Symbian, the largest mobile operating system in the world, is in the middle of massive change, following its purchase by Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and the decision to make it free through open source. A lot of information is starting to trickle out of the organization as they retool things. For instance, this week,the Symbian Foundation unveiled its new branding campaign, which includes a series of sketches in black, white and yellow that picture such things as cars on stilts and robots, toasters and astronauts. In addition, it is also changing the software as it moves to an open source model. Some of those technical details were released today on its blog with the general plan being to roll out two platform releases each year.
In a chart, the foundation lays out three versions: Symbian^2, Symbian^3 and Symbian^4. These can be looked as versions, but Symbian’s Research head David Wood said they wanted to use the upside down “^” to indicate that they are turning “versioning upside down – by opening up our roadmap discussions to the entire community.” The versions get really technical on what each one is capable of doing, but here’s what to expect in terms of milestones. Symbian^2, which is based on S60 5.1, will be functional by the middle of this year, and the first devices based could reach the market around the end of this year. Symbian^3 follows six months later with the first devices being available by the middle of 2010, and similarly, Symbian^4 is another six months out with first devices being available at the end of 2010.