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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Google smashing foundation

Looks like finally here’s something that could give Google a taste of what it has been giving to others by rote – competition. Nokia announced it was acquiring 52% outstanding shares in an all cash deal ($410 mn) in the Symbian software platform, bunching all versions into one, and turning that over to a foundation for free, open-source release.

The move certainly has ramifications across the smartphone landscape. Strategically, the formation of the Symbian Foundation and the opening of the Symbian platform is an aggressive pre-emptive strike against Google, its Open Handset Alliance and its open-source Android mobile platform. Perfectly timed too, since Android seems to be falling behind schedule.

Om Malik sees the move as part of the industry's adjusting to a new set of realities, chief among them the need for speed -- in churning out new handsets fast enough for fickle fashion and in allowing developers to keep pace without the burdens of multiple proprietary platforms. Now the question is just how much openness the carriers will agree to.

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