Independent Finnish smartphone maker Jolla is about ready to release its mobile operating system to the world. Meet Sailfish OS 1.0.

Marc Dillon and the rest of the Jolla team arose from the ashes of Nokia’s former MeeGo division and have spent the past few of years building two key products, the first Jolla smartphone and the operating system it runs, Sailfish OS. Whilst we’ve seen glimpses of both products in that time, Friday marked the official arrival of Sailfish OS in a truly completed state.

Sailfish OS

If making a smartphone and OS wasn’t enough, Jolla’s also been partnering with a myriad of companies to help with the initial rollout of the platform in its homeland of Finland. Jolla’s ‘The Other Half’ smart covers change the look and feel of your Jolla smartphone, including its wallpaper and ringtone and an Angry Birds version will soon be available in partnership with fellow Finnish company Rovio, complete with exclusive content.

Users will also have access to personal cloud storage, provided by F-Secure and the Jolla team are already exploring ways to integrate Sailfish OS with hardware from other OEMs and ODMs internationally. Jolla’s first handset is already making its way into new markets in Russia, India and Hong Kong, with upcoming plans to expand across Europe too.

A big hook of Jolla’s open approach is that Sailfish OS also supports Android applications and indeed the company has promised a Sailfish OS experience (effectively a themed launcher) which will be available to download on a host of existing Android devices in the first half of 2014. The Jolla community has already ported the operating system to a myriad of smartphones including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the odd Sony Xperia, but it’s hoped that as the platform develops, more users will swap out their Android-based OS for Sailfish.

Jolla smartphone

“The world needs a mobile operating system, which is open to developers, customers, service providers and different business models. Just in a few months we have shown how fast an open operating system can develop compared to closed ecosystems. It’s time for free choice instead of closed walled gardens,” Antti Saarnio, the Chairman of the Board of Jolla comments said.

Are you tempted by Sailfish OS or the Jolla smartphone? Does the market need a new platform alongside the big competitors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.