Friday, May 26, 2006

Nokia Bets on Open Source for Cell Phone Browser

TechNewsWorld reports that Nokia (NOK) "released its S60 mobile browser source code under the open source BSD license this week, claiming the move will promote handset platform consistency and avoid the fragmentation that has held back mobile browsing."

According to the article, "the source code for the S60 WebKit browser engine is being made available to open source developers on the Webkit Open Source Project site, and includes user interface (UI) reference implementation and other features for mobile performance enhancements, including a memory manager, mouse pointer, text search support, mobility support for dynamic HTML and its scripting language, and preservation of Web page layouts on mobile screens."

The "Nokia's S60 browser, to be included initially in ESeries and NSeries devices as well as the Nokia 3250 music smartphone, is based on WebCore and JavaScriptCore components of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL), and is being offered by Nokia through a partnership between the two companies."

Gartner analyst Phil Redman said, "There are so many varieties of operating systems and platforms to the same software segment." He pointed out that "none of the platforms, including Java or open source software, appear to be emerging as industry favorites, and this comes to the detriment of the whole industry."

Redman remarked, "Just like the PC world, it's not going to be big business unless [vendors] have one platform they can all run their applications on."