The Symbian Foundation's platform plans have mostly been a black box since its inception last year, with S60 seemingly forming the de facto base for development -- a reality that ultimately accelerated UIQ's demise. Symbian executive VP David Wood has shed some light on how the roadmap's going to play out (in theory, anyway), and it's shaping up to be a little more complicated than anyone would've anticipated. Turns out that the Foundation intends to have no fewer than five -- yes, five -- versions of the platform in development at any one time: two in the "stable phase" where they'll presumably be subject to minor updates, one in the "hardening phase," one having new features submitted, and one getting very early builds. What's more, releases even beyond that will be getting their roadmaps finalized at the same time. Ultimately, they'd like to have two platform releases a year, with the first -- Symbian^2, based on the upcoming S60 5th Edition Feature Pack 1 -- hitting at the end of this year if everything goes well, and that's presumably what we'd be seeing in Sony Ericsson's Idou. Look, if Symbian seriously wants to innovate this rapidly and mercilessly, we're all for it -- it's just a question of whether it can deliver.

[Via All About Symbian, thanks Pdexter]

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Symbian Foundation's release schedule is a five-version juggling act