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Linux Business Communications Software

Verizon Joins Linux Mobile Foundation 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the progress-is-progress dept.
An anonymous reader brings news that Verizon Wireless has announced plans to use a Linux-based software platform for phones on its network. Verizon is the first US mobile carrier to join the Linux Mobile Foundation, the goal of which is to "collaboratively develop a comprehensive Linux-based mobile software stack that can be modified easily and used at no cost on a wide range of hardware devices." Many had expected Verizon to go with Android, but according to the Register, Verizon feels Android "isn't as open as it would prefer." Continuing: "Yes, Google bills Android as open. And, yes, it's backed by the Open Handset Alliance, another industry consortium calling for the open development of mobile apps. But [Verizon spokesman Jeffrey] Nelson argues that at this point, Google is calling the shots. 'Google said "Here's the plan. Sign on the dotted line if you support." It may end up being collaborative. It may end up being collegial. But it need not be.' He actually has a point. But maybe Verizon just wants more control over the situation. It should be noted that the company made sure it has a place on the LiMo board. In any event, Verizon says that customers will be free to attach any device and any application to its network by the end of the year - provided those devices and applications met certain minimum specifications. So, in theory, you'll have free rein to attach an Android phone even if you don't buy it from Verizon."
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Verizon Joins Linux Mobile Foundation

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  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Friday May 16, 2008 @08:23AM (#23431636) Homepage Journal

    Verizon feels Android "isn't as open as it would prefer."
    Translation: Google won't let use lock Android phones down, so we made sure we had a place on the LiMo board to ensure that we can continue to control everything the way we've always done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      More translations:

      provided those devices and applications met certain minimum specifications
      Minimum specifications: we can lock the device down.
      • This is so something Verizon would do too. Why is it that the large telcos feel the need to not let users do what they want with their own devices....
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Trigun (685027)
          because they'll find a way to text for less than what they're paying now.
          • True, but I've said this before and I'll say it again - the more you try to lock users down, the more they realize that they hate the prison they're being put in.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by BVis (267028)
              I couldn't disagree more. These are American consumers we're talking about here. They care more about what color their phone is than how much more they get screwed as compared to cell phone customers in any other civilized country.

              I'd say they don't care about something until it costs them money, but here they don't know that there's any other way, since most Americans think other countries are fictional.
              • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                Who marked this as Insightful?
                Ignorant is more like it, but there isn't an option for that so Flamebait would be more accurate.
                • I would have marked it insightful again if I still had mod points. He may be going a little far, but it's absolutely true that the general public in the US doesn't care enough to do anything about it. How do you think we got into this situation in the first place?
                • by Sloppy (14984)

                  But it's true. We Americans really do pay for text messages, and I rarely hear people complain about it. Maybe it's "ignorant" (i.e. I haven't actually conducted a serious poll) but those really are my real-life observations, also.

                  Maybe the lack of complaints is due to there not currently being any competition, though. (All the carriers overcharge, so if you shop around, no carrier's prices look particularly bad.) When open phones become usable, I can see the situation changing. Maybe. (I hope.)

                  Death t

            • by SETIGuy (33768)

              True, but I've said this before and I'll say it again - the more you try to lock users down, the more they realize that they hate the prison they're being put in.
              It's only possible to recognize you are in a prison if you've been outside of one. In the U.S. of A., every cell phone is a prison.
        • by cromar (1103585)
          The days when you could open a phone and modify it without phear were a lot of fun. A new age of phreaking is upon us!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Spokehedz (599285)
        It's all bad with VZW locking down their phones. By not letting every single phone have every single feature, people actually have to pick and choose phones based on how easy they are to hack to get the phone working with what they want.

        By hanging onto the theory that people buy ringtones for $4.99 because there is no easy way to copy over the MP3 files because you disabled bluetooth OBEX... That's just crazy talk.

        It's about time they were talking about openness. They've been a closed book for too many year
    • by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Friday May 16, 2008 @08:36AM (#23431720) Homepage Journal
      Android may be open source, but the fact that it's based on Linux is more or less irrelevant to the programmer. The native API is Java-based, Android applications run under the JVM, and you can't expect to run anything but Java applications on Android. It's not a "Linux phone", it's a "Java phone" that happens to use Linux in its implementation.
      • by AmaDaden (794446)
        yes and no. Remember running Java means you run Java byte code. If you are willing to write a compiler you can turn any language you want in to Java byte code(It might not be nice but it can be done). So the phone should be able to run Python, Ruby, Smalltalk and several others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JVM_Languages [wikipedia.org]
        • by argent (18001)
          If you are willing to write a compiler you can turn any language you want in to Java byte code

          There's an accumulated 35 years worth of software written in "C" for the UNIX API that includes pretty much all the software that I'm personally interested in running, one way or another.

