Monday, February 15, 2010

Mobile Updates From Barcelona

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has opened and news is pouring out in every direction.

Windows 7
Microsoft has unveiled Windows Phone 7 which focuses on social-networking, real-time information, and organising contacts and data in to single “hubs”.Joe Belfiore, vice president of Windows Phone, said, “Too many phones are made to look like PCs. We wanted to come up with a user design that was different, that moved beyond the metaphor of the PC.” Windows Phone devices will feature three buttons - Start, Search and Back and be built around six different “hubs”, based on the services that people use most, accessed through the Live Tiles home screen (not a lot different to the Android in my hand there). However Microsoft has enabled users to access and edit Microsoft Office documents on the device.

Microsoft said that Windows Phone 7 Series devices would be available at the end of the year from a variety of handset makers, including Samsung, LG and HTC.

MeeGo or MeGoo or Me Too

Nokia is merging its Maemo N900 smartphone platform, with Intel's Moblin, which is an open source software project, to create MeeGo. Devices are due out this year but who is driving strategy at Nokia and how many operating systems do they want? They clearly are on the back foot and in danger of losing the plot and claim once again that others will join the show. Sounds more like MeGoo than MeToo.

Remember Symbian, the operating system which Nokia took over and made "open source" and failed to convince other manufactures to adopt. However, Google’s Android, has been installed in 27 different handsets from a range of manufacturers.

Wholesale Applications Community
24 mobile operators, including Vodafone, Orange and O2, have joined forces with manufactures such as Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG to take on Apple's domination of the mobile applications market. Apple have now claimed 150,000 apps and these are certainly creating the difference today with only Google’s Android showing any ability to compete. This new alliance aims to create an open app platform which will enable developers to reach over 3 billion customers.

The Wholesale Applications Community is the latest attempt by mobile phone companies to ensure they are not sidelined by hardware makers and internet companies that reduce the networks to mere billing platforms and networks. However the industry has a poor record of working within an industry consortium."

Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of engineering, remarked that he was sceptical about the potential success of the mobile phone operators in creating their own application platform, "There is always a dream that you could write once and run anywhere and history has proven that that dream has not been fully realised and I am sceptical that it ever will be."

Maybe less WAC and more WACKY

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