- Big buzz from MWC is Symbian giving away the code on a USB stick. Anyone can take it, use it and help Symbian evolve the platform.
- The platform wars are over - "there is a de facto technology standard in the smartphone space, globally - it is called Symbian".
- The Symbian Foundation officially announced Symbian^3 at the show; Symbian is talking about, "our future, our roadmap, all the contributions we're getting from member companies".
- Lee on the Open Screen Project - "What we're doing by joining the Open Screen Project is letting developers know that this is a true enabler for them, that it will be thoroughly integrated and they will be able to do some rich things with it on our platform."
- Lee on Qt for Symbian - "it simplifies things dramatically" and developers can "create applications which have true portability, between the desktop, between the web, running on the cloud, or running on anything that is mobile - you can do it all with Qt Core, you can do it all with Symbian^3".
- Lee's view on the Vivaz - “it is a tremendous product. You have 720p video, you have an eight megapixel camera. It is a very small device, extremely portable. It has a beautiful touchscreen. In many, many ways it showcases the power of Symbian."
Lee Williams MWC walk about
Lee Williams [Executive Director, Symbian Foundation] on branding and buzz at MWC:
Part of what we are trying to do is have some fun. Business can be fun. We're using our robotics ducks, our flying toasters, our jet pack moos. We're trying to inject a little spirit and energy into what people are doing in the mobile space.
The big buzz is that we are giving away the code. We're giving away USB sticks with the entire distribution. We have just open sources, we didn’t just EPL the source early - we are giving it away free. They can take this code and manipulate it. They can truly has some fun and help us evolve the platform at a faster rate and with more innovation when compared to any other platform out there. There is a de facto technology standard in the smartphone space, globally - it is called Symbian. And what we've done now is opened this up to the world. So they can continue this journey to provide the best possible connectivity solutions for consumers.
We've also announced Symbian^3 at the show, it is one of the reason you'll hear us talking much more about our future, our roadmap, all the contributions we're getting from member companies to help us extend the platform out into the future.
Lee Williams (next to the Adobe stand):
One of the differentiators for the Symbian platform is that from a web technology and Internet standards standpoint we believe in both open and de facto standards. We're not looking to close people in, we're not looking to create a wall. What we are looking to do is simply provide a collection of run time enablers and the Open Screen Project is a perfect example of where we embrace de facto technology standards like Flash and Air. We've been working closely with them, in what I call the open models, which you can leverage for software distribution. So the Open Screen project is an almost perfect example of where Symbian can work with another company and take de facto standards like Flash and Air and help them get to the market place, in some totally unique ways, that developers can build upon.
It is not just about getting on there in the best possible time frame. We want the richest experience for Air applications and we want to enable developers in some unique ways on the platform. We're not going to keep developer's at arms length or we provide a crude solution or one that runs only in the browser. What we're doing by joining the Open Screen Project is letting developers know that this is a true enabler for them, that it will be thoroughly integrated and they will be able to do some rich things with it on our platform.
Lee Williams (next to the Qt stand):
When compared to AVKON, Qt gives you some very unique things. Where before you would have to write fifteen, sixteen lines of code (and have no memory management) in Symbian C++, with Qt you can call a line or two and get all of those benefits that you would have to do have achieved by literally studying the code and the APIs previously. So it simplifies things dramatically. The second thing is it gives you access to a tremendous number of visual capabilities - transparencies, misting, ghosting, movement and animations that are hardware accelerated (and not). And with the incorporation of WebKit in Qt you can do some phenomenal things, with simple Python scripting, with HTML, which you just could not do before. So we have greatly simplified things for developers with the use of Qt, more than that we have given them an incredibly rich capability to build applications.
Rafe Blandford [All About Symbian]:
And do you see the addition of tools like Qt Creator as another string to the bow?
Yes, that is absolutely right. You can use the Qt tools, you can use multiple third party solutions, you can use your favourite Web Monkey, running in Firefox, to simply do some scripting, access the Qt Core and get some really strong application capabilities.
Starting with Symbian^3 and going onto the future you get all this power, all this strength. It really is a good time. We have completely merged the capabilities of the web - data being remote or local has, as a concept, gone away. You simply need to call it, in terms of the information or content you need. And its cross platform, so if you want to merge that desktop environment, if you want to create applications which have true portability, between the desktop, between the web, running on the cloud, or running on anything that is mobile - you can do it all with Qt Core, you can do it all with Symbian^3.
Lee Williams on the Sony Ericsson Vivaz:
I love it. I have been using it for a few days. It is a tremendous product. You have 720p video, you have an eight megapixel camera. It is a very small device, extremely portable. It has a beautiful touchscreen. In many, many ways it showcases the power of Symbian. More than that you are talking about a manufacturer who has taken a platform approach - they taken their work with the Satio - and in a very short time frame produced what is, in many ways, a better product. And a product that hits a price point for consumers, so it hits a price point for consumers that has a mass appeal, which is very attractive for a manufacturer. So in this way it is a perfect showcase for Symbian and what you can do as a member of the Symbian ecosystem.
We love touch. We're fine with stylus. QWERTY even better (I'm a QWERTY user myself). But more than that there is an incredible number of things you can do for inputs into a Symbian device. The Vivaz is a good example of how you can merge those inputs into a highly usable product, one that I think will have great consumer appeal.
So as our final item, there are a lot of developers here, where can they go to find out more?
They can go to developer.symbian.org. You can also go to symbian.org and get caught up on what we are doing straight away. More importantly you can download the code, start tinkering right away. What developers will see is that Symbain is not about being a legacy system. It is about being a highly modular, highly capable system that is now open to their influence, open for their inputs, and open for them to extend and create application that can run globally, that are certified on hundreds of operator networks. More than that applications that are very advanced - with Qt core, with Flash, with the web capabilities, with the power Symbian C++ and the broad set of APIs, the Social Mobile Framework. They will continue to be impressed by what you can do with this thing. So the real call to action for people is get the kit, get the code, download - get involved - it is really going to be great for them.
The future is extraordinarily bright for Symbian. I think people forget, in all the hustle and bustle and sensationalism around, you know, the OS wars, that Symbian has shipped in over 350 million units, that it has shipped in only 70 different device form factors, it ships with support for fifty plus locales, certified on hundreds of different operator networks. You need to realise Symbian is still growing - it is growing at around a 20% compounded annual growth rate, we continue to provide the largest addressable market opportunity for people looking to create applications or be a part of the future of mobile.