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In the Face of Android, Why Should Nokia Stick With MeeGo? 336

Posted by timothy
from the worse-name-than-gimp dept.
GMGruman writes "In September, Symbian 3 was Nokia's latest great hope for becoming relevant in the modern smartphone market. Now comes word that the Symbian Foundation is shutting down, ending the Symbian 3 and Symbian 4 efforts. Nokia is now banking on MeeGo, a collaboration with Intel whose release date — and fit to smartphones — is highly uncertain. InfoWorld's Ted Samson thinks that it's time for Nokia to swallow its pride and stop pretending it will ship MeeGo in time to matter, and instead consider adopting Android — or even Windows Phone 7, which after all might finally support copy and paste by the time Nokia decides to hitch its mobile wagon to a new horse."
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In the Face of Android, Why Should Nokia Stick With MeeGo?

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  • maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dropadrop (1057046) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:23AM (#34002466)
    I would imagine Nokia feels ditching their own OS would just make them hardware manufacturers, not so different from a large portion of their competition. Add to this that in a certain sense Google has probably partially made Android to ensure that no one manufacturer has a dominating position in the mobile market, and Nokia will suffer from that (Google can ensure products follow standards better when there are a lot of small players vs. one big one).
  • Why not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:27AM (#34002488)

    Maybe they don't like Android.
    That's why, in the face of Windows dominating the desktop, I installed Linux.

    It's possible for people to dislike software.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:31AM (#34002494)
    ... and also it is not costing them very much to develop the MeeGo environment.
    If they take up MS Windows Phone 7 that will be putting a vast amount of undeserved trust in what is really a competitor and hoping they will not get hurt. With respect to Ted Samson I think he is either not being serious and expecting to generate a spirited argument or he knows far less about what he is writing about than the youngest commenter here.
  • Why ditch it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:35AM (#34002508) Homepage

    Making themselves yet another Android vendor would give little reason for people to prefer their phones over somebody else's.

    Also I find Nokia's approach interesting. Their distribution is a very standard looking one, and porting applications to it is extremely trivial. Anything that compiles on ARM will run outright, and only needs fixes to the UI. Lots of command line tools can be used without changes.

  • Lots of reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:35AM (#34002510)

    The first that comes to mind is how Android is all about tossing aside everything that is open source as we know it and reinventing the wheel. The catch is that the wheel has not necessarily been improved, and now it's all under the control of Google, who does development behind closed doors and only allows hardware vendors to participate in the process. The rest of the world gets Android code when Google feels like releasing it.

    The open source world has TONS of excellent APIs, no sense in not using them. Makes development a lot easier when you don't have to worry about each subsystem yourself. And hey, if your hardware vendor isn't run by bean-counting, control freak assholes, you can participate too.

    But the main reason Nokia won't go Android is because that makes them dependent on Google, which even Android vendors like Motorola cite as a risk. Google wants to ride other vendors to get their services out there and make money, and that's a realm Nokia wants for themselves.

    Following along with this, I'm amused that people put WP7 in league with Android or MeeGo. It's more like an iOS 2.0 you can license, and well you only need to read my post history as of late to know my opinion on hyper-restrictive OSes like iOS and WP7.

  • java. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lalo Martins (2050) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:38AM (#34002524) Homepage
    Can't tell you why Nokia thinks MeeGo makes business sense. Or Intel. I can tell you why I'll buy it if/when it comes out (and my current phone is an N900): because it's not Java. I can write stuff in Python (comes pre-installed), I can run stuff not specifically written for the platform (emacs, kobodeluxe), I don't have to put up with anything I don't want to. That, for me, is a sell.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DMiax (915735) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:41AM (#34002536)

    In my case because there is a market for people that don't want to develop for a dumbed down linux and want a real development environment.

    Also of note the fact that they recently increased the planned releases for Symbian^3 (four phones now on WP) that Symbian^2 phones keep being released in the Japanese market and Symbian^1 is alone probably domnant in the smartphone market overall.

    If they could finally get a Symbian SDK working on linux I would jump on it immediately. Linux needs terribly high specs, Symbian is impressive in this sense and I could easily keep two/three test phones for hobby development.

    But I digress: if the choice is a linux distro and Android I will buy the linux distro, so I can install every possible package I already have on my desktop/laptop.

