These are tough and challenging times for Symbian, and the future doesn’t look too bright either. The Symbian foundation held its final council meeting on November 24, and the board is expected to be dissolved on December 16.
The open source Symbian project as we know it is dead. All official websites, including source code repositories, will be shutting down on December 17. For a majority of Symbian employees, Dec 17 will be their last day in office. A small transition team will be retained till Q1 2011.
Once the Symbian Foundation closes down, Nokia will once again be in control of the Symbian project. Petra Soderling, Director of Symbian Ecosystem at Nokia, has reemphasized that Nokia is still bullish about the future of Symbian. Nokia is sticking to its projection of more than 50 million Symbian^3 based devices being sold. Nokia is also looking for an alternate open and direct model for making the platform available to the community in future. They want the alternate model to be “no less open, free and flexible” than today’s. However, it will not feature a council type of governance.
The death of the Symbian project doesn’t necessarily mean the doom of Symbian. Many Symbian enthusiasts are still optimistic about the platform. MyNokiaBlog is hopeful that without the stifling bureaucracy of the Symbian Foundation, Nokia will be able to iterate Symbian faster, in order to become competitive once again. Let’s hope that they are correct. Because, unless Nokia manages to significantly improve Symbian, it is definitely doomed as a smartphone operating system.