Let the open sourcing begin!
With Nokia World running this week in Barcelona it probably isn’t the greatest surprise to see a raft of high profile releases for the mobile phone giant including the announcement of the N97, Nokia Messaging and upgraded Nokia Maps but this comparatively low profile news is easily the most significant of them all…
Six months on from the original announcement that Nokia was to buy Symbian for 264m euros, the Finnish company has confirmed that it has now completed its offer and met all conditions to acquire the business with valid acceptance of greater than 99.9 per cent of total shares. Consequently the deal is now closed and cannot be stopped with everyone at Symbian becoming Nokia employees from 1 February 2009.
Of course the significance in all this is Nokia plans to open up the Symbian platform – which is already used by the likes of AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, ST-NXP Wireless, Texas Instruments and Vodafone – in an effort to speed up the OS development and attract users already enthralled by Google’s similar open source approach to Android. The result is the ‘Symbian Foundation’ and membership for any organisation is just $1,500 per year with the platform then available royalty free.
In effect, Symbian is now in a position to go head-to-head with the more nimble Android and is likely to fight it out with Windows Mobile, mobile OS X, Android and BlackBerry OS.
So let the battle commence… I suspect it’s going to be good for all.