The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux(r), today announced the formation of a new working group, the Mobile Linux Initiative (MLI), focused on accelerating the adoption of Linux in the rapidly-growing mobile market.
OSDL is creating MLI in response to input from its membership and the growing global demand for Linux-based mobile platform requirements. Research firm Ovum reports that worldwide mobile phone sales grew 31 percent in 2004 and that more than 2.8 billion phones are expected to be in use by 2009. As the mobile market continues to explode, handset manufacturers are increasingly turning to Linux as a strategic platform to deliver more capable mobile devices, increase flexibility, speed time-to-market, and lower costs.
"Linux provides mobile device manufacterers with a powerful platform and unmatched interoperabiity to deliver new capabilities in advanced handsets," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. ''In much the same way that the OSDL Carrier Grade Linux working group helped accelerate Linux adoption in telecommunications network infrastructure, we believe that MLI will create the ideal forum where device manufacturers, network operators and developers can focus specifically on Linux and open source applications to move mobile handsets to the next level of functionality and profitability."
The MLI working group is designed to maximize the market opportunity for Linux-based devices. MLI participants will work on operating system technical challenges, foster development of applications for Linux-based mobile devices, deliver requirements definition documents and use cases, and host complementary open source projects that support the initiative. MontaVista Software, Motorola, PalmSource, Trolltech, and Wind River are among the first members to participate in MLI.
"As a leader in Mobile Linux, with more than three million Linux-based handsets already shipped, Motorola is proud to work with organizations like OSDL to promote open standards within the mobile market,'' said Christy Wyatt, vice president, Ecosystem and Market Development, Motorola Mobile Devices. ''Open solutions like Linux enable us to deliver innovation and differentiation faster and at lower costs creating better choices for carriers and consumers.''
"Linux has enormous potential in the mobile space as it is well placed to meet growing demand for handsets that deliver both flexibility and advanced features,'' said Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum. ''OSDL and its members are in a position to help facilitate a shift for handset manufacturers moving to Linux.''
"OSDL is a proven launch pad for Linux technology and collaboration. Carrier Grade Linux is a perfect example of an OSDL initiative that has been widely accepted by the industry,'' said Michael Kelley, senior vice president, engineering, for PalmSource, Inc. ''With OSDL bringing together key players in the mobile market, we believe that it will be possible to provide technically sound Linux implementations for mobile devices; deliver the business benefits we expect; and give our customers more choice and value in the services and products that we can offer.''
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