Linux a Loser, Says Symbian

The mobile phone industry is nothing if not cutthroat, with each manufacturer — not to mention provider — doing everything they can to show up and stomp out its competition. What isn't usually seen, though, is an old-fashioned public call-out. That was until Symbian's Jerry Panagrossi took the stage at GigaOM's Mobilize conference and gave mobile Linux the go-over — all while sitting within inches of the LiMO Foundation's executive director.

Panagrossi — North American Operations VP for the soon-to-cease-to-exist Symbian — told conference-goers that Linux is "just a kernel" — hardly the first time we've heard that — and declared that any viable Linux phone is doomed to become proprietary. He went on to announce that there is no software that runs across all mobile Linux platforms, saying it was "high time we set the record straight."

He appeared to be employing the ever-popular "compliment sandwich," as he opened by praising the "wonderful work, fantastic work" done by Linux developers in the non-mobile market. The final slice, however, was added not by Panagrossi, but by Morgan Gillis of the LiMO Foundation, who reportedly did not take kindly to Symbian's stance. "On the question of whether Linux is suitable for mobile phones: I think that is a question that was answered four or five years ago. We've introduced 23 LiMO mobile phones since we launched last year." He went on to cite the millions of active Linux developers across a multitude of communities, and noting that Symbian's developers will soon all be punching the Nokia time-clock.

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