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Nokia Confirms Symbian Is No Longer Open Source 246

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the two-plus-two-equals-closed dept.
theweatherelectric noted an article on the H. From the article "Nokia has confirmed that it has closed the source code for the Symbian smartphone operating system. It says that despite it describing its new model for Symbian smartphone operating system development as 'open and direct' the 'open' part did not refer to 'open source' but to being 'open for business'. The 'open and direct' model is designed, according to Nokia, to 'enable us to continue working with the remaining Japanese OEMs and the relatively small community of platform development collaborators we are already working with.''"
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Nokia Confirms Symbian Is No Longer Open Source

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  • just.. wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VAElynx (2001046) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @10:58PM (#35753242)
    OK stop.
    I get it.
    Some asshole said he was "open"
    but he was only open for business

    Anyone remember this lyrics segment from one of the OpenBSD release songs (a bonus track)
    It's sad that what's a joke one day becomes reality in few years
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:35PM (#35753470) Journal
      Damn. Beat me to it. OpenVOX [openbsd.org].

      In this case, it's kind of hard to see Symbian's brief flirtation with openness as a major loss; but it has always interested me that the OpenBSD guys, whose work lacks the legal terms in favor of remaining open that the GPLed Linux team has, are nevertheless some of the most consistent supporters of fully-open systems outside of the core FSF people.

      It's Nokia's code, and they can do what they want; but it is rather hard to see this as anything other than the spasmodic flailing of a dying platform, rather reminiscent of the bipolar behavior Sun was exhibiting shortly before their demise(only more serious, since the odds of Symbian related techologies being installed by the end user on a phone sold as non-Symbian are basically zero, while absolute fuckloads of non-Sun servers and desktops end up running JVMs...)
      • by dbIII (701233)
        It's only a dying platform because it's been murdered while the new CEO wrecks as much as he can with the goal of making Nokia small enough to easily take over.
  • Symbian division is gonna be shutdown within the next 2 - 3 years. What's the point of closing it now?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:06PM (#35753292)

      To ensure that it really dies, instead of some roque developers actually making it an viable option?

      • So you're saying Nokia closing the Symbian source is like cutting the head off a zombie you blasted with a 12-gauge a little while ago just to make sure it's good and dead?

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Yes, if it revives Nokia may stay large enough to operate as their own company instead of the taken over mobile phone division of another company that can't afford to buy it at the moment. You are seeing yet another deliberate corporate wreck in progress.
    • by Locutus (9039) on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:32AM (#35753788)
      Just remember who they signed a billion plus dollar contract with and you have your answer. Part of the cleanup and part of the plan to make sure Nokia is dead in 5 years and everything goes to the partner. IMO

      LoB
  • Really, I like KDE. I like QT. I'm started to feel like Nokia is becoming something awful. I hope that if anything happens, KDE has enough developer power to keep QT going.

    Yeah, I know: this is about Symbian, but really, does anyone think that Nokia is going to be working towards an Open (Source, not business) future?

    • by Qubit (100461)

      I'm started to feel like Nokia is becoming something awful [somethingawful.com]

      I guess it's better to have it turn into a robot that shoots out sparks and pushes grandmothers down stairs than having it turn into Microsoft...

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        I'm started to feel like Nokia is becoming something awful [somethingawful.com]

        I guess it's better to have it turn into a robot that shoots out sparks and pushes grandmothers down stairs than having it turn into Microsoft...

        Possibly. So far "The Doctor" had failed to come and save us from Microsoft. He always turns up when killer robots push grandmothers down stairs.

  • Nokia Exec: "We're Open and direct"

    Slashdot BS filter: We're open, like Goatse. And direct, like flying chairs.

    Goodbye Symbian, Goodbye QT, Goodbye Nokia. Everyone start migrating now, the borg are about to swallow it all.

    • by afidel (530433)
      QT will be sold off for pennies on the dollar if they don't jettison it before the bankruptcy filing to try to keep their core business afloat a little longer.
      • I'm not so sure. I think Microsoft is running their playbook just fine. They even have one of their own at the top.

      • They made almost two billion in profit last year. Microsoft paid them another billion to use Windows Phone 7 this year. They have about 15 billion in liquid assets (cash and short-term investments). They'd need to be spectacularly incompetent for a long time before they hit bankruptcy.

        Nokia doesn't seem to be dying as a company, just dying as an interesting company.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Goodbye Symbian, Goodbye QT, Goodbye Nokia. Everyone start migrating now, the droids are about to swallow them all.

      FTFY.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:18PM (#35753348)

    This is exactly what happens when a Microsoft mole takes over a company. Past example:

    -Rick Belluzo: while at HP, he announced to the press that HP would be "dumping HPUX" in favour of Windows NT (it wasn't true, and it did cause a panic of sorts). Windows NT 3.1, no less. Later, the mole moved on to SGI where he did precisely that: threw IRIX in the trash and attempted to shove Windows NT where it didn't belong. After thoroughly destroying SGI, he then moved to the Borg Cube itself, I'm sure with a big fat reward.

  • Are they TRYING to lose relevance? This is just bound to drive developers towards android, and what exactly would the benefit be? It's not as if they're in a position to press clients into paying license fees since that would just drive them away.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      What I get from this is that they've seen and fear Android's success! You see, technical support is one of the largest expenses in maintaining your own platform, and they've cleverly deduced that if you don't have customers, you don't have to pay for technical support! They plan to ride this strategy all the way to the top of the heap!
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Archangel Michael (180766) on Friday April 08, 2011 @12:01AM (#35753642) Journal

      Are they TRYING to lose relevance?

