Nokia Moves Closer to an Open Source Platform

Nokia has taken a critical step toward creating an open-source wireless environment, terming the closing of its deal to Symbian a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation. The Symbian Foundation is a cross-industry collaboration that will use Symbian’s open software to rival Google’s Android and the LiMo Foundation’s own Linux operating systems.

From InformationWeek:

At Nokia World on Tuesday, the cell phone manufacturer announced upgrades to its maps and messaging services. Nokia Maps, the company’s mobile mapping and navigation service, has been integrated more with the online Ovi service. It now enables users to preplan trips on a desktop computer and synchronize with their cell phones.

Nokia is adding high-resolution aerial images, 3-D landmarks, and instant access to some traffic information and event guides. Pedestrian navigation also has been improved. The company said the higher map quality is because of its $8.1 billion acquisition of Navteq. “Nokia has clearly increased the usability of Maps, and now with the integration of Ovi services, the functionality of this service can also be seen,” said Michael Halbherr, VP of Nokia’s location-based experiences, in a statement. “Enabling Nokia Maps the ability to synchronize my favorite places between my mobile and PC becomes the main reason for anyone to switch from other personal navigation devices to Nokia Maps.”

With the launch of Nokia Messaging, the company is beefing up the messaging capabilities of its most popular handsets. The service will push e-mail from Web-based providers, like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail, and ISP-based accounts to the majority of Nokia devices. Once the application is installed, the company said, setting up accounts will only require users to enter their e-mail addresses and passwords.

From Beta News:

In announcing today that it’s closed a deal to buy Symbian Ltd, mobile phone maker Nokia called the completion of the acquisition a “fundamental step” in creating the Symbian Foundation, a multi-vendor group that will bolster the Symbian OS to take on Android and the LiMo Foundation’s emerging OS as a mobile open source environment.

Beyond Nokia, the foundation has members that include wireless carriers AT&T, Vodafone, and Japanese-based NTT DoCoMo, in addition to phone and chip makers such as Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Texas Instruments.

The group plans to fuse together the three disparate user interface layers of the Symbian OS — UIQ, NTT DoCoMo’s MOAP, and Nokia’s own S60 — into a common framework.

“The platform will offer the means to build a complete mobile device while providing the tools to differentiate devices through tailoring of the user experience, applications and services. This will enable device manufacturers to create unique devices, based on a consistent and common platform, providing fuel and scale for the innovation of others,” according to a Foundation white paper.

The new framework — coupled with the underlying, upgraded Symbian OS — will then be licensed to the open source community under the Eclipse Public License (EPL).

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One Comment on “Nokia Moves Closer to an Open Source Platform”

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