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Open source contributions

Specifically, Intel and Nokia have identified a number of open source projects they plan to collaborate with to deliver key technologies that Nokia’s Kai Öistämö say "will provide open source standard based means to deliver rich traffic and multimedia capability". These include oFono, ConnMan, Mozilla, X.Org, BlueZ, D-BUS, Tracker, GStreamer and PulseAudio. Many of those are projects that one or both companies have already been involved in (some, like X.Org, D-BUS and GStreamer are underlying components used in both Maemo and Moblin). Öistämö says, "we expect this alignment to continue and expand in the future" – suggesting that there are more open source projects that the two companies will weigh in on.

Neither Intel or Nokia is ready to say how they plan to manage their collaboration or contributions to these groups (beyond name-checking the Linux Foundation for Moblin), but Öistämö predicted this would involve a "significant contribution to a number of open source projects". O’Shea agrees: "There's a significant amount of innovation needed to deliver these mobile internet experience. If we're going to deliver rich Internet in mobile devices there's a series of components that will be required. We have to make sure as a community that we're well organised to deliver the right solutions for that."

Symbian logo Mass-market mobile Internet is obviously what Intel and Nokia want to deliver, in ways that Nokia’s Internet tablets and its work with the Symbian Foundation and Intel’s in-betweener Mobile Internet Devices have not managed so far. "We think we have to bring the rich internet, the full internet, the internet people expect, with PC-like experiences, to these new devices."

Giving what he characterised as "Intel’s opinion" on how the new platform might develop, O’Shea suggested "Where Intel and Nokia can help is to deliver devices that bring the always-connected internet experience and the PC-like experience. The internet we know and love in the PC environment we want to see in the hand-held environment in an uncompromised form. That's the direction Intel is taking and as we work on this collaboration we’d expect to see PC-like experiences on these devices."

Despite the emphasis on the needs of developers, there’s also no news on whether Intel will be using or promoting the Qt cross-platform application development environment that Nokia now owns (and has re-licensed under the more commercial-friendly LGPL). Nokia isn’t supporting Qt for the Upcoming Maemo 5 release, but it will in the following version, codenamed Harmattan, and in March it announced a preview release for Symbian S60. O’Shea said only that "it’s too early to comment on details of specific software stacks".

Next: oFono, a proof point for Nokia and Intel

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