      Yes. And the exec that is making the calls is going to get out with a nice golden parachute and get all his Microsoft Stock Options back, while the people who own Nokia Stock are getting screwed.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Yup, the reality is that little that is done in major companies is done primarily for the company's benefit. What happens, happens because it will make a manager somewhere better off in some way (financially, psychologically, whatever). To the extent that company well-being is actually tied to rewards that may happen to also benefit the company, but that is usually a secondary consideration.

        When some manager comes up with some crazy mandate that everybody knows will hurt the company, do they all raise a b

  • Is it even possible to close an open source project? If the license allows derivatives under the same license then would not the community create a Fork and start developing from that?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Maintaining a project the size of a complete, commercial-grade, operating system takes incredible resources. Saying "let the open-source community handle it" without commercial backers isn't viable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:29PM (#35753416)

    Fujitsu. Musashi-Nakahara office, actually.

    Entire rows of programmers working late overtime, desperately trying to figure out how to get something working in Symbian. It was the most ridiculous thing I ever saw. Even more, in order to get into the office to talk to someone, you need to sign a release that permits you to view the Symbian source.

    I'm sure Symbian is a source of income for Nokia, with unimaginative Japanese companies like Hitachi and Fujitsu stumbling over themselves trying to find new ways to get a return on their 10 year "experience investment". God forbid they actually try to build something that Docomo and AU didn't order them to build - the idea of building a phone for the gigantic foreign market never hit them, apparently.

    As an side, my supervisor there was a intelligent lady who was chosen out of 400 applicants. Her response when I told her about the iPhone 2g? "Why would anyone use that? Won't it get finger prints all over it?"

    • by tftp (111690)

      Her response when I told her about the iPhone 2g? "Why would anyone use that? Won't it get finger prints all over it?"

      Believe it or not, this is one of my several reasons to not use any of those finger-oriented touch screen devices. I guess different people perceive it differently, but for me it is disgusting to look through fingerprint smudges.

      • The iPhone 4 is much better now in this regard, the oleophobic coating actually works. I rarely notice my fingerprints on the screen.

        My original iPad and original iPhone 1st gen are pretty horrible with fingerprint smudges constantly visible. I've been told the iPad 2 is still the same in this regard.

  • Good move! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Closing the source of such a poor operating system as Symbian may be a clever move. People might start to think that there is now some value in it. I used to program in it quite some years ago and my impression at the time (not changed since) was that it owed its position to being owned by Nokia, and being at the time was the only smart phone system on the market. Programming in it was not easy and took at least 4 times as long as programming Windows. I remember any kind of memory leak was forbidden, or the

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Thursday April 07, 2011 @11:35PM (#35753478)
    ...dead.
  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:11AM (#35753986)
    Last year, I attended a meeting in Mountain View, CA hosted by Nokia to announce their new app store, Ovi, and 'open' platform based on JavaScript, the language everyone loves to hate. It seemed like a sincere attempt to recruit talented programmers to join a trip on the Titanic. There were a lot of sincere people making excuses and promising to do whatever it took to take on Microsoft. "We are the largest mobile phone company in the world, and we will respond accordingly," or something like that. I will say that the food was good.

    They did respond like the largest mobile phone manufacturer, sinking their 'open' platform and joining up with the largest proprietary OS manufacturer. It is like a binary star system imploding into a black hole. Ironic, too, since Microsoft will buy RIM in Q4 for $39B, effectively screwing this deal. If this were fiction, then nobody would read it. Reality has such a wonderful way of making an acid trip seem like a lukewarm bath.
  • So "open" is not for open source but for "open for business".

    And I guess "direct" is not for, well, "direct", but rather for "we just act as if we're doing something useful", as in "directing a movie". Or is direct now the opposite of erect, i.e. the opposite of upping something up?

    It's all in the definition. Not the delivery.

  • by Trogre (513942) on Friday April 08, 2011 @01:49AM (#35754158) Homepage

    I'm still amazed at how the Microsoft trojan managed to work his way into Nokia so effectively. Someone must have let it happen.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what could have happened?

    • by dbIII (701233)
      I'm amazed that the shareholders haven't dumped him yet. I'm sure the government over there is also getting twitchy and thinking of looking for an angle before they lose the biggest source of export income their nation has. With software coming from the US, dropping about 90% of their current market (by requiring expensive hardware to run the MS software) and manufacturing from China there isn't much for Nokia to do in Europe apart from being a mailbox.
      • by mcvos (645701)

        I'm amazed that the shareholders haven't dumped him yet.

        This.

        I'm sure the government over there is also getting twitchy and thinking of looking for an angle before they lose the biggest source of export income their nation has.

        And that.

        I really don't think there's anyone on the planet other than Microsoft and one particular ex-Microsoft employee, who is happy with Nokia's new direction.

    • Woops. Saw I posted this as an AC.

      Nokia was blindsided by Android. Instead of adopting it and riding its wave of success, they thought they stood a chance with their own line of products. For too long they ignored that Android was far more popular than what they had to offer. I think they didn't dare to go the Android way as it would compete directly with one of their own products (Symbian/MeeGo), making them look foolish and not competent at producing their own products. So I guess they hoped to stay re
    • by kikito (971480)

      Somebody gave somebody lots of money.

  • Fuck you, Nokia. You're rapidly falling behind and becoming irrelevant. Your handset hardware is pretty nice, but the software is sorely lacking. You're very last decade at this point.

  • Does anyone know where I could get a copy of the last version that was actually open? Even if it's out of date, it would really useful as a starting point for writing emulators and he like.
  • How sure are we that current Nokia leadership doesn't have shares in other phone manufacturers? As fas as I can see there isn't much else left to screw up now..

  • by doperative (1958782) on Friday April 08, 2011 @05:12AM (#35754936)

    I guess this has nothing to do with the Microsoft deal :)

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