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PalmSource Joins Linux Phone Standards Forum

PalmSource LogoPalmSource today announced that it is a founding member of the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum. The LiPS Forum, a consortium of leading companies, has come together to accelerate the adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices by standardizing Linux-based services and APIs that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services.

The primary goal of the LiPS Forum is to establish standards for the growing numbers of companies providing Linux-based technologies for mobile, fixed and converged telephony terminals. With the rapid increase of Linux's popularity in these markets, there is an increasing need for industry standards to avoid fragmentation and ensure interoperability of technologies from different vendors. The LiPS Forum intends to support device manufacturers and operators in bringing to market Linux-based devices at a lower cost, while facilitating the programming and development process for software and semiconductor vendors. Additionally, the LiPS Forum plans to foster communication between the open source community and the telecom industry in order to drive market awareness.

Michael Kelley, senior vice president of engineering from PalmSource, commented, "Becoming a part of the LiPS Forum further demonstrates our belief in the potential of Linux and our plans to developing on Linux. We believe that by simplifying the adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices, and working to ensure that they match the requirements of operators and consumers, the LiPS Forum will play an important part in making Linux a truly mass market proposition."

About the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS)

The Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum is a consortium of leading industry players formed to standardize the Linux-based services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services.

Alongside PalmSource, the founding members include France Telecom/Orange, FSM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, MontaVista Software, MIZI Research, Open Plug, Arm, Cellon and Esmertec.

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Standards are great

Sam H @ 11/14/2005 1:51:02 PM # Q
there are so many to choose from.
RE: Standards are great
cervezas @ 11/14/2005 2:02:47 PM # Q
there are so many to choose from.

That was my first reaction, too, but I think that may be something of a misunderstanding of what's happening here. OSDL is more focused on low-level stuff whereas Lips is working at the application level, for example. And apparently where the overlap does occur it is in response to differing demands from operators in different regions. It seems to me that the upshot of these initiatives is genuinely coalescent as opposed to fragmentational.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

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Mobile Linux forms a phalanx

cervezas @ 11/14/2005 1:37:06 PM # Q
This Lips group is an interesting development I think because they're actually working on standards for the application layer. Establishing a standard API for all mobile Linux applications to utilize various system services and resources on the device should simplify the porting of applications between Palm OS and other Linux-based device platforms. It should also enable application development work to be leveraged across Linux devices with different "profiles" (i.e. smartphone, feature phone, etc) which could make new Linux phones much faster to deliver than they currently are.

It seems to me that more than any other Linux initiative to date this one signifies that the various members of the mobile Linux ecosystem are seeing their efforts as a collaborative and concerted effort to displace Windows Mobile and Symbian. The fact that PalmSource is in the middle of this is great. This is the kind of leadership that several analysts hoped PalmSource would bring to the currently fragmented mobile Linux scene in order to make Linux a credible threat to WM and Symbian.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Mobile Linux forms a phalanx
AdamaDBrown @ 11/14/2005 6:31:21 PM # Q
More like a circular firing squad. They can pay all the lip service they want to interoperability, but Linux will never be a significant player in the market without a single standard user interface, API set, and system profile. And in an open source environment, that won't happen because no company will want to pay money for someone else's software when they could hack together their own. PSRC has yet to prove that they can overcome that.

RE: Mobile Linux forms a phalanx
cervezas @ 11/14/2005 10:25:21 PM # Q
AdamaDBrown wrote:
More like a circular firing squad. They can pay all the lip service they want to interoperability, but Linux will never be a significant player in the market without a single standard user interface, API set, and system profile.

Which is precisely what LiPS is about. Did you not read this?

...no company will want to pay money for someone else's software when they could hack together their own.

Last I checked Motorola thought it was worth at least $300M to buy "someone else's software" in favor of the hacked together Linux platform they're using now. It's not such an easy thing to build a good phone platform these days. And once you're done hacking it together it's not so easy to sell it to the operators if it doesn't come with applications.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
Software Everywhere blog
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Mobile Linux forms a phalanx
AdamaDBrown @ 11/16/2005 2:26:49 PM # Q
Yes, I've read it. I've also read about the dozen other similar inititives, none of which will pan out. Putting a bunch of Linux engineering firms together doesn't magically produce a good UI and simple compatibility. Indeed, it's the fact that Linux was built by and for propeller-heads that is responsible for its position as the most user unfriendly OS available.

If Linux is going to have a future, it's as an underlayer for another OS, similar to the Unix core for Mac OS X.

The Moto offer wasn't about choosing one flavor of Linux over another. PalmSource has IP and assets, actual code which belongs only to them. You can't say that about most Linux shops.

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