US mobile phone manufacturer Motorola is to power its next generation of mobile phones with a Linux-based operating system, with the first batch of Linux phones due to hit Europe later this year.
The soon-to-arrive Linux-powered A760 will debut in Asia in the third quarter with introductions in Europe and the US to follow.
The phone will feature a colour screen with a digital camera, MP3 player, a video player and the ability to run Java applications.
Linux, championed by software developers in favour of its open source policy, has begun to spring up in mainstream IT industry applications, most notably in new server products from Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
The decision by Motorola spearheads the arrival of Linux applications on smaller devices such as mobile phones, personal digital assistants and tablet PCs.
While Motorola may be the first to bring a Linux-based product to market, other phone manufacturers have taken note. Nokia has developed a Linux version of its development software and NEC also has committed to making mobile phones that can run Linux software. Intel, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are also pushing for the use of Linux in telecommunications equipment.
By John Kennedy