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Phones to get two operating systems

Windows Mobile and Symbian on one handset

NTT DoCoMo and Intel will publish a set of specifications tomorrow that will allow users to load a second OS (operating system) onto their mobile phones.

The specifications add a second, open domain to the phone's architecture that is different from the default domain containing the basic OS. Users could install an additional OS or applications in the second domain and switch to them using a controller in the phone, Masanori Goto, a spokesman for NTT DoCoMo, said.

Most of the Japanese carrier's handsets are based on the Symbian or Linux OSes, but phones built to the new specifications would be able to run other OSes, such as Windows Mobile or additional applications.

The controller, which handles switching between the two domains, will ensure that basic call functions continue to be available while the second domain is active so that users don't miss any calls.

The specifications, which NTT DoCoMo has named Osti (open and secure terminal initiative), are primarily aimed at benefiting corporate customers who might want to supplement the phone's basic software with customised applications. It will also be possible to set a security policy for the handset's second domain.

Details of how the specifications will be offered and implemented are yet to be worked out.


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