The Wall Street Journal reports the new operating system is code-named Sailfish. But it’s based on the MeeGo operating system that was developed in partnership with Nokia, Intel, and other partners before Nokia made the move to Windows Phone and Intel decided to back the Tizen operating system with its emphasis on web technologies instead.
Sailfish will probably look a lot like other mobile operating systems, with a touch-friendly home screen, app launcher, and support for apps optimized for mobile devices. But Jolla isn’t providing many details about the OS at the moment, so it’s not clear if it will be able to run desktop-style Linux apps the way that MeeGo could.
We do know that Jolla plans to offer support for at least some Android apps as well as software developed specifically for the Sailfish operating system.
Like its predecessor, Sailfish will be an open source operating system and developers plan to draw from and contribute to existing projects including Mer Linux and the Qt Project.
Jolla will offer Sailfish to device makers to license free of charge starting in the spring of 2013. The company is still looking at ways to generate revenue through the operating system. That could include mobile advertising.
If you’re keeping track, this means that in the coming year we’ll see a number of mobile operating systems challenging market leaders Android and iOS, including Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10, Firefox OS, Tizen, and Sailfish.