Why developers matter in understanding the next wave of mobile computing.
Today’s announcement by Nokia that it would acquire all of Symbian represents an important move in the upcoming battle for next generation mobile devices (to call them phone seems unfair as they tend to do more than just make calls). In this entry, I’ll take a quick look at how the different players are currently approaching the market and what it might say about their potential moving forward. Strategy: Hardware? Software? Service? Partnership? Let’s take a look at the players in the “smart phones” market: Apple, Nokia, Microsoft, RIM (blackberry),Â Linux Mobile, and Palm. Sun used to have a Java Mobile but it seems to have dropped off the market, in terms of device market share. And then, there’s the new pretender to the crown in the form of Google, with its Android OS offering. How do they stack up in terms of Hardware? Operating System? Service Offering? Well, here goes: Hardware Software Service(s) Apple Y Y Y Google N Y Y Linux N Y N Microsoft N Y N Nokia Y Y Y Palm Y Y N RIM Y Y N Sun N Y N A first glance at this table seems to reflect some of the player’s pre-existing…Read More
Looking at the efforts Dave Winer is undertaking in terms of getting OPML to become yet another standard, I’ve been thinking about how formats get adopted. The key insight I came up with is that standards are actually a form of social contract and increasingly, data formats is following the same path. Looking at the history In order to look forward, it always pays to look back. The dominant standards for the web today are undeniably HTML (or its variances like XHTML) and HTTP. More recently, XML has emerged and, increasingly, RSS is becoming the dominant type of XML for sharing a variety of data. How did each of those standards become a standard. It is obvious now (hindsight is always 20/20) that standards bodies have relatively little bearing when it comes to influencing the succes of a format. Take, for example, SGML, which was the dominant standardized format for document formatting. It was quickly superceded by HTML which, at the time, was not considered a standard. The same is true of RSS and other standards for syndication. Formats like ICE, CDF, and NewsML were touted as the future when they were first introduced. However, they’ve recently been superceded by…Read More
I had to check the date on the article when I saw the announcement that Microsoft was going to provide some level of support for Linux. However, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke; it’s the real thing and has serious implications. In order to understand the impact, one has to understand how Microsoft used to work. In the past, Microsoft was all about protecting two key platforms: Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. As both tools represent the bread makers of the company, ensuring strong revenue while they try to go after markets, the Redmond giant was loath to do anything that could potentially help competitors in any way. As a result, they closely protected their own ecosystem and worked hard on spreading a message that essentially said that using other operating system was bad for your business. With this announcement, we may see a new Microsoft: one that is open to the realities of the marketplace. Linux is not going away and Microsoft knows it so, instead of trying to fight it head on, the company has decided to take its embrace and extend attitude and wrap its arms around the operating system. This is both a blessing…Read More