Symbian ported onto Atom motherboard

The Symbian Foundation says it has managed to get the Symbian mobile-phone OS working on an x86-based Atom motherboard, used mainly in netbooks

A Symbian Foundation team has ported the Symbian operating system, used in mobile phones, onto an Atom-based motherboard, which is used mainly in netbooks.

Lee Williams, the executive director of the Symbian Foundation, wrote in a blog on Thursday that the 'S60 on Symbian Customer Operations' (Sosco) team had Symbian compiling and running on "an off-the-shelf Atom-based motherboard from Intel".

"It would be most interesting to see what level of interest we can generate in this port, especially if that includes some major business partners willing to come in and invest in the development of a product solution, and one that enables some differentiators to come to market for consumers," Williams wrote. "I was most impressed with the responsiveness of the UI and upper application layers, and could only smile when we were able to quickly use a baseband modem port to make a call."

The Symbian Foundation, which was formed in June 2008 when Nokia bought Symbian, is an organisation that aims to fully open up the mobile operating system. The resulting open-source software will go head-to-head with other free handset OSs, such as the Google-led Android.

Android is itself in the process of being ported onto ARM-based motherboards which, like Intel's x86-based Atom, are destined for use in cheap, small devices such as netbooks and nettops.