  • by hotwax (1109843) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:44AM (#34002552)
    The Android phones I've seen are pretty much as locked down as the iPhone. Meego is the only phone OS with some potential for new and interesting things. And Nokia were successful in the first place because they dared to try new things.
  • by Toy G (533867) <[toyg] [at] [libero.it]> on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:47AM (#34002562) Homepage Journal

    yeah but their margins are thin and getting thinner by the day. They currently rely on third-world consumers not being able to afford Android or Apple phones, but cheap 'droids are less than a year away...

  • Re:java. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:48AM (#34002570)

    My thoughts exactly. I truly hope there's room for one open mobile operating system on the market. The situation would be:

    iOS: closed
    Android: semi open, you are free to develop applications for it in the extend that the java sandbox allows.
    MeeGo: Open source *nix goodness.

  • by phishtahko (1308293) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:52AM (#34002586)
    The only thing Nokia needs to ditch is the bureaucracy. It has way too many divisions each wanting to keep features to themselves. They need to combine their E and N series and have a total of no more that 3 smartphones - entry-, mid- and highlevel. They could go up to 6 models if they offer each of the 3 variants with either touch or touch/slide keyboard, but no more than that. They have to many differing visions because of their different devisions. Having one person in charge is essentially the only way to go, since it gets rid of the in-fighting which is currently sinking them. If you want proof, just look to Apple. One gigantic asshole running the show and in 4 years they've turned themselves into the standard the old guard are playing catch-up to.
  • Re:java. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lalo Martins (2050) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:55AM (#34002596) Homepage
    Maybe not. But perhaps it could win them several thousand developers. And then the apps would win millions of customers.

    Or maybe I'm a dreamer...

  • by sznupi (719324) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:56AM (#34002602) Homepage

    Seems the news is just that the Foundation might not continue operating in its current legal framework (which depended on few other entities apart from Nokia, and now that they are gone...). But that doesn't lead to S^3 effort ending, as TFS claims (S^4 apparently is, somewhat - only in the sense that, instead of one big future release, its features will be pushed gradually to existing devices; a change for the better IMHO)

    Symbian isn't going anywhere - it has greater share of sales than the next two players combined; when taking number 2 player out of the equation, greater share than all what's rest combined. Might very well be the first smartphone platform to break the barrier of 100 million devices shipped annually, this year.

    All this ignoring the modus operandi of Nokia. Is S40 dead? (checking...) No, it's the most widespread mobile phone platform in the world. Heck, even S30 sells quite a few units. Symbian will be around for a long time, just in price segments where S40 was for large part of the last decade.

    Those segments aren't going away. If anything, the market seems to be getting more diverse than the simplistic "everybody will want either 'true' (for the current definition of 'true') smartphone or something ultra low cost" - but it's probably hard for pundits in few atypical (but highly visible) markets to notice some crucial segments; most of those people have smartphones...

    Smartphones which still sit at around 20% of total shipments. Have been sitting close to that for a few years. People are generally happy with slick UI, touch screen, good web browsing (heck, Chinese makers are starting to integrate even full Opera Mobile), few widgets - "smartphone" doesn't need to enter the equation, as fabulously popular "feature phone" touchscreen mobiles from Samsung and LG have shown recently (those phones from Samsung are why they might be level in marketshare with Nokia by the end of the year, not smartphones)

    As for Android...heck, who knows. Though probably "MeeGo-fied/Qt-fied", to share at least their custom apps with Symbian, to have the same widget engine available (the W3C one, iirc). But they are profitable, in Q3 their revenue has risen, at #1 marketshare it doesn't make sense to willingly get relegated to the status of PC makers (vs. MS/provider of OS). Why Samsung pushes also bada OS (indeed almost a direct continuation of their wildly successful TouchWiz handsets). BTW, funny how MediaTek was apparently almost blocked for some time from participating in Android, by Qualcomm; funny times ahead, now that MT releases their solution for Android soon.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by benjamindees (441808) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:01AM (#34002624) Homepage

    But I digress: if the choice is a linux distro and Android I will buy the linux distro, so I can install every possible package I already have on my desktop/laptop.

    This is such a huge advantage, but the market of people who want it is so tiny no company will ever chase them.

  • Bad Journalism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by valdyn (445073) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:09AM (#34002650)

    Very badly researched articles and Summary:

    Symbian Foundation closing does not imply that Nokia will stop Symbian Development.
    Symbian 4 being transformed from an incompatible system into an upgrade path from Symbian 3 does not make it go away except for the name.
    And another one:
    "Symbian 3 made it onto a couple of phones, but no one really noticed or cared"
    The first Symbian 3 device was only just released (N8) and reviewed by the usual websites, and 2 more are announced and prototypes released and shown at the Nokia Fare (C7, E7).

