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MWC 2015 – Jolla Opens Up Sailfish OS To Other Manufacturers

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Jolla co-founder Marc Dillon tells TechWeekEurope about the Sailfish Alliance, Sailfish OS 2.0 and privacy-focused Sailfish Secure

Jolla is opening up Sailfish OS to other manufacturers in a bid to create more devices running the open source platform.

The Finnish company says the launch of the ‘Sailfish Alliance’ is a natural development as it prepares to launch its second Sailfish-powered device, the Jolla tablet, and the release of version 2.0 of the operating system.

Marc Dillon, co-founder and chief operating officer of the company, said the launch of the tablet proved that Sailfish was not a flash in the pan.

Sailfish Alliance

Jolla Sailfish MWC 2014 (1)“We have a track record now, we’ve produced multiple devices. We’ve shown we can work with partners,” he told TechWeekEurope at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “We want to support multiple business models and don’t want to have any exclusionary tactics.”

He said there was a desire by manufacturers and users to break free from the anti-competitive behaviour exerted by Google on the Android platform and insisted that Jolla’s presence in the ecosystem would not prevent others from flourishing.

“It was important for us to release flagship devices to show the potential of Sailfish,” he explained. “That’s why we’re building the Sailfish Alliance. We don’t want to dominate the agenda and the strategy. There needs to be a balance there.”

Sailfish 2.0 adds support for Intel processors, such as the Atom X3, refreshes the user interface, improves multitasking and Android app compatibility. It is expected to be released alongside the Jolla tablet in the second quarter of 2015.

“Sailfish 2.0 is about demonstrating we’re now about multiple form factors,” said Dillon. “We have improved the internals of the operating system so it’s faster, more stable and we also took the UI to a new level. By working with customers for the past year, we were able to simplify things even further.

“You couldn’t make it any simpler but it’s still really powerful and fast to use.”

Sailfish Secure

Jolla also used MWC to detail a new secure version of the operating system targeted at governments, regulated industries and privacy conscious consumers. Sailfish Secure uses SSH’s encryption and key management platform to protect sensitive data and the operating system is hardware independent.

Dillon said there was no European operating system being used on consumer devices today and believed it could help Sailfish differentiate itself from its competitors.

“If you are doing anything secure on the Internet, the chances are that SSH is behind it,” he said. “It’s another great Finnish company.

“There’re a lot of people who are worried about the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US and Android was designed to specifically mine user data for advertising.

“Finland has always been diplomatic and fiercely independent. That and being able to partner with countries like SSH gives us a tremendous advantage.”

Jolla smartphone 2

The Jolla phone is now more than a year old and once the Jolla tablet hits the market, speculation of a successor to the smartphone will intensify. However Dillon would not reveal any details about any new devices.

“We have a roadmap and we don’t have any additional announcements,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

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