Thursday, July 10, 2008

The mobile world - Symbian, Linux, Windows

I read a long but awesome post about the future of mobile devices and there operating systems.

Its mainly focused on the open sourcing of Nokia’s Symbian, and on the reasons for it and the benefits from it. I mostly agree with it, though I think he forgot a bit about Apple. So Symbian and Linux share the mobile OS market somehow, Microsofts Windows had its time, but didn’t win. Now that Symbian is Open Source, why would any manufacturer buy licenses for Windows mobile? And as the markets of PDAs and mobile / smartphones are basically merged by now, there is no reason to stay with Microsoft.

So whats next, did the revolution really happen without anyone noticing? Do we really live in a free (mobile) world yet? Well, not yet. Open Source, Symbian and Linux are just not “cool” enough to compete with Apple and their iPhone. Obviously the iPhone isn’t superior to other smartphones in anything but in marketing. From a developers point of view the iPhone is a very sad device. Its as closed as mobile phones used to be, you have to pay a fee to be able to develop / sell / give away Software for it. And there is no reason to think Apple will ever understand the idea behind Open Source. It probably wouldn’t even work for them, their business model is just too focused on closed source.

So what will the future be like? Will we all be zombies who blindly follow the marketers? Probably yes, at least the majority. But then, hopefully Nokia and Co will be able to affront Apple’s marketing, and be as “cool” as them.