Barcelona is a LiMo scene

Barcelona is a LiMo scene

It's mobile Linux's world--the other platforms just live in it. Openness in general and Linux in particular are dominating the discussion here at Mobile World Congress 2008, which is not a surprise given the events of the last few months. First web services giant Google introduced its much-ballyhooed, Linux-based Android operating system--then, in late January, Nokia bid $153 million to acquire Norwegian Linux-based software provider Trolltech (see related story below). Just days later, European semiconductor firm NXP and French mobile Linux components supplier Purple Labs announced their joint development of a 3G Linux feature phone boasting video telephony, music playback, high-speed Internet browsing and video streaming--the first of its kind with a price tag under $100. And just last week, industry consortium LiMo Foundation said it will release its first mobile Linux platform in March.

LiMo Foundation celebrated its first birthday Monday morning with a victory lap of sorts, returning to Barcelona to unveil the first handsets based on the LiMo Platform, among them including Motorola's Moto U9, Moto Z6w, Motorokr Z6 and RAZR2 V8, NEC's FOMA N905i and FOMA N705i, Panasonic's FOMA P905iTV and FOMA N7051, and Samsung's SGH-i800. Reference and prototype handsets from LG, Aplix and Purple Labs were also introduced. "This is an important milestone in the evolution of a new industry platform," said LiMo Foundation executive director Morgan Gillis during the press conference. "The announcement of these handsets signals to the whole industry that this platform is making significant progress."

LiMo Foundation also announced the marquee additions of operator Orange and software provider Access Co. alongside AMD, FueTrek, Open-Plug, Renesas Technology, Samsung SDS, SoftBank and STMicroelectronics, bringing the consortium's overall membership to 32. Gillis additionally outlined a comprehensive SDK strategy commencing later this year and spanning the Native, Java and WebKit SDKs. The SDK suite is presently being readied by LiMo board members Access Co., Aplix, Azingo, Motorola and Wind River.

"We're creating a uniform space where mobile developers can participate in a deeper and more interesting way," Gillis said. "We see openness and unification as the headline themes for the industry this year, and mobile Linux plays directly to those themes." -Jason

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