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A group of key players in the mobile industry are joining forces to develop a global, open Linux-based software platform for mobile devices.

The collaboration between Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic, Samsung and Vodafone is being received as an effort to slow down the Microsoft juggernaut and threaten the dominance of the Windows operating system. The companies are forming an independent foundation to guide the initiative, and other organisations will be encouraged to join the foundation after the initial development.

According to a statement issued by the six companies: “A world-class Linux-based platform aims to provide key benefits for the mobile industry, including lower development costs, increased flexibility and a richer mobile ecosystem.”

A spokesperson for Vodafone says the successful development of the Linux platform will reduce fragmentation of Linux-based mobile phone software platforms and allow for the creation of new services through providers such as Vodafone.

One of the most experienced members of the foundation is Panasonic, which has already shipped nearly eight million Linux-based handsets in Japan.

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