          Writing a compiler for a subset of C that would make even a fraction of these programs work would probably be a bigger job than creating Android was.
          • by AmaDaden (794446)
            http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?OtherLanguagesForTheJavaVm [c2.com] That page gos in to it a bit more. C is nearly ASM so it's very hard to turn it into a language like Java that is so automatic. I'm sure it can be done but the people who like C see no reason to use something as wasteful as Java and the people who like a Java see no need for this kind of difficult project. "Why translate the C to Java Byte Code when we can just rewrite it in nice portable Java?".

            In the end I don't think it is a bigger job then Android jus
            • I'm sure you could write a simple C compiler for a JVM, after all there was one for the Burroughs A series. It wouldn't be very useful, and would run like molasses with a big old byte array simulating memory (which is what the Burroughs one did). Writing one that generated code that ran fast enough to be useful requires solving problems that so far as I know nobody's really addressed, and all that work would be part of the effort...

              And even if I'm wrong, and you could do it with only (say) twice as much eff
              • by AmaDaden (794446)
                That's very fair. Calling an Android phone a Linux phone is misleading. However Androids goal was to make the cell phone the device it should be, not to make a 'Linux phone'. Linux was a tool not the goal. Java was used because of the things it does right. It's very cross platform and as of late as open as Google would need it to be. Plus the issue of protecting the phone from dumb code can now be done with one interface, the JVM. If the Java byte code being run does something bad it can be stopped before i
                • However Androids goal was to make the cell phone the device it should be, not to make a 'Linux phone'.

                  That's fine, but the whole thrust of the slashdot conventional wisdom here is that Verizon is doing something underhanded by going with a "different Linux phone" instead of Android. And that's where I'm coming from here: if you're looking for a platform to run Linux software on a cellphone, then Android isn't the platform you're looking for, and castigating Verizon is, well, not fair.
      • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday May 16, 2008 @09:30AM (#23432266)
        Wrong.

        You can already easily use native libraries in Android, even though it is officially unsupported. Android has a perfectly good security system which makes it possible.

        In future, it should even be possible to extend the Dalvik VM (its sources are not available right now).
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Mod parent up. See, for example, this thread [google.com].
        • You can already easily use native libraries in Android, even though it is officially unsupported.

          I can use native libraries in Mono, too... that doesn't mean that the fact that Mono runs on Linux makes a .NET application a Linux application.

          The Android API may well be a better one than the UNIX API for a cellphone, by the way, so I'm not saying that this is necessarily a drawback to Android. What I'm saying is that it doesn't matter all that much to the developer whether the OS below the Android runtime is Linux, Windows CE, Windows PE, whatever the Symbian OS is called this week, Palm OS 5, BeOS, or Amiga.DE.

          The whole "Android is Linux" meme is just muddying the waters... Android isn't using Linux as anything but an implementation tool. Android isn't about Linux. Android is about Android.
          • by Cyberax (705495)
            Not exactly, currently, Android depends on *nix security system. Some features (powersaving, graphics, sound) also require cooperation between Android and the kernel.

            It's not much, of course. But you can also argue that you can run Symbian OS applications on Windows if you care to port its API and binary loader.
            • by argent (18001)
              Not exactly, currently, Android depends on *nix security system. Some features (powersaving, graphics, sound) also require cooperation between Android and the kernel.

              That's interesting when one is considering the quality and details of the implementation, but unless it's exposed through the API in a way that depends on the fact that it's Linux under the hood that doesn't change my point. Android provides an Android environment, not a UNIX one.

              But you can also argue that you can run Symbian OS applications o
      • by tobiasly (524456) on Friday May 16, 2008 @10:17AM (#23432932) Homepage

        The native API is Java-based, Android applications run under the JVM, and you can't expect to run anything but Java applications on Android. It's not a "Linux phone", it's a "Java phone" that happens to use Linux in its implementation.

