Nokia has joined forces with tools developer Borland to help software developers build portable Java applications for mobile computing devices.
Borland's JBuilder and JBuilder MobileSet Java application development software will support Nokia's new Series 60 platform, a source code product designed for PDA-type devices. The partnership will also create a Borland C++ development environment.
Nokia's Series 60 platform is based on the Symbian operating system (OS) and has added applications that make it a direct competitor to Microsoft's PocketPC handheld OS.
The handset maker plans to license the tools to other mobile phone developers with the intention of speeding up application development and the roll out of cheaper phones.
The source code comprises telephony, messaging, personal information management applications, a browser, downloading capabilities and a modifiable user interface, all running on top of the Symbian OS.
But some observers questioned its ability to challenge PocketPC. "Nokia is the biggest player in mobile phones. But as we move to fully functional handhelds, its leadership is more questionable," said Dale Vile, service director at analyst firm Quocirca. "In the corporate environment at least, suppliers are putting their money in PocketPC."
Both Vile and Chris Parrington, UK managing director at Borland, agreed that there was also a great attraction in pulling mainstream IT and mobile phone developers together.
"Borland has offered its development tools free of charge to Nokia and Siemens. This has brought in thousands of new developers," said Parrington.
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