Symbian Mobile Platform Goes Open Source: A Sign it is in Its Twilight Years?

I’m a big fan of Open Source software. In fact, I spent most of the past decade configuring and managing Linux based servers running Apache httpd, MySQL, and PHP/Python (LAMP) based server software (with a mix of Perl, Ruby, and bunches of other Open Source products). So, I’m always interested to learn about developments in this space.

Symbian, whose mobile S60 platform powers much of the current generation of Nokia smartphones, announced a while back that they were moving the platform from a proprietary one to an Open Source one. This transition is now completed as announced in the Symbian Blog…

The Symbian open source opportunity

Had this been announced two or three years ago, it would have a been a big deal. But, today? Not so much. Nokia has already said that their high-end smartphone future lies with the Linux-based Maemo platform. Symbian’s S60 will be used in the mid-range (at best) smartphones. Nokia didn’t even bother to mention Symbian’s Open Source announcement in one of their official blogs like Nokia Conversations.

There are a lot of reasons why software projects go the Open Source route. Most simply start out that way because the founder(s) believes it is the right thing to do (code should be freely available). But, I always wonder why a long proprietary product switches to Open Source. It seems to me that these license transitions occur when a proprietary product is in its twilight years and hoping for a kickstart from new blood. Is this the case with Symbian? We’ll see.

Via Wired.com: Symbian Operating System, Now Open Source and Free