The Symbian OS was a team effort between Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Panasonic, Samsung and Siemens. Reports said, that in the eve of the 10th year anniversary from the creation of Symbian, Nokia has bought the 8.4% Siemens stake for 70 million Euros ($108.6 million) and will now have over 56% of controlling interest in the group, but the press release says that Nokia takes it all. This could have created quite some uneasiness to the other players, but Nokia will play nice.
Nokia Now Controls Symbian; Empowers Symbian Foundation
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
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2008-06-24 1:02 pmjabbotts
So far, Nokia has been playing nice with a lot of people. There actions have demonstraited this even when there news releases may not. I’ve actually been becoming quite a fan as I learn more about what they are doing currently. They are a huge silent FOSS contributor where other companies would use that for marketing spin. They manage to open as much of the Maemo source as they can though I hope they find ways too open it further without loosing the FOSS/Business balance they have. The work to bridge GTK and QT is a big step in the right direction (My KeepassX will be able to properly talk too the GTK Window Manager and browser under Maemo finally.) Nokia’s phone product lines “just work” with Linux based OS and the BSD’s thanks to there support on the Gnokii project. I’m not seeing that from other companies nearly as much; just try getting a Motorola working with your nonWindows/nonOSX system. They are currently hiring out of the Maemo FOSS community for management and development of the platform so I can’t see them closing the source suddenly on that device at least.
As for Palm:
– Left PalmOS to stagnate in it’s own swill for years on end
– Baught BeOS then did nothing with it
– Split the OS development into a second company
– Eventually sold PalmOS and BeOS too Access splitting it away entirely
– WinCE on Treo (what more is there to say there .. marketing again beats out over the better technology)
– Scrapped the Foleo instead of being the company to start a new line of devices like they did with the original Palm.
I used to be such a fan of there products but I wouldn’t use Palm as an example for comparison against Nokia. They’ve chewed the pooch too many times too count. They had a wonderful device at one time long ago; the N800 was the first device I could honestly consider an upgrade from the T5 though I held out as long as I could hoping Palm would update it.
(LiveDrive is a nice device but a slower cpu and platter based storage is no upgrade too faster cpu and solid state storage in the T5. The TX was an even bigger step down from the T5; trade a wifi radio for all the really beneficial functions in the T5 – no thanks.)
Still, Nokia is a business bound by corporate law so the first thing to do is disregard the marketing spin for the shareholders beyond it’s superficial anouncement and watch the actions of the company. If there actions continue as they have been recently.
Edited 2008-06-24 13:14 UTC
Did you even bother to read the press release before posting this article? I mean the first paragraph says they are buying the 52% they don’t own and the next one says they have irrevocable undertakings for 91% of the company with Samsung the only one not on board yet… Stop channeling /. please and read the press releases.
2008-06-24 8:54 amEugenia Loli
I read the release, it’s you that you didn’t read what I wrote. I said that initial reports said that Nokia only bought Siemens’ stake, but then the Nokia PR clears this up by saying that they pretty much got everything. I simply quoted the original article that was released before the PR itself, and was what the buzz was *originally* out there before the PR came out to clear everything up.
Edited 2008-06-24 09:02 UTC
2008-06-24 12:15 pm_LH_
The Symbian Foundation platform will be available to members under a royalty-free license from this non-profit foundation. The Symbian Foundation will provide, manage and unify the platform for its members. Also, it will commit to moving the platform to open source during the next two years, with the intent to use the Eclipse Public License. This will make the platform code available to all for free, bringing additional innovation to the platform and engaging even a broader community in future developments.
That means that Symbian will be open source in a timeframe of a couple of year, doesn’t it?
2008-06-24 1:26 pmjabbotts
hm.. this gives me ideas. I hope they continue developing Maemo on the side also as I rather like the Debian base it builds on. I’d happily cut another partiton on the SD and tripple boot this N810 though.
The N800 was tripple booting; internal flash, os2008, os2007. mirroring my os2007 install over to a partition on tne N810 didn’t seem to have any advantages. I will be booting internal flash, os2008 and Diablo (os2009?) when it becomes available though.
(I am such a geek some days)
First they bought Trolltech when they allready where involved with a GTK-based mobile plattform(and Trolltech is QT-based and in addittion have a mobile plattform of their own).
Now they’re open source symbian too. They’re basicly involved in 3 competeting projects.
What’s next? Getting involved with Android?
