LiMO debuts first mobile Linux platform amid steep competition

The LiMo Foundation is set to announce at CTIA its first Linux reference platform for cell phone carriers and handset manufacturers.As announced in January, and promised for delivery in March, the foundation will offer up at CTIA its first stab at a standard mobile Linux platform: LiMo Platform Release 1.

The LiMo Foundation is set to announce at CTIA its first Linux reference platform for cell phone carriers and handset manufacturers.

As announced in January, and promised for delivery in March, the foundation will offer up at CTIA its first stab at a standard mobile Linux platform: LiMo Platform Release 1.

It won't be easy. The platform is far behind entrenched operating systems including Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone and will face off against Google's "Android" open source operating system being developed by the Open Handset Alliance.

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Still, its a step in the right direction and will likely please this class of OEMs -- which traditionally have sought out more customizable Linux operating systems but suffered under the weight of having too many separate distributions. By having a single core, and eliminating that fragmentation, manufacturers can get the best of both worlds: a standard Linux mobile core and the ability to customize and design their own user interfaces and functions.

Of course, there are other organizations and companies trying to create standard mobile Linux distributions, ranging from the LiPS Forum, Gnome Mobile & Embedded, the Moblin.org Mobile and Internet Linux project, to Ubuntu Mobile. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has been pushing for the need for a standard mobile Linux everyone can rally around -- his own Ubuntu mobile, of course.

It may be a long shot, but don't count LiMo out just yet. For one, LiMo has some heavy hitters behind it. Nokia has joined (by acquiring TrollTech) and LG Electronics, Motorola, NEC, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung have released LiMo headsets.

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