updated 05:00 pm EDT, Thu June 26, 2008
Mobile Linux groups merge
Thursday's reports see the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum closing down and becoming part of the LiMo Foundation starting next month. LiPS is one of the longest-running Linux groups, but its membership has declined this year. The decision is seen as a positive one for the growth of the open operating system, as fragmentation of the Linux market has slowed it down, critics say.
While the groups worked on unique projects, their overall goal was one and the same, according to LiPS' general manger, Bill Weinberg. LiPS was working on a standard for application programming interfaces (APIs) for developing applications to run on a mobile Linux kernel. LiMo Foundation is developing a similar, though more enveloping standard, which would be used by handset makers to create Linux phones. The latter would come to market quicker, which is why many companies supporting both projects shifted to LiMo.
Both Weinberg and Andrew Shikiar, the director of global marketing for the LiMo Foundation, believe the work LiPS has been doing will continue within LiMo. Last year, the first versoin of LiPS' mobile specification was released, and included telephony, messaging, IM and presence functions.
There is a bigger push towards open source operating systems in mobile applications, including Google's Linux-based Android operating system and Nokia's intent to open up Symbian to all manufacturers rather than a handful of rivals.