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Symbian Goes 100% Open Source

Gordon Kelly by

Symbian Goes 100% Open Source

Good ideas are really only good ideas if they are done in a timely fashion, so it is hard to really get enthused about news which may just have come a little too late...

Symbian has finally gone open source. Whoop, hooray, bring out the party hats. Problem is, this is a full 20 months since Nokia purchased the platform and the master plan was announced. In the time between June 2008 and February 2010 rather. a. lot. has. happened. Still, I've already been nice to Windows 6.5.3 today so let's embrace the positive.

The big news is Symbian truly is open. Unlike Android (Google actually only opens about a third of its code base), Wired reports 100 per cent of Symbian will be free to investigate and fiddle with. Furthermore, Symbian will openly publish its roadmap up to 2011 meaning everyone can get in on the act of shaping the direction the OS will take.

Furthermore, Symbian is an old dog that can learn new tricks since Nokia has been shopping around a radically overhauled version of the platform (pictured) featuring multi-touch technology since December last year. And lastly, it is pretty hard to dismiss the 300m+ Symbian handsets already out there - even if the bright lights of rival platforms may have caught their user's attention.

Still too little, too late? Maybe, but Symbian has a lot going for it and it has done the smart thing... eventually.


Symbian Developers Platform

via Wired

Go to comments


February 4, 2010, 7:37 pm

<p>So you left the sarcasm out of the Windows Mobile news, only to pour it in here?! :P</p>


February 4, 2010, 7:48 pm

<p>mobile os is shifting more and more towards desktop os I say.<br><br><br><br><br><br>Mobs are restricted by the size factor but as technology advances, surely we'll see some new breed coming.</p>


February 4, 2010, 7:48 pm

<p>There's an interesting caveat or two buried in the FAQ. Although they've now excised all proprietary code from the platform, some of the technology is still protected by patents. The platform's also only complete in the sense that their existing hardware partners have their own code to fill in some of the gaps. I'm assuming this is in the form of device drivers and so on. With any luck the hacking community will fill in those holes though.<br><br><br><br><br><br>However the best news is that they're encouraging developers to take S^3 code and spin it off into applications for earlier Symbian devices, so for example we might be able to run the new phone book or whatever on our old N95s and whatnot.</p>


February 4, 2010, 8:11 pm

<p>This can only be a good thing i think, and commend Nokia for doing this.</p>


February 4, 2010, 9:54 pm

<p>@xbrumster<br><br><br>Quite agree - although I think that the N900 with Maemo and potentially the iPhone &amp;amp; Android phones are an example of this.</p>


February 5, 2010, 12:39 am

<p>Not really seeing the problem, Gordon as Nokia have been working on that Symbian code for the last two years. It's not as if no-one's done anything.<br><br><br><br><br><br>I think this is very interesting - Symbian remains the most powerful of the mobile operating system and now anyone can use it for anything. That feels like a good thing to me.</p>

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