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Nokia, Intel launch open-source project

Nokia, Intel launch open-source project

Intel and Nokia are both hoping to bring improved mobile telephony functionality to the Linux operating system.

Open-source mobile telephony got a boost in the arm this week with the launch of a joint project between Nokia and Intel to bring advanced communication frameworks to Linux.

As reported over on Ars Technica, the two companies – one a mobile phone giant and one a chip manufacturer with its fingers in more than one open source pie – are looking to build an abstraction layer to provide APIs to application developers looking to implement mobile telephony within the Linux operating system.

Dubbed oFono, the project aims to bring smartphone-like functionality to the companies' own Linux implementations – Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Mobilin. The advances made by the project won't be limited to these two platforms, however: the official website makes it clear that all code created by the partership will be made available both for direct download and via the Git version control system.

While Nokia already has a wealth of experience with Linux on portable devices – it has its own range of Internet Tablets which run the Maemo Linux-based operating system – it has so far shied away from creating a smartphone based on the platform. With the investment in this new project, it's possible that the Finnish mobile giant is either looking to integrate smartphone-like functionality – such as SMS messaging and voice calling – into its next generation Internet Tablet, or that it is looking to create an entirely new breed of smartphones using Linux rather than its own Symbian platform.

Intel's goal in this is rather clearer: having founded the Moblin project, which aims to produce a fast and friendly Linux distribution for Atom-based netbook devices ,the company clearly wants to branch out of the netbook market sector and into the realm of Atom-based smartphones.

Whatever the reasons both companies have for investing in this project, one thing is for certain: Linux is due a big boost in the mobile telephony stakes.

Are Nokia and Intel contributing to the open source world out of the goodness of their hearts, or is this part of a master plan to head off Google's Android platform and replace it with Nokia handsets running Intel's Moblin? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

7 Comments

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MajestiX 14th May 2009, 16:44 Quote
cause nokia is scared symbian will get killed by andriod or apple

i thought symbian is already open source
Cupboard 14th May 2009, 17:17 Quote
^it is.

Strangely, Intel and open source don't go well together in my mind. Maybe it is because they can be right *******s sometimes. Oh well, this sound vaguely interesting.
Zurechial 14th May 2009, 17:18 Quote
Atom in a smartphone? Want.

The 528MHz Qualcomm ARM CPU in my X1 is alright but it just doesn't cut it for anything particularly exciting, and having an x86 CPU in a Smartphone would just be awesome for mobile gaming.
perplekks45 14th May 2009, 20:52 Quote
If only Intel would get their power demand as low as ARM. I still remember how they had to backtrack late last year after the vice-head of something at Intel claimed ARM sucked and was the reason for the iPhone being shite. :)
n3mo 14th May 2009, 21:10 Quote
Obviously they don't do that as a good deed for the community (especially Intel, Nokia is more user-friendly), but whatever the reason, it's always good to see Open Source gain new grounds.
airchie 15th May 2009, 00:50 Quote
I'm loving the massive push to open-source in the mobile market.
Once consumers start to taste the freedoms associated with open-source, they'll start to demand it. :)

Agree though, the processor in my G1 isn't up to much, needs a bit more ooomph.
This Toshiba smartphone coming out with the 1GHz snapdragon processor looks sweet.
It runs winmo but I'm sure it won't be long before some enterprising hackers get Android on there... :)
barack 15th May 2009, 04:57 Quote
yes i think it is a masterplan to stop adroid from overtaking them.because nokia is scared about android i think.In a competition point of view an intresting point in this article saying "one a mobile phone giant and one a chip manufacturer" favours the nokia more.
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