Intel-Nokia deal boosts open source

The Nokia alliance, combined with Far East manufacturing, give Intel a chance to innovate on a major player's behalf and gain a place at the smartphone table. But time is of the essence, because the market is ebbing away fast.

Whatever Nokia and Intel focus on it will be open source.

That's the key takeaway from today's announcement between the chipmaker and the mobile phone company to develop new devices to compete with the Apple iPhone, RIM Blackberry and Google Android.

Software development will be centered on two open source projects:

  • Moblin, originally an Intel project but now run by the Linux Foundation.
  • Maemo, a Nokia implementation created for an Internet tablet.

Delivery of gear will have to come fairly quickly, however, because Apple and its smartphone competitors are rapidly taking away market share from ordinary mobile phone producers like Nokia.

Basic to the concept are a touch screen, plenty of chip memory and an intuitive interface. Based on what I saw at CompuTex you can also expect to see waterproofing and (perhaps) support for WiMax, which Intel boosted heavily at the show.

Intel has been trying to gain share in the Taiwanese OEM market throughout this decade, and this year's CompuTex was its best showing to date. But that was mainly in the area of laptops and netbooks, where it was aligned with Microsoft.

The Nokia alliance, combined with Far East manufacturing, give Intel a chance to innovate on a major player's behalf and gain a place at the smartphone table.

But time is of the essence, because the market is ebbing away fast.

Question is, if you're a developer, are you interested in helping them?

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