The first version of the mobile Linux specification was released on Monday by the Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS).
Formed in 2005, LiPS comprises companies such as Orange, France Telecom, MontaVista, and Access. The released specifications, while covering all the key components necessary to build a smart phone, is not meant to replace a complete phone stack.
Says Bill Weinberg, general manager for LiPS, "The idea is to allow developers to create applications that will work on all phones that use the LiPS specification." However, the released specification does include a telephony API, which allows developers to create applications around the voice telephony functionality of the resulting device. This is something not found on some other phone platforms, notably Apple's iPhone.
LiPS expects to see multiple implementations of the standard in commercial phones, possibly quite soon, he said. In the next six months, the group should release some revisions to the specification based on real world experience. Beyond that, LiPS should begin releasing additional enabling technologies to the specification, he said.
With the recently announced Android by Google and the growing popularity of Microsoft's Windows Mobile, it would be interesting to see how the iPhone, with its closed operating system, will fare. I suppose that is something that only time will tell.
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Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.