    I'm to lazy to actually read the whole articles but there's probably more nonsense.. bad Journalism.

  • Symbian is dead? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drolli (522659) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:12AM (#34002664) Journal

    a) News of symbians death are IMHO highly exaggerated. I right now would place a bet that symbian OS will be a significant palyer in the market for the next 5-10 years (maybe more). Why? Go to Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Africa, Russia etc. many people there dont afford iphones, but low-end Nokia devices are pushes out in numbers you cant imagine. And the current mid-class devices (e.g. Nokia e63), which you can already buy there will be the next low-end devices. So - taken into account the fact that Nokia can build successfully push out phones counted in 10s of millions and be profitable on a much smaller margin for revenue, you think they should experiment around?

    b) Android: Nokia stayed away from bundling the devices with services from other companies, because then you would invest in developments where somebody else dictates the rules. So should Nokia accept to help advertise and develop a platform, which makes them googles slaves? As a happy Nokia customer i say: No.

    c) customer base: If it want something for playing i'll buy and additional android device,iphone,psp or wii. If i want a workhorse, i'll buy the next Nokia phone - if possible a symbian one. I have all the software i need for it, namely dictionaries, pim tools, mail client, podcast downloader, internet radio, youtube client, skype, messaging clients, google maps (and nokia maps), office documents editors. Moreover it runs java programs. This is my definition of "what do i primarily need?". I wont sacrifice running this stably for an unknown gain in other things.

    So to say it shortly - the customers interested in having a cool looking web-surfing device Nokia already are lost for Nokia. Their potential customer base are people who want a cheap phone or something which "just works", with a little hooks as possible. For that they should take their time and keep the keys in they own hands.

  • Re:Why ditch it? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jklovanc (1603149) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:21AM (#34002700)

    Making themselves yet another Android vendor would give little reason for people to prefer their phones over somebody else's.

    Different is not necessarily better. As a consumer I can buy a Droid phone and in the future buy another driod phone from another compatible manufacturer and still use the same apps. If I buy a Nokia, I am stuck buying Nokias if I want to use the same app.
    There is also the catch 22 of any new OS; Few apps are written because the install base in not high enough, Install base is low because there are few apps. iOS avoided that issue because they were the first on the block and every developer wanted to get on their band waggon. Android avoided that issue because there are enough people that are dissatisfied with Apple's closed system that an open system has a place. It sounds like MeeGoo will be just another closed system like iOS; one manufacturer, one app store, my way or the highway. MeeGoo will be behind iOS and Android forever causing every app publisher to make the decision whether or not to support a third OS. The answer to that question for many developers is no.

    Also I find Nokia's approach interesting. Their distribution is a very standard looking one, and porting applications to it is extremely trivial. Anything that compiles on ARM will run outright, and only needs fixes to the UI. Lots of command line tools can be used without changes.

    My first question is; how many people will be running command line tools on their phone?
    Second the code must run on an ARM so must be written for an ARM. Can I easily port my Android or iOS app to MeeGoo? I doubt that very much. Which means that I need to write apps for a third OS. Not a good decision if i can cover 95% of the current market buy supporting iOS and Android.

  • Re:java. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by martyw (1911748) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:27AM (#34002722)
    Exactly, MeeGo allows you to code in Python/C/C++/Fortran and even Java/Mono/C# whatever - the GNU GCC is there, standard open source project and libraries all working, just ask any developer, they are loving it. So from the dev's POV it is heaven. Now the marketing, branding and UI of the MeeGo platform -- that is completely other matter..
  • by asnelt (1837090) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:30AM (#34002734) Homepage
    You must be trolling. It's not Android that is locked down. It's the phone manufacturers that abuse the openness of Android to lock their phones down. Granted, there are proprietary drivers on every Android phone at the bottom and there are proprietary apps at the top (which can be removed from rooted phones). Moreover, Android itself is developed by Google behind closed doors. But still Android itself is open. That is the reason why forks of Android like the Cyanogen mod can emerge. And this is something that did not even happen with Maemo. On its internet tablets Nokia used mostly FOSS but kept enough closed so that it did not loose control over the platform. For instance 1/3 of the software on the Nokia 770 was actually proprietary. There was even a project called Mamona that tried to replace the closed source components with open source ones and it never reached a stage were it could be called usable. I would say Android has a lot of potential.
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:38AM (#34002756) Homepage Journal
    Real Linux, copyleft license, BSD-style licenses. Not been associated with Google can be a good thing too.
    Unix is free, open and a offers a powerful community.
    Google only offers open layers down to a 'base' that maybe hardware or software.
  • by ThoughtMonster (1602047) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:46AM (#34002780) Homepage