        Partly correct, except it won't use the JVM. It will use a different virtual machine called Dalvik, so that they can get around Sun's ridiculous JME licensing, MIDP profiles [betaversion.org], and everything else that sucks about running midlets on phones today (such as the overzealous security restrictions that keep me from easily running a program I wrote on my own phone.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AmaDaden (794446)
          That's the nice part about running Java on the phone most people don't seem to get. By having the Java wrapper they only have to secure Java from doing anything wrong not try to secure random code that will be running as compiled. Why Java and not C++ or [insert favorite language here]? Because Java came with a wrapper (the JVM) and it's the biggest language right now(This might just sound like me showing a preference but TIOBE backs me up on this. http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index [tiobe.com]
      • by eean (177028)
        You have to recompile your Java apps and library to work on Android, since they're using a different Java bytecode. They've also developed a whole new GUI toolkit apparently.

        They do have some performance reason for the change, but it's hard not to suspect some politics.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by adpsimpson (956630)

      The anti-Tivoisation is perhaps the most controversial clause of the GPL3, but as embedded Linux becomes more common, perhaps also one of the most important. It will be interesting to see how this sort of thing is affected in the longer term.

      In the short term, they can probably stick with GPL2 software easily enough, if they feel they need to. But if and when a critical mass of FOSS is being released under GPL3, it will be harder to achieve full lockdown of the platform.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        1) The Linux kernel itself is and shall probably forever remain GPLv2. At least that's what Linus says, and since he's in charge, well, that's it. GPLv3 code can't be added by third parties (GPLv2 and v3 are incompatible).

        2) I predict a "L/GPLv2 and later" fork of large parts of the GNU project, particularly glibc, fileutils, binutils, etc.

        So, no, I don't think the anti-tivoisation clause will end up stopping Verizon in the near term or long term. Remember: Verizon is on the board of LiMo, so they, at
    • by mi (197448)

      Yes and this can be summarized even more: The more open it is, the easier it is to close down.

      I think, this is what "GPL vs. BSDL" debates boil down to:

      • BSD: We are the most open.
      • GPL: We are harder to abuse and/or close down (the way Microsoft and Apple do).
  • Verizon? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adpsimpson (956630) on Friday May 16, 2008 @08:24AM (#23431646)

    Of course, this will only be of any benefit to the users if they leave the 'modified easily and used at no cost on a wide range of hardware devices' aspect open to the users.

    Judging by the past performance of Verizon, they will do anything possible to lock it down and maximise their profit stream/control over the platform.

    At least it should make the devices more hackable though! :)

    • by RandoX (828285)
      Yeah, I discovered this week how much Verizon wants you to mess with their phones. Try loading BREW apps on a LG VX9900 (enV) using BitPim sometime.
    • Re:Verizon? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7 @ c o rnell.edu> on Friday May 16, 2008 @09:37AM (#23432340) Homepage
      That's why I'm an AT&T customer now.

      I was interested in the XV6800 (an HTC Windows Mobile device), but Verizon was delaying it for months and months after Sprint released the same device for "network certification issues".

      I learned my lesson the hard way what "network certification issues" means from Verizon delaying the Treo 650 by 6-9 months from Sprint release - It means "the phone's software hasn't been crippled to our satisfaction yet".

      So if the phone you want is released on Sprint but Verizon is delaying it for "network certification issues", find another phone or switch providers, because the phone you get from Verizon will NOT have the features and functionality that the Sprint variant has.
  • Hans: Can you hear me now?
    Linus: (pretending it's a bad connection) What?
    Hans: Can you hear me now?
    Linus: What? What?
    Hans: Can you hear me now!!!!???
    Linus: Sorry Hans, I can't hear you. Why don't you "have a talk" with that stupid Verizon guy.
  • will be free to attach any device and any application to its network by the end of the year - provided those devices and applications met certain minimum specifications.
    So finally the US caught up with us....
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      No, the US is merely saying something that makes it *look* like a bastion of freedom and democracy and ice-cream-covered puppy kisses and unicorn farts. In reality, the moment that someone releases a free application for a Verizon phone that enables some cheap and wonderful functionality, the higher-ups at the company will shit themselves in outrage and find a way to make sure that their flag-waving freedom-pimp network is able to triple your charges the next month for having the audacity to use your phone
      • by maxume (22995)
        Where in the article or anything related to the article is anybody speaking for the US?
        • Yeah, my post is a bit wonky in that regard, but if you take a wee glance at the one I'm replying to I think it's a bit obvious why I wrote it the way I did.

