“Symbian today said it will open most of the source code for its mobile operating system to third party developers, in its latest effort to encourage the creation of more software for the platform. The company also announced that German electronics giant Siemens has agreed to buy 5 percent of the company for more than 20-million euros ($17.8 million). The software company, which is co-owned by Psion as well as Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and others, already provides most of its code to its licensees, and will offer the same access to software developers through a new plan called the “Symbian Platinum Program”. A number of third parties have already committed to joining the program, including Intel, AppForge, Texas Instr. and UK chip-designer ARM Holdings.” Read the rest of the story at ZDNews.
Symbian Opens OS Source Code
2002-04-23 Wireless 11 Comments
I’ve owned Psion Series 5 and Series 5mx machines and have played a lot w/ the Revo as well. I think SymbianOS is the best handheld OS I’ve seen. It is rock-solid and fast. I just wish someone made a Symbian device the same size and weight as an ipaq or jornada with a color screen and everything.. that would rock!
Palm needs to make some moves and Be more competitive here!
YC good point!
What are Palm doing beyond their servers? Any news on that mysterious OS 5? What is it? What are its capabilities?
Symbian seems to taking the rights steps. Palm is taking invisible steps.
We have all seen desktop OSes migrate down into some PDA devices (Zaurus and Yopy have Linux, OQO has WinXP).
Does anyone out there think that it is possible we might also see the reverse happen? For example, could Symbian, through some kind of project, evolve into a desktop OS of sorts (I don’t know what hardware)? I couldn’t imagine PalmOS, but what do you think? PDA hardware is getting more and more powerful all the time and is approaching the power of low-end desktops (OQO is already there, in fact: http://www.oqo.com/ ). I’m just curious to see if anyone has any thoughts as to what type of cross-pollination with desktop hardware or OSes might occur with these PDA OSes.
“does anyone out there think that it is possible we might also see the reverse happen? For example, could Symbian, through some kind of project, evolve into a desktop OS of sorts.”
I’d agree with that but you probably won’t see symbian, or the next palm on a conventional desktop. Rather you’d see a small device like OQO a phone or a pda that can inteface with a real keyboard, screen and other peripherals to do the same functions of a desktop (web browsing, basic office productivity).
Then again, if symbian or Palm succeed with developers they should consider licensing the platform to someone to make a cheaper desktop-like device. it might look like a cable modem (size wize) cost around $300, and offer limited expandability but enough power.
The PC industry is ripe for a disruptive technology. No one needs a bloated OS, a P4 at 2 GHz, and $1200 less in their bank account to browse the web and run word processors. If Symbian and Palm play their cards right, which i doubt, they could end up being that technology.
QNX already runs from the anti-lock brakes to desktops to auto companies running hundreds of QNX nodes in clusters for real time simulations.
Do any major computer stores carry symbian devices? I’ve heard great stuff about them since before I bought my palm (a year ago) but I couldn’t find one anywhere to play around with. Isn’t oqo that device that will sell docking stations so it could be your desktop and your portable, if so anybody know when its coming out (for some reason I couldn’t get their site to load right)? Anybody think the next palm release will be based on be (would really make sense considering the market is moving more towards pocket pc because of its expanded capabilities over palms)? Any and all answers greatly appreciated.
The cell phone market is the most hype market of them all. Turn on your nokia cell phone, go to games and start hangman — that’s the extent of java in cell phones. That’s all.
1. No. Major computer stores IN THE USA carry no Symbian devices anymore EXCEPT cellular phones. Newer cellular phones from Nokia and Sony/Ericsson run some special version of Symbian for telephones. In Europe, you can still buy Psion devices that run a Symbian OS, though you may have to look hard, and pay a bit.
2. Yes, go to the OQO web site, click on Hardware, then Features and read on. Oh, and you need a version of Macromedia’s Flash player for it to work. They give you no real choice.
3. NO NO NO NO NO! NEIN! NYET! C’EST NE PAS VRAI!!
Palm is now two companies: the hardware sompany (still called “Palm”) and the software/OS company (called “Palmsource”). Neither company is moving to a Microsoft OS for their products. EVER. Palmsource owns the Palm OS and is working hard on OS 5 (with the help of those fabulous engineers from Be Inc.). They are also moving the Palm OS (starting with version 5, and all versions coming after it) to hardware based on the ARM processors. These are the SAME processors that power most PocketPC devices, but the OS’es are very very different. Processors based on ARM technology are EVERYWHERE, including almost all Symbian devices, the Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Cellular phones, PDAs, GPS systems, and, um, lots of other stuff.
Hope this helps.
1. Thanks, I should’ve clarified US but I didn’t think about it (like most americans I’m ignorant of the outside world and I likes it that way ;p).
2. The site is working now (the other day it wouldn’t load at all, even though I have flash), another web oddity.
3. I meant the market is shifting towards pocket pc devices, not palm itself. You did answer my question though (moving to arm processors would give palm devices the ooomph to create a heavily be influenced palm os, which would give ms a run for its money imo).
go buy/play test the newest Nokia 9*.
The idea of Java on mobiles is to screw customers even more, by being able to download games (think Java Web Start) and pay for the pervalage(sp), ohh and prob. pay per play all build in.
However on the plus side J2ME means that I could write _ANY_ game for the phone, even a 3D shoot-em-up (just don’t expect it to run well) and Telnet (yeah! The reason I bought a wap phone (before you start going “ssh”, it’s for MUDing).