Jolla's Sailfish OS reaches 2.0, embraces Intel, licensing

There comes a time when every child grows up and starts to leave home for his or her own adventures. For Jolla's own Sailfish OS, that time has come. In preparation for the upcoming launch of the successfully crowdfunded Jolla Tablet next quarter, the Finnish startup is announcing the next major version of Sailfish 2.0. While details on what's new for end users are still quite slim, the release is meant more to entice partners, particularly of the hardware kind, to join in on the fun.

Sailfish OS was primarily designed to be used on Jolla's ARM-powered first smartphone. Late last year, however, the startup dared to venture into new ground. Not only did it try to crowdfund what would be the Jolla Tablet, it also aimed for a different hardware platform: Intel's. The reception of the Jolla Tablet idea was astounding, letting it grab $1.2 million in just two days and inspiring a follow up campaign last January.

That tablet is expected to ship in the next few months, but while things are still cooking on the hardware front, Jolla apparently has a ready-made software meal. Sailfish OS 2.0, as it is dubbed, is the next evolution of the platform. It scales the OS from smartphones to tablets, from ARM to Intel. In particular, it is adding support for the Intel Atom x3 processor platform. This is Intel's first processor to combine a 64-bit Atom CPU with 3G or 4G connectivity. In short, this opens the floodgates for more Sailfish-compatible devices in the future.

End users will also get to benefit from the update, though Sailfish is still tight-lipped about specifics. Of course, there are the expected improvements to the user experience. Multi-tasking has been improved and, for those straddling two mobile platforms, Android app compatibility has likewise been refined. There is supposedly a new, richer user interface that will surely make fans curious.

For now, however, Jolla is aiming its guns at new partners, particularly ODMs and OEMs, that will take Sailfish OS beyond Jolla's own limited hardware. There is on timetable yet for Sailfish OS 2.0's availability but fans will most likely be awaiting with bated breath for news and teasers of what's to come.