Taking Symbian Open Source: This Could Take a While
Posted by: Olga Kharif on June 24, 2008
The big story today: Nokia’s decision to transform Symbian, an operating system for smartphones, into an open-source project. News headlines scream that the new, open-source Symbian will eat Google’s Android mobile OS effort alive. Well, I say: Not so fast.
As this story explains, transforming Symbian into an open-source project could take a long, long time. Nokia’s latest investment into Symbian has to gain regulatory approval. And taking proprietary code and open-sourcing it could take months — until late 2009, perhaps. That gives Google plenty of time to get Android off the ground, even if the project is delayed by a few months, according to recent reports.
That said, Symbian — once it’s open sourced — will pose serious competition to both Google and Microsoft. The new Symbian will allow handset manufacturers to enjoy massive savings on handset costs, and that’s likely to earn the software that all cell-phone makers are already intimately familiar with lots of additional business.