    Seriously, any posting on Nokia/Symbian/MeeGo will have the inevidable person calling Nokia to adopt Android but this one gets the cake, claiming that "Symbian's dead, and MeeGo won't cure ailing Nokia". Nokia's recent press release (Engadet coverage [engadget.com]) claims the exact opposite, e.g. that Symbian and MeeGo are gaining unified development environments via Qt and Symbian is now a consolidated effort, unifying the seperate Symbian ^x releases into a constantly evolving release model (which means that older phone models will get constant feature improvements instead of just bug fixes). Nokia had a good Q3 and last I checked, they still held the majority of the mobile phone market. Talk about missing the point.

    Why are we giving these people creedence again? Oh yeah, he writes for InfoWorld, that must mean he's on to something.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:47AM (#34002782)

    Nokia is not closing down Symbian, it looks like it might close down the Symbian Foundation (http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/12215_Nokia_accelerates_Qt_focus_con.php)

    The new CEO, mr Elop, has stated that Qt will be the main API for both Symbian and MeeGo, and that the two different Qt-based UI's for Symbian and MeeGo are either scrapped (Orbit on Symbian) or deprecated (DirectUI on MeeGo). Also, evolution of Symbian will proceed more smoothly so the numbering system (^3, ^4) is dropped.

    Finally, it looks like people can upgrade their devices to later versions of the OS.

    In a couple of weeks is the Symbian Smartphone Show or whatever it is called now (http://www.see2010.org/).

  • I like Yellow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bananaendian (928499) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @05:57AM (#34002814) Homepage Journal

    I'm writing this on my MacBook Pro, my other work machines are Windows PC's. I administer a UNIX server at the laboratory. I do most of my work on LabView and AutoCAD. I edit my photos with Photoshop and I drive my Ford to the local supermarket at the mall and buy the biggest brand cereal. And in the evening I sooth myself with a bottle of JD.

    I use stuff so I can be productive and happy. I dislike smug people who announce their dislike of stuff so they can feel superior to me. They're not. They are just voicing their own failure at being happy.

    Oh, and TFA: Nokia should stick with Meeguu - its the only chance they have in the face of technically superior handsets from HTC and superior user experience/cool-factor from Apple. Otherwise they're just a redundant manufacturer of slightly better quality handsets that cost more and don't look cool. A virtual death sentence in the mobile market. As for /. ... nobody gives a thing what you think - the mobile market is even more brainless-consumer oriented then Apple's if you know what I mean.

  • Re:Also rans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:16AM (#34002884)

    Eh?

    The N900 does actually connect to the tv. Sure, with wires, but still. It also connects just fine to Mac, Windows and Linux machines I have, allowing them all net access and/or file transfer. It also picks up DLNA servers in the house and can use them as media sources.

    Nokia do a lot of things right. They've lost direction a bit over the last few years and the number of models they have now is just ridiculous, but if someone tightens the reigns and sorts out the business side, they've proven time and again how capable they are of producing solid, working devices with great user experience.

  • Re:Also rans (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:22AM (#34002894) Journal
    Depends on the target device. Current Maemo / MeeGo devices ship with a screen that does 800x480. It's 225dpi, so you do need to make some things bigger, but most apps that worked on smallish-screened desktops or laptops will be more or less usable on something like the N900. To make it really usable, you need some tweaking, but not a huge amount. If you want to scale it down to a smaller phone, then you probably need to completely redo the UI.
  • Re:maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:27AM (#34002906)

    I think it's more than that. For example, Nokia is Europe based; it has a strong respect for the privacy of it's customers through not gathering data which doesn't really fit directly into Google's way of doing things. Note; I'm not saying that Google lacks respect, just that they do it from a completely different base. They assume they own your data and then voluntarily give you back most of your privacy (compare with e.g. Facebook which just doesn't bother to give you back your privacy.. "Deal with it Bitch"). Nokia has to start from a base of asking for permission to data which they assume you own. I think that in a Google led environment would strongly disadvantage Nokia compared to other companies which would be happy to gather all their customers data and/or hand it over to Google. Adroid was never designed to work for Nokia and there are probably plenty of other things like that which just won't be a good fit.

    Also, if you think that Google is a big target for Java patent attacks that's nothing to Nokia. Nokia almost certainly already has agreements in place that it would be breaking by delivering a java execution environment which isn't compliant to Oracle's spec etc. etc.

