Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mobile Linux going up the stack with Trolltech Greensuite

Today Trolltech announced the Greensuite Initiative with the support of some nice companies (among them, Funambol). The idea is simple: move Mobile Linux up the stack.

If you have been following Mobile Linux and the various initiatives, you know the bulk of the discussion is still on how to make the power management work... Trolltech moves the discussion a bit up the stack, integrating solutions from multiple vendors and providing what they call a "menu of technologies". In their words:
The Qtopia Greensuite initiative gives customers the ability to select from a menu of technology choices enabling them to build a device specific to their requirements and target market they wish to address. The Initiative brings the leading Linux-based application platform, Qtopia Phone Edition; a hardware development device, Qtopia Greenphone; and a set of partner technologies together giving customers a pre-integrated software solution.
The idea is smart. You take a Linux OS and you build a GUI around it, but you still missing some components that are key for operators (such as push email from Funambol, which the world is really in needs of ;-). The variety of demands from consumers in this market is unbelievable. You cannot cover all the bases. Therefore, you partner with software vendors and have them build something on top of your "client middleware".

The Greenphone and this initiative are not that far away from OpenMoko and our agreement with FIC. The difference is that Trolltech is not a device manufacturer, so they cannot build unlocked devices and flood the market. However, they have relationships with carriers and device manufacturer, which helps a lot.

In any way you look at it, it is another great step for open source in mobile. Mobile Linux is enjoying a lot of momentum lately. If you read the recent Vodafone announcement about standardizing on three operating systems (Linux, Symbian, Windows Mobile), which one will cover the extreme vast majority of their devices, which are consumer oriented?

I guessed so. Long life to Mobile Linux.