Linked by Kroc Camen on Sun 15th Nov 2009 20:53 UTC
Podcasts OSnews Publisher David Adams and I discuss the mobile computing landscape, how the emergence of mobile computing is changing our lives and changing the design and market share of operating systems. Is there room in the market for 7 competing mobile phone platforms? Are we just repeating the 1980s PC market again?
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I liked what Kroc said about Windows taking over the universe because it was so easy to have illegal copies of their software. That is very true. Back in the days of Windows 3.11, that operating system was just some kind of virus that spread through all of our machines... Microsoft has that phenomenon to thank for their dominance. That and the partnership with Intel and the computer manufacturer's decision to go for the x86 platform as the one to make inexpensive desktops. Apple on the other hand always did and is still concerned about having a unique hardware.

Today things are changing, we don't just go on making copies of DOS in 5 1/4'' diskettes to carry around and go help a friend who bought new computers. It is getting harder and harder to install OSes, partly because there is more control against the illegal-considered copies, but also because full-sized desktop "production" OSes are really so much larger and more complicated.

Regarding mobiles: someone else already mentioned Maemo on a comment, and I really think you should look for more information about it... You keep talking about how good would it be if the iPhone were more open, and trying to imagine what will happen now that "the lunatics are out" with Android. Hey, the Maemo platform has been quite open already, the lunatics can have the fun of their lives there. And they have been doing it, albeit too much moderately perhaps.

I'm not saying that Maemo has done the revolution we are theorizing that can happen with the introduction of a mobile Internet device that is easy to develop for. I am in fact a little be disappointed with Maemo.

Although Maemo is quite open, there is not so much going on... It's not the awesome paradise that seems that could happen if all e.g. iPhones were not on a leash. So what is missing? How do we give a cold-water hose shower to the lunatics so they start doing all the crazy life-changing things they were supposed to do? Where are all that apps that are not being developed to the iPhone because it is "too closed"?...

One of the things that attracted me to the N800 was being able to run Emacs. I do feel good because I know it is possible, but the truth is I haven't been using it. Maybe if I had a N810, with a keyboard...

So, I'm suggesting you to take a look at the Maemo world, and try to see what is missing there that Android could bring us. Instead of just theorizing what will happen when someone make a mobile OS that is not so full of restrictions like the iPhone, look there and tell us what is wrong!... It's not and hypothetical scenario, it's happening right now, and we can already analyze mistakes instead of just dream about what could be good about this platform.

Android is not as open, btw. The lunatics will be out, with using GPS collars.

Apart from software, up to the N810 Nokia's tablets have had larger screens than the iPhone, and with a better resolution that is becoming a standard (and we don know when and how Apple will upgrade). So you don't have to dream about how good would it be to have a better display, _it is available_!!...

Maybe you were referring strictly to an even larger screen, like in the Kindle, I don't know, but it's another sample of how in the show you guys were theorizing about things that are actually already happening. Although Maemo is "open", and there are devices with larger screens than the iPhone, you talk like something was missing in these devices, so they "don't count". Maemo, for example, is dismissed as a mere "geek curiosity", and I don't disagree it has that feeling. Other devices with larger screens are also dismissed for other reasons.. because "they are nothe iPhone"? I don't know... So let's talk about this! Let's talk about why devices that have features that the iPhone lacks are not becoming, at least for now, "iPhone killers".

Don't speculate about things that already exist, and if these things are not exactly what you are talking about, please mention them anyway but explain why it is not accurate.

Final word: I can't wait to see the multi-core ARM processors arriving... But more than better processors, what I feel we miss is better developing tools. We must have better and more accessible (free as in beer and or speech) compilers and interpreters and libraries. While the Internet and the Cloud are putting an end to the lock-in of users though file formats, the lock-in of developers is still happening.

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