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Symbian Foundation, an industry consortium that develops various versions of the Symbian operating system with the aim to create a more competitive open-source operating system, said that it had managed to port S60 operating system to Intel Atom platform. Potentially, this allows Atom to power smartphones and other mobile Internet devices (MIDs) powered by S60.

“The bright and capable guys in the SOSCO (S60 on Symbian Customer Operations) team have Symbian compiling via GCC and now running on an off the shelf Atom based motherboard from Intel. It would be most interesting to see what level of interest we can generate in this port, especially if that includes some major business partners willing to come in and invest in the development of a product solution, and one that enables some differentiators to come to market for consumers,” said Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation.

The head of Symbian Foundation claims that it did not make sense to replicate netbooks or other types of personal computers with S60 + Atom platform. However, mobile technology providers could develop brand-new category of products powered by Symbian OS as well as Intel Atom processor.

It is questionable whether Symbian S60 platform actually needs x86 microprocessor. Software developed for the S60 is aimed at ARM processors and take their performance constraints into consideration. It is unlikely that any software maker will develop programs for one or two devices on the market powered by Intel Atom. Nevertheless, the head of Symbian Foundation claims that even interface of S60 works better on Atom.

“I was most impressed with the responsiveness of the UI and upper application layers, and could only smile when we were able to quickly use a baseband modem port to make a call,” Mr. Williams said.

Earlier this year Nokia, the largest supporter of Symbian, said that it was interested in making netbooks.

Tags: Symbian, Nokia, Intel, x86

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