          I'll try to be clearer after I've had coffee...
          • by maxume (22995)
            I'm pretty sure that it has been possible to use whatever GSM device on AT&T since it was Cingular.

            They still sell phones that are locked to their network, but I don't think they have done much to prevent people from using unlocked phones.
    • IIRC (and the "C" could be faulty), didn't Google recently force the winner of the FCC's recent spectrum auction to abide by an open-access rule that Google (rightly) weaseled into the bidding rules?

      As long as the devices use that chunk of spectrum, Verizon may not have had a choice.

    • I really do love that sentence.

      It's GSM - which is about a decade old and is the same thing, except it also works across networks, countries, and even continents.

      Whereas Verizon is only a pillar of freedom... on Verizon. And in the States.
  • Very confusing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oxy the moron (770724) on Friday May 16, 2008 @08:33AM (#23431702)

    I've been a Verizon customer now for about 5 years. The coverage is excellent here (Indianapolis) and the price is decent, so I've stuck around.

    Really the only complaint I've had with them thus far is that basically every phone they sell is locked down and/or has it's interface completely changed when compared to the original phone, or the same phone sold to another carrier. Additionally, they are very choosy about how you can connect to their data network.

    This "customers will be free to attach any device and any application to its network by the end of the year" seems like a complete 180 to that mindset. The only way I see them pulling that is if some huge charge is added to your data plan to allow it. They already nickel and dime you if you want to tether a phone instead of using their air card.

    It just seems fishy to me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      As an employee for VzW I agree to that the phones are horribly locked down. If you know what you are doing though they are easily hackable. I for one am looing forward to the "open" phones. I do believe that with the new software they will be even easier to hack. This is why I have Verizon phones as well. Yeah, I can't txt you a ringtone, but 5min with a cable and a computer and I can open the phone and you can D/L any thing you want to it. LGs are the best, IMO, to mess with(9900)
      • by Durrok (912509)
        What program do you use, something provided by Verizon or something else? All the ones I have grabbed do not support my model of phone (LG ENV)
        • by RandoX (828285)
          BitPim [bitpim.org] lists the VX9900 (enV) as supported, but I haven't had enough time lately to really get into trying it out. If you run across something that works better let me know.
      • Except that the LG phones (and several others) have proprietary connectors, require special versions of USB cables, etc. Why can't they all just use a mini-USB connector? It would make the phones much easier to manage and you wouldn't have to go buy a new cable every time you got a new phone.

        • Why can't they all just use a mini-USB connector?

          The answer to this question is right there in your post: "you wouldn't have to go buy a new cable every time you got a new phone."

    • This "customers will be free to attach any device and any application to its network by the end of the year" seems like a complete 180 to that mindset. The only way I see them pulling that is if some huge charge is added to your data plan to allow it. They already nickel and dime you if you want to tether a phone instead of using their air card.

      Yeah, exactly. I've been with Verizon for almost 5 years on a family plan, now up to 5 phones and it's been one of the worst experiences in terms of hardware and upgrading. Every two years you get the chance to upgrade to another proprietary, locked-in phone, and if you want to buy a better phone or upgrade before, you're paying an arm and a leg for even the most basic phones, and renewing your subscription for two more years.

      I'd love to see cell phones become like cell phone numbers: you can them wher

      • Re:Very confusing (Score:5, Informative)

        by r_jensen11 (598210) on Friday May 16, 2008 @11:17AM (#23434070)

        I'd love to see cell phones become like cell phone numbers: you can them whereever you go. Hardware should be carrier independent. It's not like my ISP makes me buy a computer which only works with their network. My TV works with any cable provider. But my cell phone?

        Um, you can, more or less. It's called GSM. You can use any GSM phone that supports 850/1900 with any GSM carrier in the US. Most GSM phones sold in the US are 850/1800/1900, which means that you can even use those in other places like Europe. Just pop out the SIM card, put in a new one that you buy once you get to your destination, and viola, no roaming/international charges.

        This is the sole reason why I'm sticking with T-Mobile. I get a Verizon discount at work, but for the value of the discount, it only brings the phone bill down to what I'm paying with T-Mobile. I'll use the discount on FiOS and a landline, maybe TV as well, but Verizon is staying hella far away from my mobile.

        • And the GP comment (don't take it personally) shows why the world is laughing at the US cellphone market.

