Feeds

Nokia grabs control of Symbian, downsizes Foundation

Phut goes the ecosystem

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Nokia is taking over the governance of Symbian, leaving the non-profit Foundation as a vestigial organisation in name only.

Around 75 of 100 jobs will be lost, we understand, as the Foundation becomes an entity devoted to licensing IP.

In a press release the Foundation's CEO Tim Holbrow, brought in after the sudden departure of Lee Williams last month, acknowledged a "seismic change in the mobile market but also more generally in the economy, which has led to a change in focus for some of our funding board members.

"The result of this is that the current governance structure for the Symbian platform – the foundation - is no longer appropriate."

Nokia talked about a new "open model" for the source code today - but it remains to be seen exactly what this will mean. The decision was blessed at a board meeting in Amsterdam today, where the 11th annual Symbian developer event is taking place, albeit in much more modest circumstances.

The Register understands the Foundation, even in its diminished form, may not live on much past April 2011.

Nokia acquired Symbian, then employing around 1,200 staff, in 2008 and devotes 4,000 people to the system. But in the hope of attracting more licensees, Nokia devolved licensing and governance issues to a jointly-owned nonprofit organisation, the Symbian Foundation. With key supporters such as Samsung and Sony Ericsson declining to use the OS or back the Foundation financially this year, it had little else to do.

Symbian developers will revert to consulting Forum Nokia for technical information - just as they did two years ago before the ill-fated Foundation was set up. Nokia's handling of Symbian has been one of its most catastrophic errors - open sourcing the code wasted two years as lawyers picked through the code, just as the smartphone market became mainstream. By the time the code was ready, it was no longer competitive.

Symbian likes to use the treehuggy phrase "ecosystem" instead of "economy" to describe the activity around the OS. It's evidently not an economy. But even "ecosystem" implies it has some sort of life. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.