    Nokia could go with Android, but only if Google agreed to give them a serious level of long term influence over the platform. That's not something I guess Google would do and it's probably not something Google should do.

    Nokia needs to do something it hasn't had the guts for for years; commit to Meego; promise that Meego will be available for at least seven years, no matter what market success it has for the first couple of years; limit Symbian to the low end; be clear about where it's going; have a vision of a bigger market and see that it's mobile expertise will only be relevant if it can apply them to devices which have the same level of flexibility as a general computer. Commit to delivering low cost Meego devices soon. Make sure that Meego will be available on all pre-existing N700/N800/N900 devices so that there is a guaranteed base market from the very beginning. Even better; if possible provide a Meego upgrade for N97 and above devices. Build up a developer "eco-system" and make sure that you look after it. This will mean that people will be able to believe in the future of Meego.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @06:49AM (#34002956)

    Symbian isn't going anywhere - it has greater share of sales than the next two players combined; when taking number 2 player out of the equation, greater share than all what's rest combined. Might very well be the first smartphone platform to break the barrier of 100 million devices shipped annually, this year.

    The thing about Symbian is it really doesn't seem to be going anywhere; in the other sense. The other smartphone OSs; Android and iOS, and even Maemo/Meego, are designed to establish platforms. New Symbian versions consistently fail to run software from old versions. Symbian phones always seem very locked in; for example it used to be difficult to just connect the phone and directly access the whole of it's file system (at best you got a few specific directories). I think that's improved now, but similar stories apply all around. etc.

    What this means is, that the number of symbian devices is irrelevant. Even if Gartner's numbers [arstechnica.com] are a bit exaggerated, it's clear most of those devices are not selling software; are not being used as smart phones and just don't count. Your addressable market for smart phone applications (the main meaningful thing about a "smart phone") is not the number of phones, but the number of phones that are actually being used in a smart way. This determines the amount that other people are investing in the platform and so it's long term future value.

    Nokia could fix this by making sure that it delivered software updates for it's old phones and ensuring backwards application compatibility. This would mean that it would only support one software version over all it's phones and would mean that Symbian apps would become much more valuable. I'd assume, though, that there's something in Symbian or in the way Nokia uses symbian. which makes this impractical.

  • Re:Why ditch it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrHanky (141717) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @07:29AM (#34003156) Homepage Journal

    My first question is; how many people will be running command line tools on their phone?

    Plenty of really excellent GUI apps (some of them made with Qt) are simply front-ends to complex command line utillities.

  • Re:I like Yellow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anshulajain (1359933) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @07:40AM (#34003232)

    I'm writing this on my Ubuntu laptop (corporate), my work systems are all Linux (Ubuntu, Mandriva) and I administer a large number of Linux systems deployed for mission-critical manufacturing test...oh my work is all on LabVIEW, besides using Linux for all "other" corporate work (I'm among the senior management at work)

    I edit my pics with Shotwell and Picasa and drive the latest Honda to the local supermarket. I like to relax in the evening with some nice music and enjoy time with my family.

    I use Linux to be productive and be happy. I dislike smug people who think that Linux users have little or no life. They're just trying to act intellectually superior compared to others.

  • Re:maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frisket (149522) <.ei.liramlis. .ta. .retep.> on Sunday October 24, 2010 @08:14AM (#34003408) Homepage

    I would imagine Nokia feels ditching their own OS would just make them hardware manufacturers, not so different from a large portion of their competition.

    That's certainly possible, but this goes beyond Symbian and MeeGo. There is the whole fiasco which was Maemo.

    With the N700 and N800, Nokia had the foundation for a viable, sustainable, open platform for the development of pocket computing, to which they could have added phone capability. Very little needed fixing (mainly the webcam, for which there was never any software except Nokia's own webchat, which no-one used). Instead, they failed to recognise the market, ignored the users completely, and came out with the N900, which was a phone with a hobbled PDA platform.

    To be fair, Google made similar mistakes [silmaril.ie] with Android, releasing 1.* with no support for two key elements, principally Bluetooth and Wifi Proxies. But these appear to be partially fixed in 2.*, whereas the N900 was just an expensive not-very-smart-phone.

    Every time the deficiencies of Nokia's vision come up, their developers (who are excellent people) come up with the same scripted blather about how important the company's marketing strategy is, and how they know best, and how the market for "tablets" is so important. Of course it is, as the iPad showed, but the N800 was there long before, and had more facilities than the iPad, and could easily have been developed into a larger, competitive device.

