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Symbian S60 operating system ported to Intel’s Atom

April 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm


Symbian on AtomThere are a number of different operating systems that are vying for attention on netbooks. Apart from the upcoming Windows 7, there are a number of Linux variants such as Google’s Android. Now, Symbian is also showing its efforts in a proof of concept experiment where it has run Symbian S60 5th Edition on an off the shelf Intel Atom based system.

I imagine Symbian has done this to highlight the flexibility of the Symbian platform beyond the use of smartphones into other devices. The Symbian team hopes to generate some interest in such a platform in the form of an investor. Whilst the screen shots show that it is very rough around the edges, the team were pleased with the “responsiveness of the UI and upper application layers”.

As Intel Atom (x86) processors are found in most netbooks I can understand why they chose the Intel platform. However, I think the more interesting combination would be to see this run on an ARM-based netbook, which would give it significantly greater battery life than that seen on an Atom-powered netbook. Indeed, this could be a combination that Nokia may be planning for its rumoured netbook entry.

However, I can understand that if Symbian has grand ambitions, then making its operating system available to any type of platform will be key to its success. At the end of the day, ODMs want choice and flexibility when designing new products and it looks like Symbian has taken the first step to give them just that.

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