Motorola pledges 50 per cent Linux

by admin August 16, 2006 at 10:57 am

Getting ready for the mainstream

For Motorola, the number two maker of mobile phones, Linux is the way of the future.

Greg Besio, vice president of mobile device software, said in an interview at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo: “We’ve got to the point where 50 [per cent] to 60 per cent of our phone platforms will be Linux-based in the next couple years.”

So far, Motorola’s Linux phone efforts have been confined largely to Asia, and there only with high-end ‘feature phones’. Now Motorola has brought Linux to a more mainstream model, the ROKR E2, which Besio showed off during a speech at the Linux show.

But in 2007, consumers in North America and Europe will begin to see widespread Linux phones as Motorola pushes the open-source operating system into mainstream models costing between $100 and $300, Besio said. “That’s where we’re targeting Linux,” he said.

Since it began shipping Linux-powered mobile phones three years ago, the company has shipped five million handsets, Besio said. That may sound like a lot but five million in three years is a blip compared with, for example, the 51.9 million total it shipped in the second quarter of 2006, according to research firm iSuppli.

Linux’s spread to mobile phones is a remarkable achievement for an operating system that’s chiefly popular in powerful servers with multiple processors, abundant memory, and a full-time connection to a power plug. Linux – freely available and collectively developed by a numerous programmers across the world – has surpassed Microsoft operating systems in phones and is on track to surpass Symbian in 2010, Motorola said.

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