Morgan Gillis, executive director LiMO Foundation

For all the noise that Google and Symbian might make about the open source nature of their handset operating systems, they are still driven by single vendors. The LiMO Foundation, says Morgan Gillis, is genuinely free of a dominant corporate leader. And Gillis has the responsibility of proving that such an environment can generate an operating system that is truly competitive to those that are more obviously steered.

Founded by NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone along with Samsung, Motorola, NEC and Panasonic, the real beneficiary so far has been DoCoMo, which has been the sole recipient of the vast majority of LiMO handsets. Membership is open to all.

The crucial achievement of the LiMO Foundation has been to bring carriers to the operating system game, and LiMO now boasts 11 carrier members. But in this regard it is no longer unique in its class. Heavyweight carriers are present in numbers in both the Open Handset Alliance and the Symbian Foundation.

If the handset industry has got wise to this requirement, it remains to be seen what Gillis and the LiMO Foundation can do to gain widespread commercialisation for its OS. Privately at least one major handset vendor has expressed concerns that the LiMO foundation progresses at too slow a pace. Gillis has to prove this is not the case.

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