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Symbian: the dust cloud rises

I'm at the Symbian Exchange & Exposition 2010 conference in Amsterdam. The dust from yesterday's announcement — that Nokia bringing Symbian development back in-house — is nowhere near settling down.
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Written by David Meyer on

I'm at the Symbian Exchange & Exposition 2010 conference in Amsterdam. The dust from yesterday's announcement — that Nokia bringing Symbian development back in-house — is nowhere near settling down.

In retrospect, it seems clear that things were scaling down for the Foundation. This is the first of these shows not to take place in London, and there's no dedicated press room — this is really for the devs and the 'ecosystem'. The Beurs van Berlage, the former commodity exchange where it's being held this year, has a smaller lecture theatre than those used in the days when Sony Ericsson and Samsung were still in the game.

Call it a tightening of focus.

The people I've spoken to so far this morning — from the Symbian side and from the wider ecosystem — have no idea what's going on yet. Some think Nokia will take a few weeks to fully explain the way things are going to work now, while others hope that information will come out at the show. The speeches haven't started yet and everyone's already quite desperately looking forward to tonight's party (in a brewery; insert joke here).

Many certainly see it as a good thing that Nokia's back in charge. This could mean development of the platform gets a boost. Is it a bad thing that Nokia is also working on MeeGo? Not necessarily, they say: Symbian's still best for the low end of the market, and app developers shouldn't care anyway because Nokia's insistence on the use of Qt means apps will work on either platform. Symbian still has at least five years left in it, one person opined. Does this all mean that, despite being open source now, Symbian won't be as open as it was? How will it be licensed, and to whom? No-one knows yet.

Let's see what Nokia has to say for itself...

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