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Motorola is ready to go open source with Linux handsets...
Written by Ben Charny, Contributor on

Motorola is ready to go open source with Linux handsets...

Motorola will begin selling its first mobile phone based on Linux this year and says most future models will follow suit, a major sign of the growing popularity of the operating system outside its stronghold on high-end computers. Motorola's Linux-powered A760, an elaborate colour-screen phone with a digital camera, MP3 audio player, video player and the ability to run Java programs, will go on sale in Asia in the third quarter, with introductions in Europe and the US at a later date. Eventually, the company plans to move Linux to lower-end phones, said Scott Durschlag, corporate vice president for strategy and business development for Motorola's personal communications sector. He said: "We think we'll move millions of units. I think you'll see it take over the majority of our portfolio going forward." However, in the wider market for powerful 'smart' phones, Linux won't have an easy time as it faces severe competition from arch rival Microsoft as well Palmsource and the Symbian consortium. By 2006, IDC believes Symbian will have increased its market share in powerful phones to 53 per cent from its current 46 per cent market share. Microsoft will have about 27 per cent of the market, with Palm at 10 per cent. Linux is predicted to take as much as 4.2 per cent, according to IDC.
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