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November 14, 2005

LiPS forum targets Linux phone application standards

The potential for Linux as a platform for mobile phone devices has been boosted by the formation of the second industry standardization initiative in a matter of weeks, this time by vendors including France Telecom SA and PalmSource Inc.

By CBR Staff Writer

France Telecom and PalmSource have formed the Linux Phone Standards, LiPS, Forum along with ARM, Cellon, Esmertec, FSMLabs, Huawei Technologies, Jaluna, MIZI Research, Montavista Software, and Open-Plug.

The vendors are coming together to develop standardized application programming interfaces to define Linux-based services, extensions to Software Development Kits to enable developers to take advantage of the LiPS APIs, and a testing methodology for LiPS implantations.

The formation of the LiPS Forum follows that of the Open Source Developments Labs’s Mobile Linux Initiative in October, which brought together the likes of MontaVista, PalmSource, Motorola, Trolltech, and Wind River Systems, to focus on creating requirements specifications for Linux as a mobile phone platform.

Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL, said the organization met with LiPS supporters earlier this year and that it appeared the two projects would be complementary, with LiPS focusing on the application layer, and the Mobile Linux Initiative focusing on Linux kernel improvements.

The LiPS Forum, meanwhile, noted that current standardization efforts have focused on Linux kernel optimization. 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, read a statement. 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.

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