Last week, the Symbian Foundation looked to steal some of Android's bright limelight by outlining its 2010 roadmap. The first fully open source release of the platform is due around midyear, with two updates to the OS also planned this year - Symbian^3 within weeks, and Symbian^4 by the end of 2010. Now Symbian's largest …
..I suspect they might have left this one too long. The time to slap some life into the platform was around the time that Android was born, not now. The initiative has been lost, and it is rapidly becoming an also-ran, against Android and indeed iPhone's undeniably shiny (if facist) OS.
Yeah, so it doesn't help that Nokia's current S60 flagship is basically unusually buggy and slow- those of us who were so impressed by the E series devices got a nasty shock with the N97.. What are Nokia up to?
Anyway, it's a shame, Symbian, especially S60, was a nice platform.. (Ok, so the old EPOC on the Psion Series 3 was pretty badass, too...)
"widely seen as the last chance for Microsoft to make a real impact on smartphones"
1) Buy HTC
Buying HTC won't fix Microsoft lacklustre Mobile OS. Hardware isn't the issue here, it's software. Buying Palm and continuing the development of WebOS would be a better option...
MS to buy HTC?
@RobertGrant If this were to happen, Android would take quite a beating but only for a few months or one year at most. I don't think MS are desperate enough to contemplate this just yet, but who knows how things will look in 2011.
Not so sadly...
The Nokia 5800 has sold more than all Android devices combined. Symbian isn't dead yet.
What I do think is that the new UI proposals look quite nice, and coupled with Symbian's existing strengths as an OS should make for a far better smartphone than any Android handset.
There's definitely something to be said for great power management and excellent cameras.
I'm an iPhone user myself, and nothing I've seen from the "competition" is likely to make me change, however, my wife has a Nokia 5530 and the S60 touch interface is not too shabby at all. I was pleasantly surprised. Certainly much, MUCH better than the HTC Touch Diamond she had for a while, which was so bad it was basically unusable.
From what I've seen of the pics of Symbian^4 it's definitely headed in the right direction and if they get it done right and quite quickly Symbian will be around for a long time yet.
The big problem Windows Mobile and Symbian both have is their legacy catalogues. Hundreds of partner companies have invested millions in software development around a set of design principles. It was understandable both were loath to piss-off their developer communities by throwing all of that away and starting from scratch - particularly MS whose strength was always the corporates with 1000s of hand-held terminals running custom software (Tesco Direct being a fine example).
It looks like both have now taken that leap. Current "leaks" suggest WM7 is a complete re-write - forgoing all backwards compatibility and with more than a passing resemblance to the virtual-desktop-with-widgets approach of Android.
Of course, thanks to its open approach, some of us have been running WinMo devices with shells along those lines for years!
Symbian's open sourcing is the real story
Anonymous - in response to this: "..I suspect they might have left this one too long. The time to slap some life into the platform was around the time that Android was born, not now." What they have done is amazing, open sourcing a whole OS, used in ore mobile phones than any other, and due to become the computing OS as we move forward. Innovation can very soon come from anyone not just from Nokia. Being a big open source and commons devotee I beleive this is as really cool and good move.
As for the article I want to underline this OS element - why would Nokia license a UI that they are putting into open source? I think it's taking a a whole for people to grasp the enormity of what is happening with Symbian. Would you guys be interested in coming to talk to us?
as long as any enthusiast-consumer can build it and put it on their own phone
I would hope that Open Sourcing Symbian means that anyone can edit, customise and build it in Eclipse and upgrade their phone with the source they have built, all for free.
So, the same guys who let their N97 out the door with a crippled GPS, self-harming lens cover and bug ridden firmware are telling us they are going to leapfrog the rest.
The Nokia 5800 may have "sold more than all Android devices combined." but that won't be the case for long, as it is due - in no small part - to Nokia's sales channels and network agreements. With UK networks rejecting first the N97 and then the N97 Mini due to high failure rates, Nokia's life may well be harder in future.
Nokia have been too complacent for too long, time will tell if they can recover their smartphone mojo, but my experience of an N900 is that things don't look good at this point.
I have never owned a phone with WinMo and would never buy one. The oft-flaky behaviour displayed by my computer does not give me enough confidence to take that leap, regardless of how illogical that may sound. The Nokia 5800 is quite good (and great value for money) but the competition is really hotting up now.
Just let it die already nokia!
As a mobile phone developer, I really wish Nokia would let symbian die already. Its a bloody awful platform to develop for and nokia really are in a position to make the linux phone that people wanted android to be.
And WinMo too. Good god Microsoft, go away. Programming for WinMo is like pulling teeth. pulling teeth multiplied by n subtly yet annoyingly different platform variations. Ugh.
...maybe this means they're going to update the buggy piece of shit firmware in the N97. I've had mine for two months and it is just (by and large) sluggy, unresponsive and NOT what you'd expect from a £500 phone.
I saw a load of guys with the N900
on a plane the other day and they all loved it. I was asking them if they were any good and they said the speed was unbelievable compared to Symbian. They do look good too.
I've just signed up for 18 months with an N86 cos I'm quite happy with the Nseries to be honest and I just don't want to get an N900 till they've been out for a while but then again in 18 month this new Symbian 4 will have been out for a few months and there should be some tasty things out there.
I still prefer Nokia to all others. Sorry.
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