Mobile Linux group gets members, phones and software

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless, LiMo Foundation, Linux

The LiMo Foundation plans to announce new members on Monday, including one that is sharing code for developing mobile Web applications, in what the group says is an indication that its Linux mobile-phone platform is maturing.

LiMo Foundation, which recently subsumed the faltering Linux Phone Standards Forum, said that it has attracted 11 new members and that seven additional commercially available phones are based on the LiMo platform.

New members include ZTE, Freescale Semiconductor, Telecom Italia, PacketVideo and VirtualLogix, among others.

The types of companies joining the group since its founding shows how the effort is expanding, said Andrew Shikiar, director of global marketing for the LiMo Foundation. Initial members of the group were exclusively handset makers and operators, he noted. Since then, the group has attracted interest from semiconductor companies, kernel vendors, handset integrators and middleware software vendors, he said. Such companies broaden the ecosystem involved in the effort, he said.

One additional new member, Movial, also announced on Monday that it is open-sourcing technology that developers can use to quickly and easily build user interfaces for browser-based widgets for LiMo phones. The technology, called Browser D-Bus Bridge, allows developers to build souped-up widgets that can incorporate phone capabilities such as instant messaging and audio.

Movial plans to release the code within 90 days.

LiMo also announced on Monday that seven additional commercial devices from Motorola, NEC and Panasonic use the LiMo platform. The phones, available in Europe or Japan, bring to a total 21 phones based on the platform.

The LiMo Foundation develops a Linux-based platform for building mobile phones. Mobile Linux is used most in China, despite its increasing buzz elsewhere. Google is using Linux to build its Android mobile-phone operating system, although Android is not part of LiMo, so the two platforms won't be interoperable.

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