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Brief Introduction of Symbian

Symbian is the name of a family of open source operating systems and software platforms designed for smart phones, first developed by Psion then by Symbian Ltd., a software development and licensing company and later by the non-profit organization, the Symbian Foundation. The earliest incarnation of this family was the proprietary EPOC which later evolved into Symbian OS, a mobile operating system. This later became the open source Symbian platform, also known under the names of Symbian^1... Symbian^4.

User Interfaces that Run on or are Based on Symbian OS Include:

* Symbian S60 (used by among others Nokia)

* Symbian S80 (previously used by Nokia)

* Symbian S90 (previously used by Nokia)

* Symbian UIQ (previously used by Sony-Ericsson)

Brief Introduction of Symbian Foundation

The Symbian Foundation is a non-profit organisation that stewards the Symbian platform; an operating system for mobile phones, based on Symbian OS, which was previously owned and licensed by Symbian Ltd.. Symbian Foundation does not directly develop the platform, but evangelises, co-ordinates and ensures compatibility. It also provides key services to its members and the community such as collecting, building and distributing Symbian source code. It also provides:

* Software development kits and tools
* Documentation and example code
* Discussion forums and mailing lists
* Application signing (Symbian Signed)
* Application distribution (Symbian Horizon)
* Idea gathering and feedback (Symbian Ideas)

Symbian platform releases are styled Symbian^1, Symbian^2 etc. (vocalised as "Symbian one", "Symbian two"). Although scheduled for mid-2010, Symbian^3 was officially released Q4 2010, the Symbian^3 platform was made available under the Eclipse Public License, an open source license, on 4 February 2010. Symbian Foundation reports this event to be the largest codebase transitioned to Open Source in history. Access to the full source code of an earlier release of the Symbian platform, Symbian^2, is still limited to member organisations, but membership is open to any organisation.

Unlike Symbian OS, which required an additional user interface system (either S60, UIQ or MOAP(s)), the Symbian platform includes a user interface component.

The Foundation was founded by Nokia, Sony Ericsson, NTT DoCoMo, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Vodafone, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, STMicroelectronics and AT&T.

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