The grand plan for Europe to have its own smartphone operating system has taken a fatal nosedive following an announcement from the European Commission (EC) that it had halted investments in any development.
The EC had announced last November that it would provide €22 million, as part of a public/private investment scheme, for research and development to revamp Nokia's Symbian OS into an embedded operating system that could be used in technology across Europe.
The SYMBEOSE project--standing for Symbian, the Embedded Operating System for Europ--had attracted 24 companies with the aim of redeveloping Symbian into becoming a platform for a wider range of devices, such as embedded wireless gadgets and cloud computing technology. However, given Nokia's decision to concentrate its primary smartphone efforts on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform, the EC has been forced to cancel the project.
A spokesman for the EC, Carl-Christian Buhr, confirmed via Twitter that SYMBEOSE has collapsed, but that no money had actually been invested by the EU. Nokia also confirmed the decision to shut down SYMBEOSE, according to Engadget.
For its part, Nokia claimed that its plans to refocus on Windows Phone was only part of the reason for the EC halting the project, and suggested that decisions by other handset vendors to move away from Symbian also contributed to the downfall of SYMBEOSE. The company reiterated its stance that it will continue to fund Symbian R&D, and expects to ship a further 150 million Symbian handsets in the years ahead.
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