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Linux Coming to Mobile Phones


A group of the world's mobile operators and handset makers said today they are joining together to develop an open-source Linux-based operating system that could to be used in phones by the end of 2007.

Mobile network operators Vodafone and NTT DoCoMo and handset makers Motorola, Samsung, NEC and Panasonic, said they would form an independent not-for-profit group to share the costs and speed up mobile software and handsets and cut the number of operating platforms on the market.

A world-class Linux-based platform aims to provide key benefits for the mobile industry including lower development costs, increased flexibility, and a richer mobile ecosystem - all of which contribute to the group's ultimate objective of creating compelling, differentiated and enhanced consumer experiences.

To help guide these efforts, the companies are also announcing their intent to form an independent foundation. The founder companies' objective is to realize the development of the platform based on the contributions of all interested stakeholders through an open and transparent process. Focusing primarily on the joint development and marketing of an API specification, architecture, supporting source code-based reference implementation components and tools, the foundation intends to leverage the benefits of community-based and proprietary development.

Foundation members also intend to work on the following:

- Implementation of a fair, balanced, transparent contribution and participation process across the current and future membership
- Establishment of safeguards to minimize fragmentation
- Collaboration on a mobile Linux developer ecosystem
- Coordination with existing industry organizations
- Seeking participation from all interested companies across the value chain, including device manufacturers, operators, chipset manufacturers, independent software vendors, integrators and third-party developers

Once established, the foundation aims to provide an API specification, architecture, references to open source code, new source code-based reference implementation components (to be developed and committed by foundation members) and specifications for referenced third party software. The foundation also plans to provide a test suite to assess and demonstrate product conformance to the platform specification.

While the initial foundation members plan to be primarily responsible for delivering the development of the first reference implementation of the mobile operating platform, they will also actively encourage membership participation of other companies committed to its development. More information about how others can join the foundation will be made available at a later date.
Linux Coming to Mobile Phones - Friday, June 16, 2006 -

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