You remember the countdown we told you about? The reason for it is now out – As of today the Symbian OS is free and a 100% open source. This means that manufacturers will no longer have to pay for using the OS on their devices and because of its open source nature, the doors to speedy innovation have now been truly opened.
As a consumer this will have little impact on you in the short term, but come 2011 and you will start seeing the awesome fruits of this labour. The Symbian Foundation has managed to completely this huge task an impressive four months ahead of schedule, this means that companies such as Nokia and Samsung will now have even more time to work on and tweak the OS to their needs and release devices a little quicker.
Similar as it may sound to Android’s promise, there are major differences, says Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation. “About a third of the Android code base is open and nothing more, and what is open is a collection of middleware. Everything else is closed or proprietary.” Symbian on the other hand is one hundred percent open.
This development will also give developers a much needed push as it will free them of intellectual property issues and give them complete access to the inner workings of the OS. This process had started in 2008 when Nokia, one of Symbian’s largest shareholders, bought out the others and created the Symbian Foundation to distribute the platform as an open source project. Till date Nokia has been the major contributor of the code, but by 2011 the foundation plans to restrict its contribution to not more than 50% of the code. This will be done to help other players also have a say in the development of the OS.
Huge congratulations to the team at the Symbian Foundation for their hard work that helped complete this months in advance. I can’t wait to see what S^3 and S^4 devices bring to the table. Keep up the great work!