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Symbian completes open source migration project
Posted on 5-Feb-2010 12:41. | Tags Filed under: News.

The Symbian Foundation today completed the open source release of the source code for the world’s most widely-used smartphone platform. The Symbian platform, which has been developed over more than 10 years and has shipped in more than 330 million devices around the world, is now completely open and the source code is available for free. The transition of this market-leading platform from proprietary code to open source is the largest in software history. The move has been completed four months ahead of schedule and provides the basis for unlimited mobile development based on innovation and openness.

The Symbian Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to enable an open ecosystem dedicated to creating the most innovative user experiences on mobile devices. Symbian maintains the code for an open source software platform based on Symbian OS and software assets contributed by Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, and Sony Ericsson, including the S60 and MOAP(S) user interfaces. The Symbian platform is now fully open source.

The foundation promotes collaboration, contributions and active participation, and operates as a meritocracy. Symbian's board of directors comprises: AT&T Mobility LLC, Fujitsu Limited, Nokia Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, INC., Qualcomm Innovation Center, Ltd., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, ST Microelectronics NV, Texas Instruments Inc., and Vodafone Group Services Ltd.

Any individual or organization can now take, use and modify the code for any purpose, whether that be for a mobile device or for something else entirely. The group says this move provides the Symbian ecosystem with greater potential for innovation, faster time-to-market and the opportunity to develop on the platform for free. Symbian’s commitment to openness also includes complete transparency in future plans, including the publication of the platform roadmap and planned features up to and including 2011. Anyone can now influence the roadmap and contribute new features.

Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation, comments: “The development community is now empowered to shape the future of the mobile industry, and rapid innovation on a global scale will be the result. When the Symbian Foundation was created, we set the target of completing the open source release of the platform by mid-2010 and it’s because of the extraordinary commitment and dedication from our staff and our member companies that we’ve reached it well ahead of schedule.”

IDC Analyst John Delaney remarks: "It's increasingly important for smartphone platforms to offer developers something unique. The placing into open source of the world's most widely-used smartphone platform emphatically fits that bill. It will be exciting to see where this takes the industry."

All 108 packages containing the source code of the Symbian platform can now be downloaded from Symbian’s developer web site (, under the terms of the Eclipse Public License and other open source licenses. Also available for download are the complete development kits for creating applications (the Symbian Developer Kit) and mobile devices (the Product Development Kit). These kits are compatible with Symbian^3, the very latest version of the platform, which is now fully open source and will be “feature complete” during Q1 of this year.

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