Nokia’s secret Linux team is looking for refuge

Nokia talents

When Nokia announced massive job cuts a couple of weeks ago, one of the targets was the company’s research facility in Ulm, Germany. Now, showing impressive entrepreneurialism, the axed team members have set up a campaign advertising their talents:

“In response to our recent Ulm site closure announcement from Nokia HQ, we (the employees) openly invite you to discover our world of talent on offer,” a flyer on their new website reads. “Welcome to Project KYVYT’.”

Nokia’s Ulm research facility employed 730 people, so that’s a lot of talent (or, in Finnish, kyvyt) on offer. But what were they working on?

According to Finnish business news service Taloussanomat, the Ulm team was developing Meltemi. If you don’t know what that is, there’s a reason for that.

Meltemi was an operating system for low-end smartphones. Nokia never actually acknowledged its existence, but it was axed in the June cuts. The Linux-based OS was most likely an insurance policy in case Nokia’s big Windows Phone tie-in didn’t work out, but now Nokia’s going to start making cheaper Windows Phones too. Given that Symbian’s not quite dead yet at the low end, you can see how three platforms in roughly the same segment might be a bit much.

Of course, if anyone does want to take the idea of a lightweight, open-source OS further, Project KYVYT has just the right people for you. After all, those behind the site say they will be posting “team profiles for investors” as well as personal CVs, so it’s quite likely that they could come as a package.

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