Device operating systems

OS Watch: MWC Shows Its Software Side

Light Reading Mobile is gearing up to head to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress where mobile operating system news will punctuate a storm of new device launches. Here's what's on deck:

  • The great Google mystery: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is planning something big at MWC, and it may not just be its gigantic booth (although that will be back too). The Android maker has been counting down to the show on its show site, but hasn't revealed what it will announce at the show -- if anything. But, blog Know Your Mobile has done some hypothesizing and suggests there could be an announcement around Chrome for Android (aka Jelly Bean), Google Music availability, a Nexus Tab tablet preview, a Google Home Entertainment service or its augmented reality Google X glasses. Your guess is as good as ours! (See OS Watch: Mozilla Getting WAC?, Google Makes Music With T-Mobile and Google TV 2.0 Tees Up CE Partners .)

  • Ubuntu docks Andoid with the desktop: If Jelly Bean does debut at MWC, it will be competing for attention with Ubuntu , the OS from Canonical that now runs on multi-core Android devices. The software gives users a full desktop experience when docked with a display and keyboard, like the Motorola Mobility LLC Atrix can do, while simultaneously letting users continue to use the Android phone functions like text and calling. Canonical is pitching the desktop/mobile experience as a way for wireless operators to convince enterprise users to upgrade to Long Term Evolution (LTE), and to showcase their own branded apps. It says the software works on multi-core devices with HDMI and USB connections. Perhaps we'll know which ones next week. (See Motorola Atrix: The Power & Confusion.)

  • Nokia gets low: Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) spent all of CES talking up its high-end Lumia 900, so it will likely use MWC to tackle the low end. Reuters reports that the Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) partner will launch the Lumia 610 with the latest Windows Phone Tango OS at a lower price point to appeal to the masses. Sources also tell the site that the handset maker will launch a global version of the Lumia 900 that's headed to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). (See Nokia Counts on AT&T for a US Comeback .)

  • Fujitsu goes to Europe: It's not quite a household name in smartphones, but Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY) is planning to take Europe by storm with both Windows Phone and Android smartphones, The Financial Times says. Its MWC debut will be an Ice Cream Sandwich-based powerhouse featuring a Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) Tegra 3 quad-core processor.

  • Windows 8's turn to shine: While you'll likely see the usual storm of Android tablets, Windows 8 will likely be a main talking point too, even if there aren't many on display. Microsoft will release its Windows 8 consumer preview at the show as a follow-up to the developer preview issued last September. The final release of the supposed iPad-competitor, however, is not due until the fall. (See OS Watch: Windows Phone 8 Specs Revealed.)

    — Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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