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Jolla has released the Software Development Kit (SDK) for its Linux-based Sailfish mobile operating system. The SDK has been made available for Mac, Windows and Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) with its release paving the way for interested developers to create native applications for Jolla's forthcoming handsets. The Sailfish OS also supports the Qt platform, which developers previously used for creating native apps on Nokia's abandoned Symbian and MeeGo operating systems, making it simple for apps running on those platforms to be ported to the new OS.
Jolla rose from the ashes of Nokia's redundant MeeGo team who believed strongly enough in what they had developed to keep the flame burning. Nokia reportedly assisted the Jolla team by giving them permission to use Nokia patents and technologies in MeeGo to redevelop it into the Sailfish OS. MeeGo itself was the result of a partnership between Nokia and Intel, which saw the two companies merge their respective Linux-based operating systems, Maemo and Moblin.
However, when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop decided to pre-install the Windows Phone operating system on Nokia's devices, thousands of Nokia software engineers from its Symbian and MeeGo teams lost their jobs. Nokia also soon ceased shipping devices running the respective operating systems, with only Symbian continuing to get software support until recently. The Nokia N9, which featured the MeeGo operating system later became the design basis for Nokia's first Windows Phone 7 handset, the Lumia 800.
A Jolla smartphone running the new Sailfish OS is expected to arrive in the coming months. However, it will be venturing into a hotly contested smartphone market where Apple and Samsung are very much in the ascendency. Sailfish, however, will also support Android apps as well, although it hopes developers will be interested developing native apps for its devices with the release of the SDK.