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Verizon Becomes a Counter-Android Linux Convert

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Verizon Wireless is snubbing Google’s Linux-based Android initiative to go with the LiMo Foundation’s mobile Linux spec for its next wave of mobile phones expected next year. 

Along with Verizon, Mozilla signed up – giving the consortium its first major open source ISV – and a key one for conveying applications. 

Verizon VP of network Kyle Malady said during a conference call that Verizon picked LiMo because the consortium was already in the marketplace with commercial goods. It also liked its governance model (as opposed presumably to Google dominance) and its broad membership. 

He suggested that Verizon is keeping a watching brief on Android’s progress and could change or add horses. However, Verizon’s rival AT&T is leaning toward the so-called Open Hardware Alliance backing Android. 

Malady said Verizon, which is taking the last seat on the LiMo board, would start using LiMo’s Linux middleware on feature phones and move up to smartphones, suggesting it would be the company’s “preferred” platform. He said Verizon intended to use Linux throughout its line. 

Verizon currently has Qualcomm, Windows Mobile, Palm and RIM phones and means to keep selling them. Android phones could get on Verizon’s network since it’s opening it up to all-comers. 

But Malady said Verizon, America’s Number 2 mobile carrier, would put money and people into the LiMo effort. 

LiMo now has 40 members including founders Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung and Vodafone. 

So did Infineon, SK Telecom and SFR, the main carriers in South Korea and France respectively, Sagem Mobiles, Red Bend Software and Kvaleberg AS.

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