Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dean Bubley: Mobile phone OS...

Dean Bubley posts at his Disruptive Wireless blog about commentary by David Wood, one of the original inventors of the Psion and Symbian operating systems. Bubley agree with "quite a lot of what he says - particularly around the idea that creating Linux phones is neither as easy, nor as cheap, as many propose," and that "he's also right to debunk the idea that most Linux phones are actually smartphones, just because they are built around a Linux kernel."

Bubley writes that "if you take a stricter definition of "smartness" - ie the user can buy & install 3rd party software, rather than it all being preloaded & supplied by carrier or retailer - then quite a lot of the Symbian devices in the market are too locked-down to be considered fully-open." Bubley then concludes that regarding Symbian versu Microsoft Windows Mobile:

Increasingly, higher-end mobile devices are not going to live as standalone devices. They will have be "good citizens" of an extended ecology spanning PCs, notebooks, consumer electronics, IP-PBXs, WiFi phones and IPTVs. Various emerging services and applications will span several categories of products. What this means is that while a handset-optimised OS is ideal for a handset-optimised service, it is much less clear that Symbian has a strong role to play in applications which are "federated" - perhaps across a handset, a PC and a games console, for example. It may well be the case that Windows' (or maybe Linux') ultimate deficiencies in terms of handset performance may be offset by superiorities in interoperability and cross-platform software portability.