Myriad takes Nokia’s Schillings

The chief technology officer of leading handset vendor Nokia made an interesting career move on Wednesday, when it was announced that he is to take a similar position at mobile middleware developer Myriad.

Benoit Schillings, who joined Nokia after its 2008 acquisition of Scandinavian mobile Linux firm Trolltech, is to take up his new role on October 1. Myriad, created from the merger of Esmertec and Purple Labs develops a, er,  myriad of mobile software including browsers and Java engines.

The move is likely to leave something of a hole at Nokia, where Schillings was responsible for Nokia’s cross-device technology as advisor to CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. The industry heavyweight is considered something of a technology guru, known for his design and development of the technically sound but commercially unviable Be operating system (BeOS). He also held the CTO position at OpenWave.

Schillings was the driving force behind Trolltech’s Qt cross platform application framework, which was at the heart of the acquisition by Nokia and would better allow the Finnish firm and third party developers to build web applications that work across Nokia’s device portfolio – a key part of the Ovi concept.

Trolltech also develops its own Linux operating system, called Qtopia, and perhaps portentously, in an interview with in 2007, Schillings said that Linux was set to outstrip Symbian as the mobile operating system of choice by 2012.

“Handset manufacturers need to get different types of products to market quickly in order to keep up with the pace of innovation,” Schillings said. “Closed, vendor-specific proprietary operating systems do not offer the high levels of flexibility needed for this rapid mobile device and service innovation.”

Since then, Symbian has announced plans to go open source, Android is picking up steam, and Nokia has begun flirting with different operating systems including Linux (Maemo) and Windows.

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