Monday, 14 August 2006 19:44

Open Source bodies team to drive Linux in mobile space

Two of the driving forces behind the Linux push into the mobile devices market have formalised an agreement to boost the global growth of mobile Linux phones and devices.

Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS) say they will collaborate to reduce fragmentation in the mobile space and provide the industry with open, flexible and customizable Linux-based solutions to increase revenue opportunities. OSDL focuses on the kernel and operating system levels, and LiPS works on applications and service enabler layers.

"The success of mobile Linux requires a cross-organizational effort without duplication of efforts by our members and other industry participants," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. "Collaboration among vendors, users, developers and the organizations that support the goals of these constituencies will produce a full-functioning mobile Linux platform capable of increasing its competitive position vis-a-vis other mobile OS providers."

According to some market analysts, Linux marketshare with exceed the popular Symbian OS-based smartphones by 2010.

"No one questions that Linux and its applications can deliver more capable mobile devices, increase flexibility, speed time-to-market and lower costs," said Haila Wang, President for LiPS. "It's a matter of how we get there. Collaboration and cooperation are key to avoid market fragmentation, and LiPS is working with OSDL and other organizations and companies to build consistent, complementary specifications for making open source software a key component in mobile devices."

"Access/PalmSource has been a strong supporter of both LiPS and OSDL," said Mike Kelley, senior vice president of engineering at Access/PalmSource. "We believe that Linux has a great future in the mobile space. Reducing fragmentation to work together towards a common platform will accelerate Linux adoption even further. Cooperation between OSDL and LiPS is an important step in this direction."

OSDL announced its Mobile Linux Initiative (MLI) in October 2005 with an emphasis on kernel-level gap analysis and requirements.

The Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum is a consortium of industry players formed to standardize the Linux-based services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services.

The founding members of the LiPS Forum are ARM Ltd, Cellon International, Esmertec, France Telecom, Orange, FSM Labs, Huawei Technologies, Jaluna, MIZI Research, Inc., MontaVista Software, Inc., Open-Plug and PalmSource, Inc.

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Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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