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Siemens signs up for Nokia Series 60 on Symbian

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Siemens today put more of its weight behind Symbian OS, licensing Nokia's Series 60 platform and agreeing to collaborate in its development. Series 60 is Symbian-based, and Siemens itself bought a five per cent stake in Symbian last month.

The deal is useful from the point of view of standardisation, and is perhaps a sign that Siemens doesn't see itself as being able to achieve a leading position in the handset market. But it also provides fuel for Microsoft's claims that Symbian is Nokia's poodle, and that the fiendish Finns are busily pushing Series 60 as the platform, rather than Symbian.

However, when the now-departed Ben Waldman of Microsoft told The Register this a couple of months back, it was in the context of the the major Symbian supporters chafing under the Nokia yoke, and the implication was that one or more of the minions would shortly rebel and defect to Microsoft. Since then Siemens has bought its stake, and today has licensed that very yoke, while Nokia is happily predicting more Series 60 deals in the near future.

The Series 60 situation is not of course as simplistic as the 'we design the standards and you ship them' arrangements favoured by certain other software companies, and today's joint Siemens-Nokia announcement is pitched as a joint effort and collaboration to "create and drive the market for mobile devices based on open standards." Depending on well Nokia does, and how oppressive it decides to get in the future, such arrangements could still leave scope for it to turn into the Microsoft of mobile phone software.

But that's cool with us. We're bored with the current Microsoft anyway, and wouldn't mind taking pops at a new one. ®

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