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Linux phone stack gains unified messaging

Jun 19, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Linux device software stack vendor Trolltech has acquired Fonav, a vendor of unified messaging software. Trolltech plans to use Fonav's “unified live inbox” application software to enhance its Qtopia stacks for mobile phones and VoIP phones, it said.

Fonav's stack was written on top of Qtopia, which should ease integration issues. The stack aims to offer a single interface for a variety of standards-based communications protocols, along with a presence-based addressbook aimed at letting users control how and when they reach others, and are themselves reachable.

Specifically, Fonav's stack integrates:

  • SIP (session initiation protocol) VoIP messaging
  • Jabber (XMPP) for instant messaging
    • Lets users communicate using text or voice with “any open community,” such as Google Talk, Trolltech said
  • POP3 and IMAP for email
  • WEP/WPA, including support for hardware cryptography

Additionally, Fonav's stack features automated hotspot authentication for selected wireless ISPs, Trolltech said.

Trolltech claimed last March that its Qtopia application stack for mobile devices had been used in about 40 VoIP devices, making it the “dominant Linux development platform for VoIP/WiFi devices.” Trolltech has also long offered a version of Qtopia specific to mobile phones, which has shipped in dozens of products. The Fonav software will enhance both Qtopia flavors, the vendor said. No mention was made of whether the unified inbox will also be available under the GPL — a license option for most parts of the Qtopia stacks.

Haavard Nord, CEO, stated, “Trolltech continues to position itself as the standard application platform for mobile devices. With this move, we've cemented our leadership in offering the best platform for Linux-based VoIP development.”

Ram Fish, CEO of Fonav, commented, “The connected device space is booming with innovative devices — from the Nokia N800 to the Apple iPhone, or the Sony Mylo. A rich software platform is a key ingredient to building devices like these.”

Fonav was founded in January of 2006, by Fish and Dillip Kenchammana. It was funded by Charles River Ventures. Following the deal's closure, all current Fonav employees will join Trolltech's Redwood City, Calif. office, Trolltech said.

Trolltech raised about $19 million in a recent public stock offering, after which Nord hinted at acquisition plans. Fonav is Trolltech's first acquisition since its public stock offering.

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