Symbian Shutters Its Sites

Sarah Thomas
LR Mobile News Analysis
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

The Symbian Foundation 's rapid downward spiral continued today as the open-source consortium announced it will shut down the Websites it hosts and stop offering its free software come December 17.

According to the Symbian Ltd. Developer Wiki, the defunct organization is working hard to make sure that most of the content accessible through its sites, including source code, kits, wiki, bug database, reference documentation, and Symbian ideas, will still be available as a DVD Or USB hard drive by the end of January -- for a fee. Source code, however, will no longer be available come mid-December.

Forum Nokia is now the best place to find any developer support, Symbian wrote on the site.

Why this matters
Symbian shutting down its online presence was the natural next step after announcing earlier this month that it would transition into a licensing-only body, letting Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) take development back in house. (See Nokia Takes the Helm at Symbian, Symbian Adopts Licensing Model, and Nokia Commits to Symbian.)

Nokia has already become both the platform's developer and its only major customer, but it has remained vague on how open it plans to keep the OS when it makes it available "to the ecosystem via an alternative direct and open model." (See OS Watch: Samsung, Sony Ericsson Ditch Symbian.)

Michael Bramlage, Nokia's director of media, says that the handset maker's plans for Symbian haven't changed, but it is relegating it to smartphones, where Android dominates. MeeGo is its OS of choice for more advanced devices. Developers can, however, use Nokia's Qt app framework to ensure their apps work on both platforms, but as we've yet to see a MeeGo device, it is unclear how much control Nokia will actually give the ecosystem as it learns from Symbian's open-source failure. (See OS Watch: Developers Rally for Symbian .)

For more
Check out these stories to track Symbian's road to the end and Nokia's OS ups and downs:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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