The Symbian Foundation is announcing tomorrow (today in Europe) that Symbian v2, the software that powers more cell phones in the world than any other, is now freely available with an Eclipse open source license.

This is huge news in open source, as there has never been such a popular operating system that was previously proprietary converted to open source. It has taken over a year to complete the conversion, since the Symbian Foundation was founded and the software was donated. Symbian, of course, began as the venerated EPOC operating system created by Psion in the early days of PDAs and small devices. EPOC became Symbian in 1998 when Psion joined forces with cellphone manufacturers Nokia, Motorola, and Ericsson. According to Wikipedia, a million Symbian phones were shipped in Q1 2003, and that number exploded to a million per month by Q4 of that year.

Huge kudos to Nokia for opening Symbian in the first place, and a big Well Done to the Symbian Foundation for following through on their promise to open the software. It looks like an interesting year ahead.

UPDATE: Press Release from symbian.org