Symbian Foundation Says "Open Source Over The Next Two Years"

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The Symbian Foundation website is now online, and carries a few more details on the project. The big news is the commitment to move the platform to be open source (using the Eclipse Public Licence) and have this freely available to all. The foundation itself is set to commence operations in the first half of 2009, and the annual membership fee will be $1500. Until the open sourcing, membership will be the route to obtain the platform royalty free for device manufacturers. Naturally, membership is not required to develop for the platform, that remains open to all, just as it is now.

A white paper is also available from the site, and provides a time line of the five major events to come:

1: Nokia to acquire Symbian, with all the paperwork signed off by the end of 2008. Symbian employees will become employees of Nokia.

2. The independent and non-profit Symbian Foundation can then be set up, in the first half of 2009, with a clear mission to develop a unified platform from the technologies of S60, UIQ and MOAP.

3. Symbian Foundation then officially launches, with a royalty-free licence available to all members.

4. The unified platform will then be available to all foundation members at some point in the first half of 2010 (so Expect to see devices with this new platform from around Q3 of 2010 perhaps?) Until that point the existing Symbian OS 9.x platforms will be available to members under the royalty-free licence.

5. Over the next two years, expect to see more and more elements of the Symbian ecosystem available as Open Source under the Eclipse Public Licence 1.0; with the eventual goal of all the platform code being freely available to members and non-members alike.

More at the Symbian Foundation or download the White Paper (PDF).