          Swapping your regular, subscriber SIM for a pay-as-you-go SIM when you get off the train in your destination isn't even a technical task in Europe. It's just what you do - walk in to a O2 or Orange store, grab a PAYG SIM and slap £20 of minutes on there

          I did it when I went to London from the States, worked great. I paid a grand total of the £50 - while my parents paid $600 in roaming.
          • by limaxray (1292094)

            And the GP comment (don't take it personally) shows why the world is laughing at the US cellphone market.

            If this were the case, then I'd think the US would have good reason to laugh at the world's ignorance. In the US, you can travel from coast to coast, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands all without roaming, so there is no need to have to swap SIM cards on any regular basis.

            In Europe on the other hand, you can only get a couple hundred kilometers from your home before you're roaming and paying out the nose. This makes SIM cards a necessity for the reasons you mentioned.

            Personally, I

    • by oahazmatt (868057)
      I have the same complaint about the phone. I love the service, I haven't dropped a call yet. I got an excellent deal on my phones when I started my contract, as well.

      Then, when I started playing around with Bluetooth for the first time, I realized how much I couldn't do. My girlfriend and I had the same make and model phones, but we couldn't transfer files between them. In fact, I had to install BitPim (love it) on each computer just so we could transfer wallpapers and ringtones without having to pay for
      • by limaxray (1292094)
        Actually, Verizon will be switching to GSM to use LTE for their up-and-coming 4G network. If I had to guess, I'd say this is the main reason they're starting to open their network.

        If they want to abandon closed proprietary technologies for an open international standard, they're going to have to make the same change to their handsets and open them. Might as well get your consumer hardware infrastructure ready for the change before hand.
    • by Atario (673917)

      This "customers will be free to attach any device and any application to its network by the end of the year" seems like a complete 180 to that mindset.
      I think it's pretty obvious what happened. Verizon has gotten so lock-down-happy that their intensity-of-lock-down-ness variable wrapped around and now they want to be open-up-happy.
  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Friday May 16, 2008 @08:45AM (#23431782) Homepage Journal
    A friend and I were trying to have a conversation with an old friend via loudspeaker on a Symbian based phone. If you've ever tried this, you know how difficult it is to hear the each other. What's especially annoying is that we had more than one phone on hand, but setting up a three way call is painfully difficult and expensive, but more importantly, it's completely unnecessary. There's no reason why any number of handsets can not be linked via bluetooth and only one make the call to the third party.

    This is one example of the creative ways communications problems can be solved.. but only if you have an open platform.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dwater (72834)
      What's to stop you from implementing this on a Symbian platform?

      The SDK is free and I'm fairly sure you can do that sort of functionality. Of course, you have the SymbianSigned gauntlet to go through, and you will if you want to do that sort of thing, but I would say it's possible.
      • by QuantumG (50515) *
        Shya, like you can do *anything* remotely cool with bluetooth on Symbian.
        • by houghi (78078)
          With a Sybian OTOH ...
        • by dwater (72834)
          I'm genuinely curious why you think 'cool' things aren't possible on Symbian. I have had a look and there are some restrictions which could account for your position, but I'm wondering what *your* reasons are.
          • by QuantumG (50515) *
            Cause its a proprietary platform.. you're required to talk to the hardware via opaque layers of software. If there isn't an API for what you want to do you are simply shit out of luck.

            • by dwater (72834)
              "what you want to do"?

              It seems like your saying that Symbian doesn't allow 'cool' applications, so long as 'cool' is defined as applications you can't develop.

              Talking about S60 here (UIQ is also Symbian), there *is* a bluetooth API of course. There's even a bluetooth point-to-multipoint example [nokia.com]. The FAQ [nokia.com] (which seems a little out of date to me) says :

              # Do Nokia's phones support point-to-multipoint?
              #

              Nokia phones having Symbian OS support point-to-multipoint as a master. Thus, it is possible to develop an application that establishes multiple links from a Nokia phone to other devices. As a slave, the phone can only have one active Bluetooth connection. A master/slave switch is not supported.

              Series 40 devices support only point-to-point connections.

              (Note that Series 40 is not Symbian)

              This [nokia.com] also mentions multiplayer games using bluetooth, so I can't help but wonder how they work, *if* what you say is true :

              • by QuantumG (50515) *
                Dude, the entire Android stack is (or is going to be) Open Source.. in the capitalized meaning of that word.. that means you can take any part which has poor support for what you want to do and change it to do what you want, and then put it back on your phone, provide patches for others, contribute it back to the project, etc, etc. That's what I'm talking about.

