NTT DoCoMo "doesn't like" Windows and has developed a common software platform that can run on both Linux and Symbian that will damage the software giant's efforts to break into the mobile market.
The common platform is designed to cut costs and speed development of difficult-to-make 3G phones, said DoCoMo. The platform consists of middleware for common services and functions, customised modules for the operating systems, sample device drivers, sample application software, handset emulator software for personal computers, and development guidelines.
From now on, DoCoMo expects that most or all of its new 3G handsets will run on either Linux or Symbian OS, a spokesman said. Vendors will be able to decide which operating system they adopt.
The company is not pushing development of any other operating systems, he said. "To tell you the truth, we don't like... and we don't have a plan to invest in Windows. Windows is not for the mobile space, the files are big."
DoCoMo also announced three new handsets that are compatible with the new platform. The N901iC by NEC and P901i by Panasonic use a Linux version of the platform, while the F901iC by Fujitsu uses Symbian.
The handsets announced this week are the end results of two joint projects to develop phones based on the common software program: one between DoCoMo, NEC and Panasonic; the other between DoCoMo and Fujitsu.
The N901iC is the first mobile phone made by NEC that uses Linux. The common platform will help NEC more easily add third-party application software into future 3G mobile phones. NEC is also considering placing Linux on future 3G handsets for the international market. "We can't say that every single 3G phone from now on will have Linux, but most of them will," said a spokeswoman.
Panasonic's future Linux-based phones will be primarily for the Japanese market, but the company also plans to use Linux for models for international sale, said a spokesman. "Linux is for phones for the domestic market first and foremost, then for phones for overseas," he said.