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    Linux Phone Standards Forum formed to take on competing OS


    LiPS puckers up to address Linux telephony needs

    A consortium of companies with a focus on Linux telephony today announced the launch of the Linux Phone Standards (LiPS) Forum. The LiPS Forum is intended to accelerate the adoption of Linux in fixed, mobile and converged devices by standardising Linux-based services and APIs that most directly influence the development, deployment and interoperability of applications and user-level services.

    The founding members of LiPS Forum are  ARM, Cellon, Esmertec, France Telecom/Orange, FSM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, MIZI Research, Montavista Software, Open-Plug and PalmSource.

    Haila Wang, president of the LiPS Forum said, Linux offers an increasingly attractive alternative to proprietary operating systems. By standardising the Linux-based system services and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), we will help to simplify the creation of fully functional Linux phones, ensuring they match the requirements of operators and increasing their appeal to consumers. 

    According to Canalys, the worldwide market share of Linux has more than doubled in each of the first three quarters of 2005.  To date, standardisation efforts have focused on the question of Linux kernel optimisation to achieve improved boot time, power management, system footprint and other performance-related factors.

    For mass-market telephony terminals, standards that enable key applications and services to be deployed with a high degree of interoperability are at least as important as performance characteristics. To meet this need, LiPS will define standards for Linux-based system services and APIs that are necessary to support the development and deployment of applications and user-level services that are an integral part of modern phones.

    LiPS says it  will support the deployment of applications and revenue generating services on Linux phones through three deliverables:

    –          Standardised Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that define the Linux-based system services that support the development and the deployment of applications and user-level services that run on phones.

    –          Standards for extensions to the Software Development Kits (SDKs) that allow developers to easily take advantage of LiPS APIs to develop their products.

    –          A testing methodology that will be used to certify LiPS-compliant implementations

    The group of companies have also made a nod towards one oprator led alliance, the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP), which seeks to formalise phone functionality. By committing LiPS to the support of requirements defined by OMTP, the Forum hopes to speed the availability of OMTP compliant Linux-based mobile phones.

    For other classes of devices such as converged devices, the LiPS Forum says it will “seek input” from its member operators and other industry bodies.