All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 11-12-2004, 02:35 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Schizophrenic Palm OS teeters

Not Symbian news, thankfully, but info about a competitor. There's something of a storm in the Palm OS world about the recent news of PalmSource switching future direction to being a software/GUI company based on a Linux OS. As someone who had a brief love affair with a Palm IIIc about five years ago, which was nice and simple at all levels, seeing the continuing confusion in their OS and the general mess they've since made of most things at a technical level (e.g. VFS), is really rather sad. Interesting reading here for Christmas.

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Old 11-12-2004, 03:47 PM
langdona langdona is offline
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It reminds me a lot of the deal a few of years ago with where Palm were going to use their software as a UI for Symbian. That got nowhere, I think because Palm wanted to take the lead role.

I the problem with the Palm/Linux deal is that the advantage of Linux is that its free, so why would manufaturers pay for a liscensed Palm emulator on top of it? They might as well use Symbian or MS smartphone in the first palce, or even just Linux on its own come to that
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:55 PM
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Indeed. Effectively PalmSource are saying that the jewel in their crown isn't the OS after all. Unlike Microsoft and Symbian, for which the OS and its facilities are king. PalmSource is effectively saying that its jewel is simply the look and feel and the main 4 PIM apps. Which isn't that much, at the end of the day....

Steve

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Old 12-12-2004, 03:12 AM
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The Kernel is not the OS

Mike Cane was talking out of his hat there - check out www.pdabuzz.com for an op-ed piece that is far better informed.

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Old 13-12-2004, 07:14 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon
Mike Cane was talking out of his hat there - check out
www.pdabuzz.com for an op-ed piece that is far better
informed.
Yes, I know there's more to an OS than the kernel, and I don't want to
start a big debate here. But there is a big issue here. If you
take away the kernel and all the device APIs and all the software hooks
that a kernel needs, all that's really left are the interface APIs and the
main PIM apps. I'm sure this won't be the end of Palm OS as a perceived interface, but it's certainly all a bit messy.

Steve Litchfield

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Old 13-12-2004, 09:51 AM
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Alternativly, you could say that PalmSource have recognised that the new OS 6.0 is at about the limit of hacking on the kernel that can be done, so let's re-do the kernel. And if thast's the case,what's the most popular kernel OS about? Linux. That bit makes sense. And if it's a Linux kernel and they document the interface API, that's a heck of a lot of linux developeres who don;t need to learn any new language to do raw apps on Palm OS 7.0.
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Old 13-12-2004, 05:38 PM
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I'm actually of the opinion this is a good move for Palm (if it works). I always thought their weakness was the limitation in the OS and by chucking that away...

The importance of brand can not be under estimated. Its why Nokia dominates the smartphone market.

Here's my take on the news which I never posted (it needed editing)...
Palm Source's recent announcement means it is bought more directly into competition with Symbian OS. Previously operations had overlapped. Palm was a PDA OS looking to get into smartphones where as Symbian was a smartphone OS from the start. This difference, along with Symbian's large number of licensees, has given Symbian 90% of the smartphone market. The Treo phones were competing with the UIQ phones where comparatively there is less of a difference. Now Palm Source signals its intention to provide a broader product range. Whether this is sucessful or not remains to be seen, but it should give Symbian, UIQ Technology and Nokia (with Series 60) some pause for thought.

On a strategic level the Palm Source announcement sees a further separation of the UI layer, as seen in PACE, from the underlying OS. To my mind it continues the trend seen with Cobalt where the UI is one element and the underlying OS another. This remind me of what Symbian went thorough a few years ago with the move from ER5 to Symbian 6. The separation of the two layers has been a driver in Symbian success. Palm Source are approaching this from a different direction in one sense since it is the OS that they are changing so that there will be Palm OS on Cobalt and Palm OS on Linux.

Of course the lever that is gained into the Chinese market is also highly significant. Slated to be the largest growth area in the next decade this could make the difference in having a presence or no presence in that market. The popularity of Linux as an OS is already apparent with the Asian manufacturers and Palm Source will no doubt use it as a key selling point. Palm Source phones still look weak in the European market, but it the high growth Asian market they have taken a big step forward. Similar in significance to DoCoMo announcement of Symbian OS as one of its platforms of choice.

The smartphone developer scene just got really interesting. Palm OS will be better able to leverage its 1 million developers in the smartphone arena. I've always seen Palm OS as more of a competitor for the Microsoft vision of smartphones (data centric versus Symbian's communication centric). Symbian, especially the Series 60 UI is something different. Which vision you agree with is both a personal thing and a matter for further debate, though I think there's room for both because it is more of a difference of use debate. Europeans favouring the communication centric versus the US data centric model resulting from a different history of PDA and mobile telephone usage.
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