Light Reading
Symbian's futurist talks up three levels of openness at Light Reading's first-ever virtual tradeshow, jet pack not included!

Mobile 2012: Symbian Opens Wide

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
6/11/2009
50%
50%

The Symbian Foundation -- keeper of the world's most popular mobile operating system -- revealed exactly what "open" means for the code-base in coming years at Light Reading's first-ever virtual tradeshow, Mobile 2012, this afternoon.

The Foundation's catalyst and futurist, David Wood, spoke to an online audience to explain why mobile companies might need openness and also spoke of some of the potential pitfalls. He firmly cast the Foundation in the open camp, not only promising open software development kits and easy access to the code-base but also saying that outside developers, researchers, and other interested parties would have a say in the future roadmap for the OS.

The power of four
The backdrop for the move to openness, Wood told listeners, is the anticipation that mobile devices will quadruple in performance in many respects between now and 2012. "They'll have four times the raw processing capability," Wood says.

This means four times the storage and processing speeds that will double twice in three years, if Moore's Law holds. Battery life is the only hold-out as its performance just doesn't track with silicon, Wood noted.

More mobile raw power brings complexities, however, Wood said. Smartphones and other devices are getting harder to design, build and code software and apps for, Wood explained. Meanwhile, without more intuitive user interfaces, even power users can find phones confusing.

What's open, really?
There are two possible approaches to dealing with this level of complexity, Wood said. One is keeping all of the hardware and software development in-house, creating your own app store, and generally keeping a tight grip on the reins. This is the typical cellphone model and one largely adhered to by Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and BlackBerry , albeit with software development kits (SDKs) for third-party apps.

Symbian, meanwhile, along with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the LiMo Foundation , and others, is now pushing for a more open environment. Wood says that, for Symbian, open access means that any interested party can access the SDK and operating system code base and make changes to it. This means anyone from developers to research labs and universities can get their grubby paws on the Symbian OS. Furthermore, Wood says, the Foundation will push "open governance," whereby anyone involved with the work has a say over how the operating system's roadmap will evolve.

This means of course that Symbian has to take the rough with the smooth. The key danger of such an open approach is that code-base is developed by thousands of different parties to meet their own special needs and gets fragmented, the curse word of the open-source movement.

"Fragmentation is easy; integration is hard," quipped Wood.

He notes that Symbian already has some experience of this problem and suggests that the Foundation will have to "lead by example." This means integrating good changes to the code-base quickly and well, "fast standards," Woods calls it.

Despite the potential for code-base crack-up, however, Wood suggests that the Symbian OS can only be improved by going open source. "It's a better approach, to involve the entire community... get their overall brain power involved in these challenges."

– Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (0) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Add SmartSense to Make Your Network Ready for 4K

10|27|14   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


To make current networks ready for the coming 4K TV challenges, Huawei SmartSense solution will conveniently add experience and operation capabilities to boost telcos' future business.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
NetMatrix: Orchestrate the SDN & NFV World

10|27|14   |   4:11   |   (0) comments


Orchestrator is important in SDN/NFV world to make Telcom network automate, open and efficient. NetMatrix, as Huawei SDN/NFV orchestrator solution, has been in deployment and is showing its' value in real scenarios.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei FusionSphere Enabling ICT Transformation

10|27|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


Jeffrey Gao, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of Huawei West Europe Region, talks about the company's future-oriented cloud strategy. Huawei is providing full portfolio of IT architecture and building an open cloud ecosystem with innovative cloud OS FusionSphere to support customers' ICT transformation.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: StorIT

10|27|14   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


An interview with Suren Vendantham of StorIT, a value-added distributor for Huawei in the Middle East region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: Optimus

10|27|14   |   3:14   |   (0) comments


An interview with Nehul Goradia of Optimus, a value-added distributor for Huawei in the Middle East.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partner Interview: Enterprise Solutions

10|27|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


An interview with Pouya Parsafar of Enterprise Solutions, a valued distributor partner with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Customer Interview: OETC

10|27|14   |   2:35   |   (0) comments


An interview with Saif Albadi, of the Oman Electricity Transmissions Company, a government utility in that company that partners with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Customer Interview: Jannah Hotels & Resorts

10|27|14   |   3:13   |   (0) comments


An interview with Nehmeh Darwish, CEO of Jannah Hotel & Resorts, about his collaboration with Huawei across five hotels in the United Arab Emirates.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Commitment to the Middle East: GITEX 2014 Wrap-up

10|27|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Highlights from the Huawei pavilion at GITEX in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with interviews with current Huawei customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei: GITEX 2014 Day 1 Highlights

10|27|14   |   2:58   |   (0) comments


Highlights from the Huawei pavilion at GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition), an annual computer and electronics trade show and conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed