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.
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TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, the fact that many smartphones are incompatible with each other is a matter of no-one forcing them to do that. And that's part of the fact that industry behind Linux is weak.

If you look at Windows Mobile, for example, you will notice that most apps built on 2003 will work on 2005 (before you ask: I checked that on my own. Did u?). Same goes for Java (installed many J2ME applets on different phones and most of them perfectly worked.)

Saying that SmartPhones don't need to be compatible with each other is wrong. They should. Of course, each vendor tries to build a semi-exclusive eco-system to force users to choose its phones and thus it's a matter of software makers to force them to keep their phones compatible. Microsoft does this. Sun (with Java) does this.

Eugenia is right when she says that phones should be compatible, expecially from users' perspective. When you say people only wants phones to be able to do phone calls you simply demonstrate not to know that industry you said you were part of. Many large companies are planning to switch part of their notebook base from notebook themselves to smart phones like WM5-enabled phones. A few customers asked my company to evaluate the possibility to move part of their internal applications to smart devices. Sure, you have some 13 y/o kids or 60 y/o grannies who wish phones to be able to call only, but you can't account them for the whole industry.

And you know what? Reason why WindowsMobile is getting huge marketshare is not only because they're good devices, but also because they're compatible with most data you might have on your desktop PC.

Reply Parent Score: 1

eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

And you know what? Reason why WindowsMobile is getting huge marketshare is not only because they're good devices, but also because they're compatible with most data you might have on your desktop PC.

.NET also makes them extremely easy to program apps for.

I agree with Eugenia on this, saying its ok for Linux smartphones to be incompatible because other vendors smart phones aren't compatible is like saying its ok for Win2k to be imcompatible with winxp because OS X and VMS are incompatible.

The fact is if I download a Windows Mobile 2005 app for my pocketpc smart phone, it will work. If I download a linux smartphone app, it may or may not work depending on which phone I have.

Reply Parent Score: 1

TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

.NET also makes them extremely easy to program apps for.

Definitely. But I would say that's not the only factor to consider. Right now, I think there are 5 or more Java mobile apps for each Windows Mobile app so people is actively developing for mobile systems.

However, I doubt that given current uncertainity about Linux itself there can be an explosion of native Linux apps on mobile systems. Using Java it's easier and makes developers far more confident that their applications will be able to run on most phones. I doubt someone would invest in developing native apps which might not work in 3-4 months when new phone will be released.

Please also consider that given the current price tag at which such apps get sold (most apps get sold from 5$ to 15$) real money is behind higher sales so every developer is encouraged to use frameworks which allow them to sell their software on different systems.

I understand that phone makers are very scared to help that because they fear phone prices could get even lower than today so they're willing to loose developers' consideration to keep price a bit higher but they should also consider that won't last.

By the 2008, we will have millions of devices which can potentially can be a target for developers, faster and smaller CPUs which will let people do more and (hopefully) better batteries.

Reply Parent Score: 1