The Symbian Foundation will shut down its various websites on Dec. 17 as ongoing development of the open-source Symbian smartphone platform shifts from the nonprofit to handset maker Nokia (NYSE:NOK). According to the Symbian Foundation, the move will impact all sites and blogs hosted by the organization, with its Twitter feed and Facebook fan page likely facing discontinuation as well. "We are working hard to make sure that most of the content accessible through web services (such as the source code, kits, wiki, bug database, reference documentation and Symbian Ideas) is available in some form, most likely on a DVD or USB hard drive upon request to the Symbian Foundation," the group notes. "Preparing this content will take some time, hence it will not be distributable before 31st January 2011. A charge may be levied for media and shipping." The Symbian Foundation adds it is working with Nokia to identify how best to make official platform documentation available, and recommends developers turn to the Forum Nokia site for tools, documentation, technical support and discussion boards.
Earlier this month, Nokia said it will assume oversight of the Symbian platform beginning in March 2011, with the Symbian Foundation transitioning to a legal entity responsible for licensing software and other intellectual property. Nokia pledges to make Symbian available to the mobile ecosystem "via an alternative direct and open model," according to a statement. The Symbian Foundation will reduce operations and staff numbers in the weeks ahead--the organization adds that by April 2011, it will be governed by a group of non-executive directors overseeing its licensing efforts. Further details on the transition will be announced at a later date.
The Symbian Foundation's continued existence appeared doubtful until early November, when the Artemis Joint Technology Initiative--a public-private partnership bringing together the European Commission, member states and industrial association Artemisia--announced plans to invest €22 million ($30.8 million U.S.) into the nonprofit. Identifying the Symbian platform as a technology vital to the growth of Euro-centric mobile software development, the Artemis JTI will fund the launch of the Symberose consortium: Short for "Symbian--the Embedded Operating System for Europe," the initiative will be led by the Symbian Foundation and brings together 24 organizations from eight European countries, spanning mobile device manufacturers, hardware and service integration service providers, consumer electronics companies, mobile network operators, application developers, universities and research institutions.
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