Nokia is confusing me. If there are some important pieces I’m missing here please enlighten me.
2008-06-24 12:46 pmvvaz
You are wrong in at least one point: Symbian and Qtopia aren’t competing – Qtopia is layer on system below so Symbian as OS + Qtopia as GUI can play nicely along.
Also they bought Trolltech for whole package. Supposedly Qt will be core for all their applications on mobiles, desktops etc.
2008-06-24 1:34 pmjabbotts
There is a project to bridge GTK with QT so programs based on both libraries work together on the N series. I’m using QT based KeepassX on Maemo already but the bridge will allow GTK input for QT along with programs based on either to interact with the other. QT based KeepassX currently takes input perfectly from the 810’s phisical keypad but the bridge will let it open browser url and copy/past uname and passwd properly; that’s an advantage with some of my 20+ char random passwords.
Symbian and Maemo may be more competitive but that’s just fine if they can continue development on both platforms or somehow merge them. Maybe we’ll be able to run the whole Symbian library on Maemo. Ideally, we may be able to choose which base OS and interface to install while having access to both software libraries.
(now I’m back to my daydreaming about a Symbian boot partiton along side my Maemo boot.)
2008-06-24 7:26 pmMoochman
Where does it say anywhere anything about “open source”? Nokia uses the word “open” and “royalty-free” quite a lot, but that’s far from the same thing.
2008-06-24 7:37 pm_txf_
2008-06-24 8:06 pmMoochman
Wow, now I’m *really* excited by this announcement! Awesome!
“Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Panasonic, Samsung and Siemens”
Don’t forget Psion. EPOC was one of the all time great OSes of its day on the Psion Series 5.
2008-06-24 2:02 pmCymro
Exactly, you can’t talk about Symbian without Psion and EPOC.
It’s sad how Psion’s major influence on PDAs and ultra-mobile PCs gets forgotten because they’re not in the market any more.
Wow, this announcement of one unified platform is exactly what I was calling for a few months ago when I found out about Nokia’s touchscreen OS.
I didn’t think they’d actually listen…
This is great news. I have a UIQ3 phone (a Sony Ericsson P1i–it’s like a cheaper, much less polished, yet much more flexible iPhone) and there’s nothing that irritates me more than having that ONE (…or two, or three…) piece of software available for every version of Symbian BUT mine. One unified platform will mean no more such headaches, further helping Symbian as a platform compete with the likes of Windows Mobile and the iPhone.
Let’s hope this experiment works out and corporate infighting doesn’t get in the way. Hopefully they’ll agree to just settle on one solution based on something that’s already in the pipeline, and not reinvent the wheel and/or squabble endlessly over how best to “combine assets” while getting nothing done.
The battle for the smartphone market, after all, is just beginning, and today’s headstart could become meaningless tomorrow….
Edited 2008-06-24 19:49 UTC
2008-06-24 8:07 pmMoochman
Responding to my own post, I know, but I just found out that it’s going to be open-source in two years! That freakin rocks!
… but I don’t think it will make much difference…
Apple and Google have seen what the future holds, it is on a full OS, not a mobile platform…
We got to stop calling them smart phones and start calling them mobile computers (or something)… The phone is a just one small part of what it can do. Check out the iPhone and Android with the number of apps that will be coming to them, and what those apps are.
The next step will be plugging the phone into a keyboard and monitor when not on the move. It wont sync with your desktop, it will be your desktop. I almost guarantee Apple has already got prototypes doing this.
that we’ll eventually see some non-Windows software able to fully interoperate with S60 v3 phones (eg N95)? I sure hope so. Gnokii, mentioned by an earlier poster, has very limited support and no interest in working seriously on the new protocols. KMobileTools is no better. So having bought from a maker with an excellent track-record for Linux software interop, I’ve got none right now and must use Windows to get anything other than mass-storage device access to the phone. I hope an open platform will mean the difficulties will be surmounted (though in 2 years’ time I’ll probably be looking for a new handset anyway).
That basically means Nokia thinks Symbian OS has no real value in today’s market. Very unexpected considering that Symbian shipped about 200millions handset…
Guess they think new competitors will squeeze them so much that they hope that zeroing licensing fees will help them…
Nokia will play nice? One can hope, but they are still a business, are they not?
Besides, we watched Palm try new things, buy BeOS, sell BeOS, buy…oh wait…what happened next? Symbian + Qt + Nokia = ?
I hope it all works out or there could be some extremely exciting changes.