Motorola makes Linux breakthrough with RIZR Z6

Motorola's first Linux handset for the US market, the RIZR Z6, is also likely to be the first in the industry to run an "open" operating system - Linux, Symbian OS or Windows on a single- rather than dual-processor architecture. This shows that Linux is making significant improvements in its suitability to be an operating system for mobile devices, and could give Motorola a significant headstart in the battle to create low power, low cost smartphones.

It is also significant that Motorola said it had worked closely with Microsoft in the creation of the handset. This was primarily to allow it to sync with PCs running Windows Media, but indicates the gradual softening of Microsoft's attitude to working proactively with non-Windows platforms, as well as its growing closeness to Motorola.

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News source: The Reg

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15 Comments

A Norwegian company has been sellign a Linux based phone primarily aimed for developers for a while now I believe.

so hardly the first one the market.

Not that a phone is any better because it runs linux or an open OS anyway.

I think that the source article explains this a bit better a little further on than what was copied for the Neowin front page.

In most smartphones there is a baseband processor running a real time OS for basic tasks, mainly signal processing, and a separate applications processor with the complex OS.

MontaVista, Motorola's long time Linux supplier for phones, has been working for several years to add sufficient real time determinism to its Mobilinux software stack to enable single processor phone designs.

So, previous smartphones had two processors, running two different OSes (a realtime one for the radio and another one for the user interface). This one has incorporated the realtime stuff into the Linux OS, and therefore uses one OS, one processor.

HawkMan said,
Not that a phone is any better because it runs linux or an open OS anyway.

This is true, but for many of us it is a capital advantage.

lbmouse said,

This is true, but for many of us it is a capital advantage.

I can virtually guarantee you that if you take a motorola phone running windows, and one running linux, the price for the consumer would be the same, pretty much. Motorola isn't going to choose not to take advantage of a potential profit increase. Just like when they switched to foreign manufacturing, it may have become cheaper for them, but it didn't reduce retail prices any.

freeeekyyy said,
I can virtually guarantee you that if you take a motorola phone running windows, and one running linux, the price for the consumer would be the same, pretty much. Motorola isn't going to choose not to take advantage of a potential profit increase. Just like when they switched to foreign manufacturing, it may have become cheaper for them, but it didn't reduce retail prices any.

??? This is the advantage I'm talking about... for those of us in the Motodev network. This is also very good for the industry because competition drives innovation and efficiency. It is also advantageous for the consumer to have as much diversity and as many options as possible.

This phone can have any OS running on it? or just Linux? if it runs just linux, motorola had other phones that did used linux (e680, etc.).

Either way, i like the design and shape. If it ends up to be a good phone, I may buy it.

The Q is in a totally different league as this! While it still runs Linux, it is still a "dumbphone" as it acts exactly like a normal phone.

great news, finally a change of tone in motorola.
the OS that they have is just plain old.
i wouldn't mind at all having a phone that runs linux, it's way better that the thing they have.

paxa said,
great news, finally a change of tone in motorola.
the OS that they have is just plain old.
i wouldn't mind at all having a phone that runs linux, it's way better that the thing they have.

What's wrong with the current OS? Every function of the phone is accessible, that's really all that matters...

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