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Mobile phone companies join forces on Linux

Four mobile handset makers are teaming up with two cellular operators to develop a new Linux software platform for mobile devices.

Cell phone makers Motorola, NEC, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Samsung Electronics, along with mobile operators NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone, expect to announce on Thursday plans to form an independent foundation to develop a common mobile Linux-based platform. They will use this platform to develop new products, applications and features.

Linux, an open-source operating system, is already available on a wide range of mobile handsets. Motorola alone says it has shipped more than 5 million Linux-based handsets, mostly on smart phones, such as the Ming model shipped in China. In addition, Motorola just launched the new Rokr E2 music phone in Asia, which also uses Linux. The Rokr E2 will soon ship in Europe.

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