    But Nokia is at heart still just a phone manufacturer, and they lack the vision to see where the handheld market is going, despite having it explained to them numerous times in words that even marketing 'droids can understand. The future isn't in "tablets" but in portable computing. Call them "tablets" if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but don't think for a moment that they are phones with a PDA bolted on. They're computers, and the way to sell them is to make sure they run stuff — simply, easily, quickly, and openly.

  • Re:maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @09:07AM (#34003694)

    Excellent point. I wish I could mod you up.

    Whose standards will those products follow once there is only one mobile OS that matters?

    Easy! Google's of course.

    Just like Microsoft gave us standard's... I can't finish the sentence.

    From what I see, standards are not very high in Google's agenda. Dalvik the non-standard bastard step-child of Java, and Flash the proprietary home-run of Adobe's are what I see as talking points for Android. Not that HTML5 isn't a priority for Google.

    Of course standards are what companies use until they reach a dominate position, then they become the de facto standard.

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @09:55AM (#34003934) Journal

    I'd assume, though, that there's something in Symbian or in the way Nokia uses symbian. which makes this impractical.

    Indeed there is: cell companies adopted a strategy early on of "never, never, never deliver software updates to old phones" where "old" is "already purchased." If your phone didn't have annoying bugs in it, what would encourage you to get a new one after the 18-24 month financing deal was up, and lock in a new plan?

    In a sense, their "software update" plan has always been, "buy a new phone"

  • by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @09:59AM (#34003958)

    And also, MeeGo is not meant for the phone market, only Android is. MeeGo is meant for the mobile/wifi netbook/tablet market. In that sense, MeeGo is competing with ChromeOS, Windows 7, and Linux, and it will do very well in that regards with Intel backing it, Intel already dominates the Netbook market (just not on the OS side yet).

  • Re:maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by duguk (589689) <dug AT frag DOT co DOT uk> on Sunday October 24, 2010 @10:50AM (#34004402) Homepage Journal

    Android already runs on the N900, a few rough edges, but it's almost good enough to use as a replacement OS.

    If you're only looking to use basic functionality, (ignoring the stuff unsupported in Android). Meego and Maemo are both vastly superior in the functionality for expert users.

    It's like comparing Windows to Linux; Windows is easier for the general populace, Linux is for those who know what they want. They're really not comparable.

    I suggest the following change to the headline: "In the Face of Windows, Why Should Linus Stick With Linux?"

    What the hell ever happened to choice being a good thing, anyway?

  • by RichiH (749257) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @10:56AM (#34004436) Homepage

    1) You lose easy access to the largest repository on Earth (Debian's). And Debian has a dedicated ARMel distribution. This is _massive_

    2) When I still used RPM-based distros, I could make the package DB go boom by just installing/uninstalling stuff

    3) I know how to package DEBs. Not true for RPM.

    4) The decission was made behind closed doors.

    5) I use Debian for laptops, desktops, servers, I would prefer to use Debian-esque on my mobile.

  • Re:Bad Journalism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 21mhz (443080) on Sunday October 24, 2010 @01:21PM (#34005344) Journal

    I especially liked the tidbit on how MeeGo "made almost no headway after several years."

    The reality says that it was announced in February this year, and is near its first platform release with Nokia contributions and touch support.

  • Re:Also rans (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 24, 2010 @04:48PM (#34006678)

    The next big push will be interconnectivity smart phone connects to the smart book connects to the smart TV[...]

    does not mean connecting you TV via a one-way TV-out.

    What? I'm sort of lost on what data you would want to share with your monitor other than visual data. The device can get or share data via usb or wifi.

    The only data I can think of is that you might want your phone to receive data from a touchscreen monitor? If so...*shrugs*

    If you're saying you want a star trek device that everything hooks up to and you just plop it in a cradle and BAM SUPERCOMPUTER...this is not it. Nothing currently available is. But it meets most of the basic outlines these people are asking for.

    Every nokia meego discussion on slashdot/reddit/digg brings this mythical device up. And n900 users say "not it, but close!" And everyone largely laughs at them, quietly shifts the goalposts and says "Nooo, what I want has to include all this, have 1 week battery life, run crysis, fit in my pocket, drive my car to work for me, give me the ability to see ghosts, have a camera that can take photos of molecules/distant galaxies, have an apple logo on it, and...".

    Somewhere in that laundry list of needs you discover you're probably talking to someone that is nine to thirteen years old.

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