Nokia completes Symbian acquisition

Stage is set for eventual release of open-source mobile operating system based on the Symbian OS and backed by several partners in the Symbian Foundation.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
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Tom Krazit
Nokia's N97 runs the Symbian operating system, which will be released as an open-source project next year now that Symbian is part of Nokia. Nokia

Nokia spent most of Tuesday buzzing about its N97 phone, but it also quietly completed an important step in its plan to evolve as a mobile computing company.

Symbian announced that Nokia has formally completed the acquisition of the world's biggest smartphone operating system company. The companies announced their plans earlier this year to have Nokia buy out the remaining partners in Symbian with the ultimate goal of releasing the Symbian operating system under an open-source license.

Devices such as the N97 run Symbian OS, which is by far and away the most widely used smartphone operating system in the world thanks to market-share leader Nokia's historically close ties with the developer. Starting next year, Nokia intends to form the Symbian Foundation with companies like AT&T, Texas Instruments, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and others with the intent of creating a royalty-free open-source operating system. Sound familiar?

After entertaining the world press in Barcelona during the early part of this week, Symbian and Nokia executives will be in San Francisco later this week to discuss their plans for mobile computing and open source, and we'll have reports from the Symbian Partner Event on Thursday.