Symbian and Baidu team on 'box computing'
Aim to extend the concept of instant-on access from the search box
Published: 9 June, 2010
The Symbian Foundation has been establishing an increasingly strong position in China, especially since China Mobile joined the group last year and on the back of intense activity by Nokia. Now the Foundation has signed another influential player, Chinese search engine Baidu, which is the default option on most smartphones in the country and is looking to extend its reach round the world.
The two firms have created a joint venture - the Box Computing Joint Laboratory - to develop a 'box computing' platform for Symbian. Baidu unveiled its box computing strategy last year - this allows users to bypass the PC's usual boot-up processes and access the web and key applications directly from a search box with instant-on. The aim of the new development is to bring the same capability to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
This would be an important development for Symbian, since most initiatives to provide PCs and mobile products with a secondary, instant-boot operating platform have focused on Linux. Symbian said it would open up its technology to allow Baidu to develop wireless box computing within its middleware.
"Baidu has played a leading role in internet services, especially in China, and we look forward to having them share their expertise with the growing Symbian community," said the Foundation's executive director Lee Williams, in a statement. "Additionally, we expect the integration of 'box computing' services in the Symbian platform to stimulate third party developers worldwide to create a large body of innovative applications, leveraging Baidu's market leading search and inquiry platform."
The partners will provide a box computing platform, complete with a set of APIs, to vendors and operators as well as third party developers. They also plan to share the outcome of their activities with the industry to broaden support for the concept, and make the results available through Symbian's open source processes.