April 3, 2009
The open source Symbian is rounding into shape, as the Symbian Foundation has established a logo, added a few new members, and launched a beta program for developers.
With increased competition from the likes of Apple's iPhone, Research In Motion's BlackBerry, and Google's Android, Nokia fully purchased Symbian last year with the goal of spinning it into an open source, royalty-free operating system. The Symbian Foundation was created to achieve that goal, and it is rapidly picking up steam. Along with a leader, and a release schedule, the Symbian Foundation now has a symbol for its brand. Featuring a large yellow heart, the logo is a stark departure from earlier Symbian branding, and representatives said it makes sense because the OS is really the heart of a mobile device. The open source OS will be offered under an Eclipse Public License, so it makes sense that the Eclipse Foundation has joined the Symbian Foundation. The mobile OS foundation also joined the Eclipse Foundation at the same time, and the two organizations will collaborate on providing a business-friendly open source environment. InnoPath, which is known for its mobile customer care, also has joined the Symbian Foundation. Developers also can get a taste of what the open source OS will look like, as the Symbian Foundation has launched a beta Web site. The site is open to existing foundation members, and it features platform release information, wikis, forums, access to software development kits, tools, and other resources. The first official release, dubbed Symbian^2, will be ready by the end of the year. "We're excited to be working with our members and community friends on the public launch of our beta site -- their feedback is extremely important in helping us evoke and develop our offering," Lee Williams, Symbian Foundation's executive director, said in a statement.
Nokia's decision to create the Symbian Foundation and to open up the OS should have major ramifications throughout the smartphone market. InformationWeek evaluated the impact of this move, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).
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