Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 29th Jun 2006 01:33 UTC
Linux Linux has one, last, chance to become the No1 OS in a particular consumer-oriented market (not counting servers): the mobile phone market. The open nature and yes, the hype around Linux has made lots of mobile-oriented companies to consider using Linux for their next-generation cellphones. But there is a major problem on the way to success, a problem which is created not by Linux itself, but by the greed and close-mindness of these same companies that endorse Linux.
Thread beginning with comment 138508
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: rhavyn is on cack
by rhavyn on Thu 29th Jun 2006 07:56 UTC in reply to "rhavyn is on cack"
Member since:

That's the stupidest argument I've read thus far. That would be like someone in 1984 saying "why should Macintosh have a GUI when no other personal computers do?" I thought the idea was to challenge the status quo and not just accept what everybody else is doing.

Welcome to the real world. Cell phone manufacturers have no incentive what so ever to make their products compatible at this point in time. Until they do, don't expect them to bother standarizing. Do you think Apple would have developed the GUI if they didn't think it would benefit them?

Is there some advantage to the rest of the cellphones being noncompatible? Can you possibly see the advantage from a developer's standpoint of having compatibility within the Linux platforms? Do you see *some* overlap in effort here by the four competing Linux-based platforms? Can you imagine that collaboration could strengthen the four Linux smartphone platforms, and as a result benefit us all?

This is an industry which used to write a new OS for each and every model line. Cell phone providers are perfectly happy making things difficult for developers and developers are perfectly happy having things be difficult as long as they can continue charging 10x more than what a PC developer would be able to charge for an app. The fact that users are inconvienced is irrelevant. Users are far more inconvienced by poor coverage, dropped calls, incompatible networks, etc. And yet, for all that, people are continuing to migrate to cell phones. Of the list of problems regarding cell phones, source or binary compatibility across phones is about second or third from the bottom.

I'm glad you're shooting for mediocrity.

Mediocrity? I don't think so. Failing to provide cross platform phones doesn't mean the phones are mediocre, it just means they aren't compatible. Failing to provide decent coverage, dropping calls, those things make cell phones mediocre.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: rhavyn is on cack
by Cloudy on Thu 29th Jun 2006 18:03 in reply to "RE: rhavyn is on cack"
Cloudy Member since:

Welcome to the real world. Cell phone manufacturers have no incentive what so ever to make their products compatible at this point in time.

They have three incentives, and they're acting on all three of them:

1) They get to reduce development costs
2) They get to reduce return rates
3) They get to reduce training costs for customer support.

Motorola and Nokia are both making major efforts to reduce the number of OSes they support and to standardize on application frameworks, for example.

Reply Parent Score: 1

But wait, there's more
by achates on Thu 29th Jun 2006 19:17 in reply to "RE[2]: rhavyn is on cack"
achates Member since:

In addition to those three incentives, add
(4) operator pressure to support customization across manufacturers (vendors would rather not, but carrier requirements have been growing steadily narrower)
(5) aftermarket software makes the phone much more desirable to many customers and can provide both vendor revenue and carrier revenue
(6) easier to bring in new technologies if you use the same platform the technology innovators do (like Linux)

Seriously - Motorola and other vendors WANT to have a Linux-based platform, they're just struggling with how to create one. There have been multiple attempts (CELF, LiPS, the unnamed foundation); maybe one of them will reach critical mass.

EZX wasn't intended to be a broad platform, it was intended to be a limited-market product; the last thing Motorola would want to do is open it up and have it grow a following while they're trying to build and promote a next-generation software base designed to be a real platform, open to third-party development.

Reply Parent Score: 3