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The Symbian Foundation has just announced that Symbian, the worlds most popular smartphone operating system, is now officially open source. In 2008, Symbian Software Limited was acquired by Nokia for USD 410 million, and in April 2009 a new independent non-profit organisation called Symbian Foundation was established. The foundation includes Nokia, AT&T, LG, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. The Symbian Foundation’s decision to make its code open source means that any organisation or individual can now use and modify the code for ‘any purpose.’

Lee Williams of Symbian Foundation said that,

“This is the largest open source migration effort ever. It will increase rate of evolution and increase the rate of innovation of the platform. When we chatted to companies who develop third party applications, we found people would spend up to nine months just trying to navigate the intellectual property. That was really hindering the rate of progress.”

Despite being the world’s most popular smart phone operating system, Symbian has been losing the publicity battle, with Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iPhone dominating recent headlines. It is believed that this announcement will attract new developers to work on the system and help speed up the pace of improvements. We hope that this will bring Symbian back on top of the food chain, and with the launch of Symbian^3 in the third quarter of this year, there seems to be a very bright light at the end of this tunnel.


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