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Thread: Open Source Software

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Nokia Goes Open Source


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Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 14:58:51 +1000

Nokia corporation announced recently that they would takeover Symbian. They already owned just under 50% of the software company. After the acquisition of the remaining stock, Nokia will own the operating system for their mobile devices outright.

Most significant however was what they intend to do with this resource once they have acquired it.

They intend to make it Open Source.

They have created a license called an EPL (Eclipse Public License). You can view the terms of the license here. A development kit called the Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment) will be released free of charge under the terms of the Open Source License.

To date, there does not seem to be an Eclipse SDK for Linux.

The decision to move to Open Source is almost certainly because of the superior quality and performance of open software. Nokia is no doubt looking over its shoulder at the iPhone phenomenon and the looming Google Android, which could prove to be a real juggernaut if it ever starts rolling. Both iPhone and Android are based on open source platforms.

The only participant who does not have an open source strategy is Microsoft, soon to become the bete noire of mobile devices. Their Windows mobile device offers a range of options which they foolishly hope will enable them to lock-in their users to their PCs. Without a headstart however (like the one they got courtesy of IBM last century), they will find it difficult to compete with their Open Sources rivals, OS-X, Android and Symbian.

Sadly for Microsoft the reverse may be true. Rather than locking users into using their mobile devices, many of the iPod, iPhone users might consider the possibility of buying a Mac, having accepted the way that their device just works. The iPhone threatens to take the place of the PDA, iPod, and mobile phone, integrating all these into one device.


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Copyright     2008, Gerry Patterson. All Rights Reserved.