The LiMo Foundation is making steady progress on its goal to make Linux a popular mobile operating system.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, several key LiMo vendors including Motorola, Samsung, NEC and Panasonic announced as promised the first set of LiMo-compliant handsets while LG, Aplix and Purple Labs showed off prototypes and reference handsets.
A total of 18 LiMo models were launched at the event, including six from Motorola, four from Panasonic and NEC and one from Samsung. These included Motorola’s much anticipated RAZR V8 and V8 Luxury Edition and Samsung’s SGH-i800. LG Electronics showed off its prototype LiMo Phone. Aplix showed off its -rototype called Opal and Purple Labs showed PurpleMagic reference design.
The LiMo Foundation announced at the show nine new members since its founding in January 2007 including Orangle, Access, AMD, FueTrek, Open-Plug, Renesas Technology Corp. Softbank and STMicroelectronics.
LiMo, which has Motorola and Samsung as founding members,said earlier this month that its R1 LiMo Linux based software platform for mobile device will be available in March. The foundation also announced recently a software development kit for Eclipse development environments to enable the development of LiMo applications.
LiMo will go up against Nokia, Microsoft and Google in the burgeoning mobile operating system market. LiMo has said it intends to cooperate with Google’s Android mobile plaform and the Open Handset Alliance announced last November.
It's difficult to tell if Linux will take off in the mobile world as it has in the server and embedded platforms markets. While early pioneers such as Lineo and Montevista paved the way for Linux in the mobile space, Nokia's Symbian operating system and Microsoft's Mobile Windows have dominated commercially.