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Nokia Buys Out Symbian and Open Sources It

In a scenario reminiscent of what AOL did with Netscape (or Sun Microsystems with Star Office), Nokia has purchased the remaining stakes in Symbian and open sourced the platform as the mobile smartphone market heats up and competition threatens.

The day after it announced the acquisition of mobile Social networking firm Plazes, Nokia has purchased the remaining 52 percent of Symbian for USD 410 million and has already announced that it will open source the operating system, in a direct response to the rising threat of Google's Android as well as Apple's iPhone, the Open Source LiMO foundation and Windows Mobile Platform.

This bold move has not gone down down well with the market observers as Nokia's share prices fell marginally in after hour tradings.

Symbian software is present in two-thirds of smartphones currently on the market but only in six percent of all mobile phones worldwide; open sourcing Symbian would mean an uphill battle for rivals as developers and manufacturers are expected to flock to the platform and make it their own.

Sony Ericsson, Ericsson, Panasonic and Siemens and possibly Samsung Electronics have agreed to cell their Symbian stakes; after all Open Sourcing the OS in the face of adversity is possibly the best way to keep control of the software environment while encouraging its use.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.