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Symbian OS goes free and open-source, in the biggest switch in software history

Fans of free and open source software, I hope you have a change of pants handy, because this is some big news. Symbian, a platform that has been proprietary and closed-source for a decade, just opened up its code and turned free. It's been close to two years since Nokia first announced plans to open the source code for the OS.

The Symbian Foundation is boasting that this is the biggest switch from closed to open in the history of software. With their software powering 330 million Nokia devices, that sounds like a reasonable claim.

It's no secret that Android played a big role in this move. The competition from Google's hot new mobile OS (that's been marketed as an open alternative) meant that Symbian had to make a change. Now all of Symbian's code is open, and they can take shots at Android for its partially-closed code. Symbian's roadmap of planned features through 2011 will soon be published for anyone to comment on and contribute to. Hopefully, this move will keep the aging OS around past that point.

[via Wired]

Tags: free, mobile, open-source, opensource, OS, osupdates, platform, symbian