Nokia Launches Open-Source Browser

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Nokia has announced the release of its open-source mobile Web browser and has launched a new portal to share information about its open-source activities.

In June, Nokia announced that it was developing an open-source browser for phones that use its S60 smart-phone software platform. The browser, now available to licensees of S60 Third Edition, relies on the WebCore and JavaScriptCore components of Apple's Safari Web kit. Safari, Apple's browser, uses KHTML and KDE's JavaScript Engine, developed as part of KDE's Konquerer open-source project.

Nokia and Siemens build phones based on the S60 platform.

The browser will display Web pages to mobile phone users exactly as the Web site developers designed those pages, Nokia said. The browser includes pop-up blocking software, access to RSS feeds, and a text search feature.

Open-Source Efforts

In June, Nokia said it was keen to develop an open-source browser that would improve the way all Web sites look on mobile phones. Typically, Web sites must be specially designed for mobile phones, since Web sites not optimized for mobile phones tend to be difficult to view on the handsets' small screens.

With the availability of higher-speed wireless data networks, operators and handset makers are working to open the entire Web--not just sites optimized for small screens--to mobile users. For example, T-Mobile recently launched a new mobile service in Germany, Austria, and the U.K. that features Google as the Web browser start page, encouraging mobile users to access any Web site on the Internet.

Also on Wednesday, Nokia launched a portal,, to serve as a source of information for all of its open-source projects. The portal's purpose is to share Nokia's open-source advances in order to encourage further innovation by open-source developers, the company said in a statement.

In addition to developing the open-source browser, Nokia is working on two other open-source projects. The company's open-source Maemo development platform focuses on generating products for Linux-based Internet tablets. Nokia's 770, a tablet that includes Wi-Fi but not cellular connectivity, is based on Linux.

Nokia's second project is the Python programming language, which the company is porting to the Series 60 platform.

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