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LiPS Forum Launched
Posted: 15-Nov-2005 [Source: Jaluna]

[Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum launched to accelerate adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices.]

Issy-Les-Moulinaux, France -- In response to the growing presence of Linux in phones, a consortium of companies with a strategic focus on Linux telephony today announced the launch of the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum. The LiPS Forum will accelerate the adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices by standardizing Linux-based services and APIs that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services. The founding members of LiPS Forum are ARM, Cellon, Esmertec, France Telecom/Orange, FSM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, MIZI Research, MontaVista Software, Open-Plug and PalmSource.

Haila Wang, president of the LiPS Forum, said, "Linux offers an increasingly attractive alternative to proprietary operating systems. By standardizing the Linux-based system services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), we will help to simplify the creation of fully functional Linux phones, ensuring they match the requirements of operators and increasing their appeal to consumers."

According to Canalys, the worldwide market share of Linux has more than doubled in each of the first three quarters of 2005. The nature of the open source development process has meant that the success of Linux in phones, as elsewhere, is reliant on standards that ensure interoperability and guard against fragmentation. To date, standardization efforts have focused on the important question of Linux kernel optimization to achieve improved boot time, power management, system footprint and other performance-related factors.

For mass-market telephony terminals, standards that enable key applications and services to be deployed with a high degree of interoperability are at least as important as performance characteristics. To meet this need, LiPS will define standards for Linux-based system services and APIs that are necessary to support the development and deployment of applications and user-level services that are an integral part of modern phones.

LiPS will support the deployment of applications and revenue generating services on Linux phones through three deliverables:

* Standardized Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that define the Linux-based system services that support the development and the deployment of applications and user-level services that run on phones.

* Standards for extensions to the Software Development Kits (SDKs) that allow developers to easily take advantage of LiPS APIs to develop their products.

* A testing methodology will be used to certify LiPS-compliant implementations.

To ensure alignment with the needs of the industry, LiPS will support requirements defined by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP), an association of mobile operators worldwide focused on defining the functional requirements of mobile phones. In so doing, the LiPS Forum will speed the availability of OMTP-compliant Linux-based mobile phones. For other classes of devices, such as converged devices, the LiPS Forum will seek input from its member operators and other industry bodies.

The success of Linux in phones, as elsewhere, is reliant on standards that ensure interoperability and guard against fragmentation. To date, standardization efforts have focused on the important question of Linux kernel optimization to achieve improved boot time, power management, system footprint and other performance-related factors. But for mass-market telephony terminals, standards that enable key applications and services to be deployed with a high degree of interoperability are at least as important as performance characteristics. LiPS has been created to meet this need that is crucial for modern phones and thus complement current initiative around Linux standardization.

Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.

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