Nokia buys Symbian

On 24th June, Nokia made it’s plans clear to buy the remaining 40% in the leader in mobile OS, Symbian.

Since, Nokia handsets have been using Symbian’s S60 (and other previous versions) OS for quite some time now, this seems like a brilliant strategic and a logical move from Nokia.

But the best part is that Nokia plans to go ahead and open the souce for the Symbian OS and “hand it over” to the Symbian Foundation, a non-profit initiative of industry leaders like Texas Instruments, Vodafone, Samsung, LG, etc.

Kudos Nokia !!! Great work !

I think this was an exemplary behaviour from Nokia and one that other industry leaders who are out there on a buying spree, canĀ  learn a lesson from.

An interesting interview with Dr. Jaaksi, Nokia’s director of open source, reveals that this move will in no way hamper Nokia’s indulgence in it’s Linux strategies. Nokia already has four MIDs with Linux on it, viz., the 770, N800, N810 and the new Wimax enabled N810. All these are based on Maemo, an open platform based in Linux, for MIDs which competes with Android and LiMo.

Our goal is to have the same UI on both Linux and Symbian, and the Qt platform lets us move forward toward that, with its cross platform technolgy” says Dr. Jaaksi.

And this is very much possible since Nokia has also earlier acuiredĀ  Trolltech, which builds cross-platform UI’s based on the Qt platform. Dr.Jaaksi also goes on to reveal that Nokia has no intentions of having Linux on any of it’s smartphones. Maan !!! Granted that they have ben very successful with their current OSes on the smartphones, but by saying this , Dr.Jaaksi has confirmed my fear that there will NOT be a Linux OS on an Nokia handset, atleast in the near future.

All said and done, other executives within Nokia feel that open sourcing Symbian is not going to be a one day process. In fact, some claim that it will be not before 2010 that we will actually start seeing handsets with the open-sourced Symbian powering them.

I think all this had been great news for the open source community. I think Nokia, like Sun has realised that going the open source way is the best way not only for earning major brownie points with its geek customer-base, but also because they will end with some really good code.

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