The Symbian Foundation is laying out a roadmap for future releases of its open source smartphone operating system.
Symbian executive vice president David Wood said in a company blog posting that the Foundation is planning on three major releases between now and 2011.
Wood explained that each of the new releases will be divided into two general categories. 'Functionally complete' refers to the early releases of the platform which, though fully working and functional, have not been extensively patched and tested for bugs.
The 'hardened' classification, meanwhile, applies to releases which have been extensively tested and patched by Symbian developers and researchers. After the product reaches that mark, Wood said that it will generally continue to be supported for around 12 months.
"The intention is to 'timebox' each release by fixing the functionally complete date, and including only features that deliver in time at a reasonable stability level," wrote Wood.
"This is the same principle that has worked so well with integrated releases of Symbian OS in recent years."
This year, the company plans to focus on the Symbian2 OS release, which will be considered 'functionally complete' and will not be scheduled to reach its 'hardened' classification until the end of the year.
After shoring up Symbian2, the Foundation is planning to focus on the Symbian3 operating system. That release will be 'functionally complete' around the time Symbian2 reaches its 'hardened' phase in early 2010.
Meanwhile, attention will turn to Symbian4. That release could be functionally complete by mid-2010 when Symbian3 reaches its 'hardened' phase. By the beginning of 2011, the Foundation hopes to have a 'hardened' version of Symbian4 available.
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