Jolla Unveils MeeGo-Based Sailfish OS

Finnish startup Jolla has unveiled its new mobile operating system Sailfish OS at the Slush event in Helsinki.

“The key target is to bring innovation to a stagnating market and help mobile industry players to stay on the bleeding edge of the mobile OS development,” said Jolla, which showcased its “effortless and innovative UI” and detailed plans to bring its Software Developer Kit (SDK) to the developer community.

Sailfish OS rises from the ashes of MeeGo

The company was founded by a number of former Nokia engineers and has been working on the MeeGo-based platform since last year. MeeGo was developed by Nokia and Intel as a Linux-based alternative to iOS and Android and was intended to be a replacement for Nokia’s aging Symbian platform.

It was used in the Nokia N9 smartphone, but before it was even released, Nokia had announced its intention to abandon the software in favour of Windows Phone, with Intel following suit last October.

Jolla said the UI had been designed with recent consumer needs in mind and that it would provide effortless multitasking. Users will be able to interact with applications directly from the home screen, performing actions such as ending a call or pausing a song without ever having to directly enter the app.

“This multitasking feature brings usability and speed-of-use to a totally new level, unseen in the mobile industry,” said Jolla, which also outlined the pulley menu system, which allows users to ‘peek’ at status information, and personalisation features.

Major chip support

Jolla has also announced that chip manufacturer ST-Ericsson is ready to support Sailfish OS with its NovaThor platform, and that it plans to include support for all major chipset technologies.

“We are pleased to add Sailfish OS to the mobile operating systems supported on our NovaThor ModAp platforms,” said Peter Oaklander, senior vice president for Sales & Marketing, ST-Ericsson. “Supporting Sailfish from its inception shows how flexibly ST-Ericsson’s NovaThor platforms can adapt to different mobile OS’es and we look forward to seeing Sailfish powered devices in the market next year.”

“We welcome other players in the mobile industry to join and contribute to this game changing movement,” added Marc Dillon, CEO of Jolla. “We also target to announce other chipset provider partnerships soon.”

Earlier this year, Jolla announced that it had signed a sales and distribution deal with D.Phone Group, China’s largest mobile phone retail chain.

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Steve McCaskill

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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