More insights from Eldar: Windows Mobile is dead, new Linux mobile OS from Samsung
Did any of you guys and girls actually read the original article? Or did you just quickly scrolled through all that useless text to the bottom, hunting for specs and pics to write about?
Thought so. And I understand. We all here are in the news business, under a deadline and pressure to put a story out for our readers as soon as possible. OK.
But now, when you did that, drop everything you are doing right now, and go read the original Mobile Review story about N900. All of it. All 2700 words of it. There’s a lot more then another new gadget to discuss here.
Because all the stuff about Nokia N900 in there is the least interesting and important part of that article. As he has proven more then once, Eldar has the connections and access that any overpaid industry analyst, not to mention reporter or blogger, will kill for. Somehow, he gets privy to the strategic and product plans of mobile vendors, and overall direction of the industry months or even years before any outsider ever hears of them. And he outs a lot of this info in the N900 preview.
Here are some key highlights.
The background about the place of Symbian OS and S60 in the future plans of Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. We’ve written about it here quite a few times, so I wont go into more details this time. But it should put all those stupid rumors about Nokia ditching Symbian to rest once and for all.
Windows Mobile is dead. Long live Mobile Windows
Yes, you read this right. According to Eldar:
(Microsoft) has made a quiet decision to finish tweaking Windows Mobile 7, and then migrate to the “mature OS”. That is to abandon the development of a new mobile OS version, keep Windows CE, and use the next version (7.5 or 8 ) of the main Windows OS which comes out in 2012, for mobile devices too. At this moment further development of Windows Mobile family is if not stopped, then frozen.
Sounds pretty interesting, and I wonder what this decision will mean to Microsoft’s overall position in mobile. On the one hand it sounds like Microsoft might be giving up on Windows Mobile. But on the other hand it also indicates that Microsoft still plans to offer an OS that works on smartphones/mobile devices. Lot’s of questions here.
So, it’s 2012, and we don’t have Windows Mobile anymore. But we have some sort of scaled down version of Windows 8, that works on smartphones and other mobile devices. Something like OS X/iPhone OS or even more closely related? Less? Is it important, that the new OS working on mobile devices is not called Windows mobile, but is called Windows instead? Why? Would there be a common development environment for mobile and desktop apps? Clearly app compatibility break is coming, but that is probably true for a transition between Windows Mobile 6.x and Windows Mobile 7 too. What would be so different about transition between Windows Mobile 7 and Mobile Windows 8? Will Windows CE be part of Windows 8? Lots of stuff to think about.
New Linux based smartphone OS from Samsung
So far Samsung has been pretty platform agnostic, merrily churning out phones for any open mobile OS available, with unifying TouchWiz interface on top. But now it seems that Samsung has started working on their own Linux based mobile OS. According to Mobile Review:
(Samsung is) now working on a vertical Linux-based solution of their own, using their proprietary TouchWiz interface to tie up various platforms and prepare themselves for the upcoming Linux-powered devices… Samsung might be a little late (with their mobile Linux OS effort), but through various marketing tricks is covering it up. For now Samsung is spreading it’s widgets to phones and netbooks, but it is too early to call it fully vertically integrated solution.
Ok. Pretty clear statement. Samsung missed the boat 2006-2007 when Nokia, Apple and Google started working on the next generation mobile OSes, with close integration integration between devices, their software and cloud services. But now it has seen the light and is furiously trying to catch up. TouchWiz UI is the basis and starting point, but we will see a Samsung’s own full fledged Linux based mobile OS in the next year or two.
Interesting, and again raises tons of interesting questions.
Samsung is, or soon will be a major player on Symbian, Android and Windows Mobile. When Samsung gets their own open mobile OS, what will happen to other mobile platforms that it is using? One thing seems clear, if they stay, third party platforms will be relegated to mid-tier mass market devices, while the flagships will have Samsung open OS. But which platforms Samsung will keep? All, none or some of them? And what does that mean to the success of each particular platform? Symbian, with Nokia firmly behind it, is probably OK. What about Windows Mobile, it’s in dire straights already, can they survive without Samsung? What about Android. So far it has only one major handset vendor –Motorola – firmly behind. All others are experimenting and hedging their bets through multiple platforms. How Android position will be impacted if Samsung decides to drop it? Will the partial interest of Sony Ericsson, LG, second tier and third tier players be enough?
Again, lots of stuff to think through and wonder…
Some other interesting tidbits from “Nokia N900 preview”:
- Apple managed to adapt BSD for their Apple iPhone, plus it’s also utilized in their multimedia players and will debut in an internet tablet some time in 2011. (not sure how much of this is inside knowledge)
- at Google they are working on their Android OS step-by-step in order to flood the market with a wide selection of phones during the second stage of their strategy (which will take place in 2010) and start offering Google-branded laptops during the third stage (2012-2013).And even though first MID Android-based devices are already available, this market will start blossoming only in 2011, along with the advent of first laptops.
- all key (S60) SDKs have to be able to work with Maemo in the future, to let the developers migrate to new platform and to attract new developers too. In fact Apple developers will get the possibility to quickly translate their programs to both Nokia platforms. (I think we are talking about QT development framework here)
- Samsung OmniaHD i8910 is the last Samsung flagship on Symbian. All future devices have been moved to mid-tier mass market device level.
- LG doesn’t grasp industry trends at all, and only just now are starting to understand the general shape of future market
Well, that’s about it. As I said, ton’s of new, important stuff in that “preview”. Be sure to read it yourself, since I only covered small part of it. Then think about it, prepare your keyboards, and start the conversation about the future of mobile industry going.