Motorola is making the switch to Linux OS for up to 60 percent of its affordable midrange handsets.Motorola has decided to use a Linux-based operating system in new mobile phone models. The company intends to have the OS installed on 60 percent of its new handsets within the next two years. The handset giant has already installed Linux on the Razr2 V8, the next generation of slim phone and successor to the hugely popular Motorola RAZR phone.

Because third party software developers are fast becoming an important part of the cell phone market, switching to a uniform, Linux-based OS is widely considered to be an excellent move. Cell phone operating systems often differ between companies, and can even deviate between handsets from the same provider. Motorola has been manufacturing it’s smartphones with Linux OS for several years—this new move will be to bring Linux to more of the manufacturer’s affordable or “midrange” handsets.

Motorola plans to do this via Motomagx, the newest version of the mobile Linux platform already used in Motorola smartphones. The company unveiled the revamped, much improved OS at LinuxWorld on Tuesday August 7, 2007. The new system will offer a new development option called WebUI, which is designed to bring Web 2.0 applications to your cellular handset.

On-phone software is accelerating the rate at which new tools and technologies reach the marketplace.Getting phone companies to agree on a single Linux platform has been a major hurdle in expanding the mobile software development community. Motorola has recently tackled that as well, forming LiMo Foundation earlier this year. Along with NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, Samsung and Matsushita Electric (otherwise known to the world as Panasonic), Motorola intends to use the foundation to develop a more uniform Linux operating system for mobile phones, thus making the Linux-based third party software market a more enticing one.

Mobile operators control software development more tightly in the United States. To this end, Motorola is helping stateside developers get their applications noticed by carriers and consumers alike. Motorola will continue to offer Microsoft OS phones even after the Motorola Linux model is widely adopted, however the company believes that Linux is fast becoming one of the three main mobile phone operating systems in the industry.

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