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February 14, 2010

Symbian unveils fully open source S^3 platform

Expects first devices using the platform to ship in third quarter

By CBR Staff Writer

The Symbian Foundation has unveiled the Symbian^3 (S^3) platform, the first entirely open source release following the platform’s transition to an open source license earlier this month.

Members of the Symbian community including device creators, network operators, hardware technology providers, professional services companies and application developers are already engaged with S^3 and the first devices using the platform are expected to ship in Q3 2010.

S^3, which is expected to be feature complete by the end of Q1, will include usability and interface advances, networking architecture, acceleration for 2D and 3D graphics in games and applications, HDMI support, music store integration, an enhanced user interface with navigation and multi-touch gesture support, and the ability to run applications simultaneously, the Foundation said.

In addition, the S^3 advances include efficient memory management as the writeable data paging allows more applications to run in parallel for a faster, more complete and efficient multi-tasking experience, especially on mid-range hardware. It also includes features ready for 4G networks; one-click connectivity, without interrupting the user; and the homescreen with support for multiple pages of widgets and a flick gesture to move between them.

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Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation, said: “S^3 is another huge milestone in the evolution of our platform. Now that it is fully open source, the door is open to individual contributors, device creators and third-party developer companies, as well as other organisations, to create more compelling products and services than ever before.

“We have enjoyed significant momentum since we completed S^2, with companies including Sun, Nokia, Ixonos, Comarch and Accenture, among others, contributing to S^3. We are now looking to build on this momentum and remain on course to complete S^4 later this year.”

The Qt toolkit is pre-integrated into all kits and the runtime in S^3 will run on existing devices back to S60 3.1. The web runtime support provided in the platform allows web developers to directly re-use their skills in HTML, CSS, Javascript and Ajax to create homescreen widgets and standalone applications.

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