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LiMo rumoured set for recall to Linux mothership

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The operator-backed LiMo Foundation is on the verge of folding into the Linux Foundation, according to Taiwanese manufacturers working with the standard.

Digitimes reports that Vodafone has given up on the platform following poor sales of its LiMo-based Vodafone 360 handsets, and that the remaining partners are having a hard time being optimistic about the future in the face of Android’s overwhelming presence.

LiMo was supposed to be the operators’ choice, and when Vodafone selected the platform to run on the Samsung-manufactured handsets customised for its 360 service it was a welcome endorsement, even as it was a slap in the face to Symbian. But it seems that Vodafone’s interest in 360 is greater than its interest in LiMo - the operator has been pushing 360 services onto its Android handsets.

With Motorola having deserted LiMo last year, and the Samsung/Vodafone endorsement apparently stalled, that just leaves DoCoMo, Panasonic, NEC and Orange as torch carriers for LiMo.

Or it would, if it wasn’t for the fact that three of them are members of the still-unnamed consortium to create a high-level application API which would render the underlying OS irrelevant. Worse, the announcement of that new API layer didn’t even reference LiMo, only saying that it could work happily on Linux and would probably be ported to Android in due course.

LiMo still has lots of members, including Orange, Telefonica, SoftBank and others, and tells us that it won’t comment on rumour and speculation. But it’s hard to see how an Android alternative can survive even with operator backing. Folding into the Linux Foundation might be the best option to save face. ®

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