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Businesses Cellphones Communications Operating Systems Software

Nokia to Acquire and Open Source Symbian 150

zyzko writes "Nokia has placed an offer on Symbian stock — it currently owns a 48% share and intends to buy the other shareholders out, 91% of the stockholders have already agreed. The press has already labeled this as an countermeasure to fight Android. Nokia has also created Symbian foundation — it might mean more open Symbian." Symbian is "currently the world's dominant smartphone operating system (206 million phones shipped, 18.5 million in Q1 2008)," writes reader thaig, who points out coverage in the Economic Times. If this deal goes through as expected, the Foundation says that selected components of the Symbian operating system would be made available as open source at launch under the Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0 , with the rest of the platform following over the next two years.
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Nokia to Acquire and Open Source Symbian

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  • by TuringTest ( 533084 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:04AM (#23915513) Journal

    Nokia has been known for experimenting [] with open source in the recent years. This surely was a way to test the waters in community-driven development, to learn how to go along and specially what not to do [].

  • by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:17AM (#23915621)
    Actually this licence seems much more DRM friendly and I get the impression that's why it's chosen. Having the biggest phone OS released on a non-GPL open source licence could be seen as a big "up yours" to the increasingly restrictive 'free' licence.
  • Re:What about Sony? (Score:5, Informative)

    by superash ( 1045796 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:22AM (#23915683)
    FTA: "Nokia will contribute Symbian and its S60 software assets to the foundation, while other members will put in their UIQ and MOAP software to create a new joint Symbian platform in 2009."
    So, basically Sony Erricson will submit their UIQ code base to Symbian foundation, Nokia will sumbit S60 code base and NTTDoCoMo will give MOAP. Anyone in the Symbian foundation can use each others' UI framework on top of Symbian!
  • by superash ( 1045796 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @09:34AM (#23915821)
    Selected components will be made available as open source immediately. The rest will be open source by two years.
  • Re:Observations (Score:3, Informative)

    by dwater ( 72834 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @10:08AM (#23916273)

    > 4. There are questions over how open is this environment? If a $1500 dollar license is required to get the source, is this open? Doesn't quite sound like it.

    I think you'll find that this is only while they go through the opening procedure/etc. []

  • Re:Awareness... (Score:5, Informative)

    by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @10:13AM (#23916325)
    Got their ass kicked? Was that a joke? Check out the market stats on Nokia phones, and you'll see how ridiculous that statement is.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @10:21AM (#23916437)

    Yeah, in Java the same SKU would work everywhere just like that. No need to take into account bazillion different apis, implementation and hardware differences and myriads of bugs. Not to speak about working around things because the platform likes to pretend that devices are the same when they aren't. Oh wait..

    In all seriousness, I've found native code hell of a lot easier to deal with than J2ME.

  • SMP support (Score:3, Informative)

    by thaig ( 415462 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @10:28AM (#23916555) Homepage

    They are already working on SMP support as can be seen here:

  • Once again, if Nokia stops releasing Qt open source, the Free Qt agreement kicks in, and it's forced open (under BSD, IIRC) and given to KDE.

  • Re:Awareness... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @11:43AM (#23918055) Homepage

    Not ass kicked perhaps and iphone is still a complete prison compared to Symbian and even Windows mobile but one must admit that iPhone changed lots of things at Nokia and Symbian scene.

    When you enter [] , it says "Open to new features" which is exactly true. Now Nokia and Symbian is way more open source friendly and they even ship a POSIX framework and openly support Pyhton development which already creates wonders. Nobody would even imagine Nokia releasing a web server running in mobile phones along with all open source frameworks. As owner of the first ever Symbian hit, 7650 I can easily tell you.

    What they had to do is discipline the known 3rd party commercial developers and popular symbian shops to prevent them from shipping trivial software for ridiculous prices. The open source Symbian will generate a flow of good quality software to the OS and their smart phones.

  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Tuesday June 24, 2008 @12:02PM (#23918483) Homepage

    Yes they bought "your" Qt just to close the evil Qt which they have been using for years. It is a major evil Nokia conspiracy.Like, they didn't want a common, proven framework for OS/CPU neutral future.

  • by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @02:58AM (#23930279)

    Do you honestly feel the minor "restriction" (more accurately a simple and easily fulfilled obligation) to not withhold what was freely shared to you is worse than the deliberate act of constructing DRM
    No, but that's not the restriction (and it's amusing to see the hypocritical redefinition of 'restriction' to "restriction"--if that's not telling, I don't know what is).

    The very real restriction is that someone is giving you code, not for free, but with the attached strings that if you want to improve the code and you want to share that product with others, you have to share your code as well. This is offensive and no more or less free than proprietary software.

    Continuing to share that which was already freely distributed is one thing; parasitically leeching your own efforts so that you, the creator, no longer have a say...well that's totally different.

    In terms of the freedom of all users as a collective, rather than just the subset of users that want to insert DRM to restrict the freedom of all users, there is no Freer licence than the GPL.
    Horseshit. That's a packaged phrase from the RMS army, but it's not true.

    The freest license most people are conversant in is the BSD license in some ways (MIT also has some interesting consequences).

    The GPL just swings the pendulum the other way. If proprietary licenses are all about the developers, the GPL is all about the users. Neither generalization is strictly true, but you people complain about closed-source licenses without tolerating the exact same complaints in your holy GPL. Frankly, the GPL isn't free at all.

    If it were truly a free release, a person could do anything s/he wanted with that code, including making internal improvements and releasing it under a proprietary license. That has no effect on the original, open code. It still exists. It's still available to anyone who wants it. There's no harm if the original intent was to release "free" code--if you have an expectation of profit, even if it's in the form of gaining free access to the work of another, it's not free. Reciprocity is an economically and intellectually binding force, neither free in spirit nor in price.

    The delicious hypocrisy is that GPL zealots are also often the loudest preachers of "copyright infringement doesn't hurt anyone"--and yet, if you dare close off your GPL improvements, they cry havoc.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!