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Old 11-14-2005, 11:31 AM   #1
Colin Dunstan
Is papyrophobic!
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Consortium is to set standards for Linux-based smartphones

It's been a banner year for cell phones, though Linux-based smartphones are still scarce. C|Net reports that members of the Linux Phone Standard (Lips) Forum, including PalmSource, MontaVista and France Telecom's Orange, are planning to standardize Linux interfaces in an effort to make Linux phones more competitive.

"There's a need for an alternative to Microsoft and Symbian," said John Ostrem, a Lips board member, founder of China Mobilesoft and now lead scientist at PalmSource. "We're interested in reducing fragmentation and introducing a standard Linux platform that will allow people to make Linux phones faster, at lower cost, and with greater interoperability."

For a user interface standard to increase usability in the resulting products, two conditions have to be met: The standard must specify a usable interface, and the standard must be usable by developers so that they actually build the interface according to the specifications. If the companies miss either of the two conditions, it's very likely that the interface standards are to be violated - which is probably not always a bad thing.

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