Symbian OS is designed for the mobile phone environment. It addresses constraints of mobile phones by providing a framework to handle low memory situations, a power management model, and a rich software layer implementing industry standards for communications, telephony and data rendering. Even with these abundant features, Symbian OS puts no constraints on the integration of other peripheral hardware. This flexibility allows handset manufacturers to pursue innovative and original designs.
Symbian OS is proven on several platforms. It started life as the operating system for the Psion series of consumer PDA products (including Series 5mx, Revo and netBook), and various adaptations by Diamond, Oregon Scientific and Ericsson. The first dedicated mobile phone incorporating Symbian OS was the Ericsson R380 Smart phone, which incorporated a flip-open keypad to reveal a touch screen display and several connected applications. Most recently available is the Nokia 9210 Communicator, a mobile phone that has a QWERTY keyboard and color display, and is fully open to third-party applications written in Java or C++.
The five key points - small mobile devices, mass-market, intermittent wireless connectivity, diversity of products and an open platform for independent software developers - are the premises on which Symbian OS was designed and developed. This makes it distinct from any desktop, workstation or server operating system. This also makes Symbian OS different from embedded operating systems, or any of it! Competitors, which weren't designed with all these key points in mind.
Symbian is committed to open standards. Symbian OS has a POSEX-complains interface and a Sun-approved JVM, and the company is actively working with emerging standards, such as J2ME, Bluetooth, MMS, SyncML, IPv6 and WCDMA As well as its own developer support organization, books, papers and courses Symbian delivers a global network of third-party competency and training centers - the Symbian Competence Centers and Symbian Training Centers. These are specifically directed at enabling other organizations and developers to take part in this new economy. Symbian has announced and implemented a strategy that will set Symbian OS running on many advanced open mobile phones.
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