THE SYMBIAN FOUNDATION will become a licensing organisation by April of next year and most its 100 employees are expected to have to find new jobs.
After Samsung and Sony Ericsson ended their involvement with the 'sort of' open source operating system, the Foundation decided to change its structure because only Nokia is still engaged.
The Symbian Foundation will from next April only involve itself in licensing the operating system and dealing with other intellectual property such as the trademark.
Tim Holbrow, Symbian executive director, and Jo Harlow, SVP of Symbian Devices at Nokia, told a media teleconference that Symbian will continue alongside Meego, and that Series 30 and Series 40 and will be available for smartphone deployment.
Holbrow and Harlow explained that the Foundation's board decided today to make the change. Asked if it was a Nokia decision, Holbrow and Harlow insisted that it was not.
It had already been announced that Symbian would continue in an open source mode with a new approach to interacting with the developer community, but neither Holbrow or Harlow could give any further details.
What was also not clear was the fate of the 100 Foundation employees. Holbrow said "they would have a choice" when asked if they could work for Nokia. The Finnish phone company has already announced 1,800 staff will go after the change of approach with Symbian. Last month the head of the Symbian Foundation resigned, which didn't bode well.
In a statement, Harlow said, "Nokia expects to sell more than 50 million Symbian^3 smartphones." But nobody else. µ
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