Symbian, a popular mobile phone platform developed by the Symbian Foundation, is about to undergo a massive conversion from proprietary to open source software. Symbian, used in almost all of Nokia's mobile devices, can be found on over 330 million different devices over the world – as such, it's a pretty big deal when software with a user base such as this becomes completely open for all to see (and edit).
According to Wired, the foundation is four months ahead of its schedule to move the project to open source, which is a pretty substantial amount of time for a project involving a platform of that size. The change to open source is a huge one for companies and individuals alike, as means that anyone will be able to view and modify the code of the operating system, regardless of which device it's currently being used on. This approach may seem somewhat familiar, however, as Google promised to make its Android platform open source as well (and has done so); executive director of the Symbian Foundation, Lee Williams, has promised that the Symbian open source project will go the extra mile.
Williams stated, "About a third of the Android code base is open and nothing more, and what is open is a collection of middleware. Everything else is closed or proprietary." On the contrary, Symbian will be made completely open source, providing the best possible experience for developers. To add to the open source announcement, the Symbian Foundation will announce its platform roadmap and upcoming features all the way to 2011, noting that anybody can influence the roadmap as well as help with new features. If you're interested in getting more involved with the Symbian platform, check out the open source operating system tomorrow. Just a warning, some software associated with features of the phones has yet to be released under an open source license, according to Yahoo!.