Two of the driving forces extending the popular Linux(R) operating system to mobile devices, today announced a formal arrangement to further accelerate the growth and proliferation of mobile Linux phones and devices worldwide.
Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS) will actively collaborate to reduce fragmentation in the mobile space and provide the industry with open, flexible and customizable Linux-based solutions to increase revenue opportunities. This move will maximize the benefits of the organizations’ complementary approaches: OSDL focuses on the kernel and operating system levels, and LiPS works on applications and service enabler layers.
The framework for collaboration includes cross-organization representation at member meetings, two-way sharing and referencing (rather than duplicating) of requirements and specifications, and cooperation in the creation of common requirements and specifications for mobile Linux-based devices.
“The success of mobile Linux requires a cross-organizational effort without duplication of efforts by our members and other industry participants,” said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. “Collaboration among vendors, users, developers and the organizations that support the goals of these constituencies will produce a full-functioning mobile Linux platform capable of increasing its competitive position vis-à-vis other mobile OS providers.”
In recent months, mobile Linux has experienced considerable growth. The Diffusion Group predicts that growth will continue with Linux marketshare surpassing Symbian OS-based smartphones by 2010. This opportunity is garnering attention from handset manufacturers who want to leverage Linux and open source software to drive cost savings, performance, technology enhancements and flexibility.
“No one questions that Linux and its applications can deliver more capable mobile devices, increase flexibility, speed time-to-market and lower costs,” said Haila Wang, President for LiPS. “It’s a matter of how we get there. Collaboration and cooperation are key to avoid market fragmentation, and LiPS is working with OSDL and other organizations and companies to build consistent, complementary specifications for making open source software a key component in mobile devices.”
“Access/PalmSource has been a strong supporter of both LiPS and OSDL,” said Mike Kelley, senior vice president of engineering at Access/PalmSource. “We believe that Linux has a great future in the mobile space. Reducing fragmentation to work together towards a common platform will accelerate Linux adoption even further. Cooperation between OSDL and LiPS is an important step in this direction.”
In response to member demand, OSDL announced its Mobile Linux Initiative (MLI) in October 2005 with an emphasis on kernel-level gap analysis and requirements. OSDL’s MLI is focused on identifying gaps and finding solutions for kernel-level and operating system requirements. OSDL provides a central location through which Linux kernel and operating system collaboration can be maximized.
The LiPS Forum was founded in November 2005 to help accelerate the adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices. In defining common Linux-based services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), LiPS specifications allows applications and services to be deployed across all types of Linux telephony terminals, fostering interoperability and promoting adoption of Linux. The LiPS Forum is now comprised of more than 20 companies from the mobile industry ecosystem, including chipset and terminal manufacturers, third party software vendors and operators.
About The LiPS Forum
The Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum is a consortium of leading industry players formed to standardise the Linux-based services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services. The founding members of the LiPS Forum are ARM Ltd, Cellon International, Esmertec, France Telecom, Orange, FSM Labs, Huawei Technologies, Jaluna, MIZI Research, Inc., MontaVista Software, Inc., Open-Plug and PalmSource, Inc., an ACCESS Company. Companies interested in joining LiPS, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OSDL – sponsor of Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel – is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux-based operating systems in the enterprise. Founded in 2000 and supported by a global consortium of major Linux customers and IT industry leaders, OSDL is a nonprofit organization that provides state-of-the-art computing and test facilities available to developers around the world. With offices in China, Europe, Japan and the United States, OSDL sponsors legal and development projects to advance open source software as well as initiatives for Linux systems in telecommunications, in the data center and on enterprise desktops.
OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds.