The mobile Linux forum, Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum, recently announced a new standard for Linux-based phones. The LiPS Forum has completed work on a standard that it hopes will bring cross compatibility to applications and services deployed on Linux-based phones.
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The goal of the LiPS Forum is to accelerate the adoption of Linux in phones by standardising the services and APIs that directly influence the development, deployment, and interoperability of applications and end user services.
In layman's terms, it is seeking to deal with what is likely mobile Linux's biggest problem. While an application written for one Palm OS smartphone can run on another, and the same is true of device running Symbian/S60, BlackBerry, etc, at this point there's little or no cross-compatibility among software written for Linux-based smartphones.
However, companies that follow the LiPS forum's new standard in making devices and software will get application compatibility.
This new standard from the LiPS Forum immediately invites comparison with the Android platform, a Linux-based operating system and associated software being developed by Google and the Open Handset Alliance.
There is a significant difference between them, though. While the OHA is developing its own operating system, the LiPS Forum is not. Instead, it trying to get other groups that are working on mobile versions of Linux to follow a set of standards that will allow an application written for one version to run on another.
However, it still seems like these two groups are going to act as rivals, as few of the members of one group belong to the other. Most of the LiPS Forum is based in Europe, while the OHA includes more U.S. companies.
The founding members of the LiPS Forum are Access, ARM, Cellon International, Esmertec, France Telecom, Orange, Huawei Technologies, MISI Research, MontaVista Software, Open-Plug and VirtualLogix.
The OHA includes Google, Intel, TI, Sprint, T-Mobile, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Wind River, and many more.