LiMo Mobile Linux Becomes "Preferred OS" for Verizon

It looks like Verizon Wireless is super duper committed to open development, because they've just joined the LiMo Foundation board of directors. LiMo is "an industry consortium dedicated to creating the first truly open, hardware-independent, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices." Verizon isn't dropping support for Android (or any other OS) as a result of the move, but LiMo will become their "preferred OS," with the first handsets dropping in 2009, starting out as simpler devices and moving into more complicated ones as they "get smarter." Unfortunately, it looks like the clunky red UI you've grown to loathe will remain intact, however. This gives Verizon a fair bit of say in how mobile Linux develops as well—and provides yet more competition for Android. Full press release below.

Verizon Joins LiMo Foundation™

With Verizon on Board of Directors, LiMo Expands Major Wireless Service Provider

Engagement Across North America, Asia and Europe

LONDON, England; TOKYO, Japan, and BASKING RIDGE, N.J., United States, May 14, 2008—LiMo Foundation, a global consortium of mobile leaders delivering an open handset platform for the whole mobile industry, and Verizon Wireless, the builder and operator of the most reliable wireless network in the U.S., announced today that Verizon has joined LiMo as a Core member and will fill the final seat on LiMo's board of directors. By participating in LiMo, Verizon hopes to help LiMo unify the mobile industry around openness and Linux as the key enablers to lowering development costs.

"Verizon Wireless is demonstrating itself a champion of openness in mobile innovation by joining the board of LiMo Foundation," said Morgan Gillis, executive director of LiMo Foundation. "Major wireless service providers from across North America, Asia and Europe are now engaged in committed collaboration through LiMo. This offers further concrete evidence that LiMo is positioned at the heart of the rapidly emerging, industry-wide trend to secure the benefits of openness and choice in technology."

"Verizon Wireless is committed and invested in encouraging innovation, providing developers the opportunity to deliver new wireless choices and expanding the mobile market," said Kyle Malady, vice president of network for Verizon. "We expect our involvement with LiMo to advance these principles."

LiMo Foundation is open to all vendors and service providers in the mobile communications marketplace, including device manufacturers, operators, chipset manufacturers, integrators and independent software vendors. Verizon Wireless joins the foundation's other 39 members in working within LiMo's transparent governance model to shape the evolution of the LiMo Platform™, while remaining entirely free to deliver their own compelling and differentiated services to mobile customers.

"The addition of Verizon Wireless to the LiMo roster is another critical milestone in our foundation's rapid growth and market impact," said Kiyohito Nagata of NTT DoCoMo, chairperson of LiMo Foundation. "In technical output, governance constructs and business models, LiMo lives out its belief that openness is the key to unlocking innovation to the benefit of the whole industry and mobile consumers everywhere."

Launched in January 2007 by six mobile industry leaders—Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung Electronics and Vodafone—LiMo was formed to deliver an open and globally consistent software platform based upon Mobile Linux for use by the whole industry to catalyze next-generation mobile consumer experiences.

About LiMo Foundation

LiMo Foundation is a dedicated consortium of mobile industry leaders working together within an open and transparent governance model—with shared leadership and shared decision making—to deliver an open and globally consistent handset software platform based upon Mobile Linux for use by the whole mobile industry. A full description of LiMo, including its vision, goals, charter, guiding principles, bylaws, and membership information, can be found at www.limofoundation.org.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 67.2 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

[Verizon]