[maemo-users] Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

From: mathew meta at pobox.com
Date: Thu Jun 26 00:37:00 EEST 2008
Theodore Tso wrote:
> I'm not speaking for Nokia, but I've talked to a number of folks from
> Nokia, and the problem is that their suppliers are not willing to
> release specifications under any kinda of NDA that would allow them,
> or someone else, to release open source device drivers.  If they did
> this, they would either be late to market by 6-12 months, which is an
> eternity, or they would not be able to use the latest hardware which
> has a combination of the latest functionality (i.e., 3G support, GPS,
> WIFI, etc. all on one chipset) that competitors such as Apple and
> iPhone might use.

Fine by me. I don't want bleeding-edge hardware. I'm happy to have what 
was state of the art last year, with open specifications and software.

> I very much doubt that Android or other Linux mobile solutions will be
> much different.  Android in particular tries to make it such that
> application vendors don't even know that they are running on a Linux
> OS; what they see is a restricted Java environment.

Sounds good to me. Solves issues with security and stability, and lets 
me develop in a modern programming language I already know rather than a 
crufty old one I'd rather never see again. Gives me access to state of 
the art development environments. Plus, I don't have to care about 
setting up cross-compiling for a different CPU architecture.

> Compared to what you can get, even ignoring the carrier subsidies,
> that's a pretty anemic feature set.

The iPhone has a pretty anemic feature set too, so it's not going to be 
a success, right?

> It's just like in the airline business, where people will kvetch about
> comfort, and lack of hot food in economy class, but where time and
> time again, it has been proven that when it comes down to deciding
> whether to fly with airline X or airline Y, the vast majority of
> customers overwhelmingly go with whatever is cheapest.

Have you looked at how well the US airline industry is doing? Price wars 
only worked up to a certain point. Once the experience got bad enough, 
people stopped flying no matter how cheap it was.

Personally, I paid extra to fly with a European airline last time I had 
to travel internationally, just so I could get decent service. I don't 
see the European airlines going out of business, so there must be a 
viable market.

Ditto the iPhone. Clearly people will buy a phone with an anemic feature 
set and year-old technology if it offers a compelling user experience 
and applications they actually want.

It's the applications that really let the N8x0 down, in my view, not the 
lack of bleeding-edge proprietary hardware.


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