCC Software, Marvell, Sasken Communication Technologies, and TietoEnator.

The foundation already has the backing of 30 members, including AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, and others. The membership may increase, as over 150 companies have registered interest in signing up, the foundation said.

"EMCC Software welcomes plans for the Symbian Foundation and the move to a royalty-free and ultimately open source platform," said Leigh Edwards, CEO of EMCC Software, in a statement. "This bold move has the potential to transform the whole industry."

On June 24, Nokia announced it would purchase the remaining shares of Symbian and turn it into the Symbian Foundation. The foundation's goal would be producing a royalty-free, open-source operating system that foundation members could use for multiple mobile devices.

The open source operating system will be combine elements of the Symbian OS with Nokia's S60, DoCoMo MOAP, and UIQ to create an open mobile software platform, foundation representatives said. The first handsets with this open-source code will arrive in 2010, according to Nokia.

While Symbian is the most widely used mobile operating system for smartphones in the world, it is facing increasing competition from Apple, Microsoft, and Research In Motion. Google's Linux-based Android operating system is also expected to be a significant player in the mobile operating space.

The open-source Symbian could help eliminate standards issues that lead to incompatibilities between networks and devices, as well as make it easier for developers to create more compelling applications for smartphones.

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