Linux on Mobiles

Russell Beattie writes that the future belongs to Linux: “Symbians major problem [is]: Developer support. From the very beginning, the Symbian platform has been difficut to impossible to understand, let alone develop for. It takes experienced C++ developers tons of time to even understand the strange way that the Symbian OS works, let alone get to any level of expertise. It also requires a Windows development box and usually a not-for-free IDE to manage the code as well. Then, when developers run into problems, they must navigate a myriad of different sources for answers, including, Nokia, carrier websites, etc. On top of this, someone, somewhere forgot to tell Symbian that the User Interface Is the OS. Thinking that Series 60 is the same as UIQ or Series 90 is like saying that developing for FreeBSD is the same as developing for Linux and Mac OSX. This puts a lot more pressure on developers as they have to choose between platforms – and though most would prefer the bigger screen and power of a Sony Ericsson device running UIQ, Nokias OS is selling so many more units that theyd be foolish to develop for any thing but that. Finally, once a Symbian app is developed, the path to market is hardly paved at all right now. I dont know of many carriers that have Over The Air access to Symbian applications. I could be wrong about this, but if there are any, the numbers are really, really low. All of this bubbles up to the top, making decisions to base apps on Symbian a more expensive and risky operation for companies, and most arent willing to take that chance.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.