Jolla’s Sailfish OS for smartphones and a whole lot more

Jolla, the company formed by refugees from Nokia’s jettisoned MeeGo operating system, has today shown off its new user interface, called Sailfish. The company chose Slush, a two-day event held in Helsinki for start-up companies, to show Sailfish to Information is a little thin on the ground, but in the press release, and in the video that is embedded at the top of this page, multitasking and speed are the key points pushed:

“Users are able to multitask instantly between truly running applications. Even more, users are able to interact with the running applications directly on the home view: ending a call, pausing a song – without needing to enter the application. This multitasking feature brings usability and speed-of-use to a totally new level, unseen in the mobile industry.”

There was one other very big piece of information revealed. Jolla see Sailfish as an interface not only for smartphones, but also “tablets, smart TVs, automotive and other device classes”. On top of its flexibility with device types it can run on, Sailfish’s report card could also be marked with ‘works well with others’. In a Q&A on the company’s Sailfish wiki, when asked “Will Sailfish SDK be available for Linux and Windows?”, the answer is that the “Sailfish SDK is based on QtCreator and will be available in Windows, Linux and OSX.”

Sailfish will be developed in an open source manner, and not only in that the SDK is to be handed out to software developers. Jolla will also establish the Sailfish Alliance, bringing together “OEM and ODM manufacturers, chipset providers, operators, application developers and retailers. The key target is to bring innovation to a stagnating market and help mobile industry players to stay on the bleeding edge of the mobile OS development.”

Another is interesting answer in the Q&A was in relation to Digital Rights Management (DRM), the technology that limits the sharing of purchased digital content. “Will you support DRM?” The answer: No.

The last line in Jolla’s press release had a distinctly Apple flavour to it. “The SDK is the right choice for Sailfish Alliance partners for both contributing to the direction of the operating system and developing new and magical products”.