Sorry to come back on that only today. Let's go back to the article released by The Register (emphasises are mine) :

ARM today flexed its mobile muscle by revealing a fairly broad coalition focused on developing a version of Linux well-suited for future smart phones.

Coalition. This word is important. Inside a coalition, people are partners, it's not a contractor-contractant relationship. I am immensely happy to see Mozilla consider the importance of the mobile world. I am sure Firefox can bring the mobile world a new generation of user experience. And it's the right time to do it because the spread of the iPhone in the US and Europe pushes the telecom operators to a point they previously refused to consider : unlimited data plans.

Well-suited. This has both hardware and software implications. On the hardware side, it means of course drivers, adaptation to the smartphones keyboards/buttons and the wide diversity of screen types, and more. On the software side, it implies a UI dedicated to small screens with great usability and readability in mind. That's certainly where Gecko (the rendering engine inside Firefox) can be a big plus if you consider standards like Widgets (did I hear someone ask "where is the widget editor ?").

The chip designer has teamed with Marvell, MontaVista, Movial, Mozilla, Samsung and TI in an effort to help Linux make headway on mobile systems

Everything is important here so I did not emphasize.

  • Marvell: chips. Cellphone connectivity, WiFi, audio-video chipsand VoIP. Expect a platform able to connect to cellphone networks, switch to and from WiFi, mobile TV, video on demand and music.
  • Montavista: their Mobilinux 5 is already a hit and has everything needed to turn the powerful hardware we have inside our pockets but plagued by the incredible poverty of Windows Mobile into something really big.
  • Mozilla. Do I need to remind you that Minimo paved the way ? That Gecko will run faster on a linux-based smartphone than on a Windows Mobile one ? That Gecko inside a well-designed linux will allow widgets and a superb extensiblity model ?
  • Samsung: I can't list how many linux-based cellphones Samsung has in its product list. Excellent choice.
  • TI: DaVinci processors, among so many other stuff...

The companies intend to craft an open source operating system, development package and a browser.

I hope one of the goals is to put the Gecko Runtime Environment in the OS, the browser being only a chrome application above it.

Such software could run on just about anything from a phone to ultra-mobile PCs or what these companies call “connected mobile computing” devices.

I don't think ultra-mobile PCs are a reasonable target. On a PC, even an ultra-light weight one, you want/need your corporate software. And in the corporate world, Microsoft is still the reference. But in other appliances, like set top boxes, televisions, landline phones, mp3/mp4 players or even my printer that has a nice LCD screen with an ugly navigation system in the settings, this could be a hit.

The “platform” should be baked by early 2008 and in widely shipping devices by 2009.

Oh ! Wow. So the work already started, and started a while ago...

"What we are trying to do is just make it easier for application programmers and people writing plug-ins to have some firm ground that they can rely on," ARM CEO Warren East told us.

Aaaaah, this is very important. Make your neurones work a bit, can you understand the implications here ?

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