LiMo rumoured set for recall to Linux mothership
It's an Android world out there
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. ®
If I recall correctly
Epic Failure was predicted by most commentards here when the LiMo Consortium was first mooted.
I sure know that I predicted it.
I'm not surprised that this is the way it is panning out at all. Phone companies have never been good at software. They're to focused on feature checklists and until apple and android arrived their software was usually a hacked together afterthough that is shipped out as soon as it starts to "mostly work" with nary an update to be found.
There's a problem with most of these mobile OSS initiatives
For a lot of them the backing is 'All Mouth and No Trousers' (as an old student housemate from Bolton used to phrase it).
Providing anything of use requires work. Not powerpoint slides and meetings and press releases, but real work.
Real work means real engineers. Integrating what's already there needs an investment in engineers that are good at integration, not just 'it works in our company/team/my laptop'.
What Google have got right in Android is the fact that they have focused team to produce something that works on their reference device (and all the phones appear to be clones of that reference device with minimal changes). What happens in Microsoft is basically the same (and apple, obviously).
LiMo became unfortunately a talking shop, where nothing was ever delivered, or anything they did branch was so old they couldn't contribute to the upstream projects it was based on. As has been noted, the majority of contributions to linux come from a few people who are in well funded teams that are dedicated to keeping things current...
that "high level API" would be QT wouldn't it?
Heck, it even ports to desktops correctly.
But no, it is going to be something even worse....