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Symbian OS goes open source
Category : General 07 Feb 2010 11:55 AM | Industry News
The Symbian operating system – mainly found on Nokia phones – has taken a decisive move and gone open source.
Although some ten years old, Symbian is installed on more than 330 million phones globally, making it the largest smartphone platform currently in existence. However, the success of Google's open source Android has been diverting the limelight of late, as has the rise of Apple's iPhone OS.
The Symbian Foundation's decision to make its code open source means that any organisation or individual can now use and modify it "for any purpose".
It believes the move will attract new developers to work on the system and help speed up the pace of improvements.
Developers will now be able to download source code and experiment with it, ending years of lengthy contract negotiations before apps could begin to take shape.
This should mean an easier life for developers, encouraging faster and more exciting app development.
"This is the largest open source migration effort ever," Lee Williams of the Symbian Foundation said.
"It will increase rate of evolution and increase the rate of innovation of the platform."
Ian Fogg, principal analyst at Forrester research, said the move was about Symbian "transitioning from one business model to another" as well as trying to gain "momentum and mindshare" for software that had been overshadowed by the release of Apple's iPhone and Google Android operating system.