                As for using point-to-point data to do voice over bluetooth, yes, you can do that, if you want to re-invent the wheel, just don't expect any sane o
                • by dwater (72834)

                  Dude, the entire Android stack is (or is going to be) Open Source..

                  Oh, ok. That's news to me. I thought the reason Verizon doesn't want to join Android is because it isn't open. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

                  As for using point-to-point data to do voice over bluetooth, yes, you can do that, if you want to re-invent the wheel, just don't expect any sane operating support to do it because Symbian supports voice over bluetooth to headsets only, not to other handsets. Or at least it did when I was a Symbian developer, they might have add support since then.

                  So, you don't know then. I don't either, actually. It's plausible, I suppose, but things change.

    • by Brikus (670587)
      The Android API is a Java API. If you're programming for a JVM, how much actual control of the hardware do you think you are going to get?
  • itsatrap (Score:4, Funny)

    by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Friday May 16, 2008 @09:16AM (#23432100) Homepage
    itsatrap? anyone?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      itsatrap? anyone?

      Yeah, I've been with Verizon for years and this sounds way too "nice guy" for them. It would be incredible if it was true, and maybe Verizon is feeling the pinch from iPhone subscriptions and the prospect of future Android defectors, but I doubt it. Think Microsoft OOXML vs. ODF: I think its similar.

  • will be free to attach any device and any application to its network by the end of the year - provided those devices and applications met certain minimum specifications.

    For a fee.

    Yep, Verizon built a US$20 million lab to 'certify' products submitted for use on their network, and expects to recoup that investment by charging for their certification services. So unless someone with reasonably deep pockets is gonna back your whatsmawhoseits it won't going on Verizon's network. Compare this to, say, T-Mobile whose policy is pretty much if it takes a SIM plug it in and they'll be happy to bill you for it.

    What is Verizons real goal?

    Getting out of the phone business.

    No carrier likes to be in the phone business - it costs money for all of those stores & racks of phones & inventory management and huge support overhead, not to mention the complex subsidy plans that everyone loathes. So Verizon's plan is to outsource it all to the phone manufacturers. Sure, buy any Verizon 'certified' phone (same as the rest of the world using GSM enjoys) and plug it in. Got a problem?? Call whomever you bought it from, or the manufacturer, just not Verizon.

    It's an easy way for Verizon to expand the offerings on their network, at no risk or cost to Verizon, while shifting the overhead of supporting those phones elsewhere. Verizon will charge for the service, that lovely pricey plan, just now you'll be buying from their list of 'certified' products, not their Verizon-branded phones.

    Expect in a few years to walk into Verizon stores with minimal selection of phones, just enough range to cover the basics for those too out-of-the-loop to buy their phone elsewhere. Or even a sublet strategy where phone manufacturers pay for square footage and supply their own staff to sell their brand phones.

    But innovative homebrew startups etc.? Not on big red it'll be expensively certified products paying for the Verizon privilage thankyouverymuch.

    • Getting out of the phone business seems all the rage these days [eweek.com].

      I've been really suspicious of Verizon's sudden turn to openness since the original announcement. The contrast between its announced future plans and its past actual behavior is stunning.

      I'm also wondering where OpenMoko falls into all of this. Are they just whistling in the dark while the carriers line up behind Linux Mobile, Android and Apple?
  • ...to replace my Treo 650. I've got a 'two-year upgrade' due, and I like PalmOS, despite its limitations. But a Linux-based phone - assuming it wasn't totally locked-down by Verizon - would be even better. Maybe I'll hold off a while. :->
    • by Petaris (771874)
      Off-topic, well kind of, but supposedly the next version of PalmOS is going to be based on Linux as well. On another note I have Alltel and I would love a Centro but I am a bit worried about signal and also being able to use the features (web based) I want as Alltel doesn't offer the Centro yet. Does anyone know how compatible the PRLs from a 755p would be for use with a Centro?

  • where I'll have a dual-boot phone?
  • There have been some references to Google being the competition, but what about Apple? Certainly the fact that Google AND Apple plan to introduce a new, more open model to devices puts pressure on Verizon to follow suit, doesn't it?

    I'm a Verizon customer who also doesn't like the control-freak mentality there. They may be dragged into OS kicking and screaming, but I think they finally realized they don't have the option of not opening their devices if they want to remain one of the top-tier providers.

    With
  • 1. Change the Linux kernel's license to GPL.
    2. Sue Verizon.
    3. Enjoy the source!

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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