PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux - Scion

This is a discussion on PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux - Scion ; I have a couple questions for the group. 1) What are the pros and cons of each of these operating systems? 2) Which of these PDA/Smartphone operating systems is the most likely to be the dominant player in the portable ...

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  1. PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    I have a couple questions for the group.

    1) What are the pros and cons of each of these operating systems?

    2) Which of these PDA/Smartphone operating systems is the most likely
    to be the dominant player in the portable computing market 3 years from
    now and why?

    -Jonathan


  2. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Palm OS is virtually dead. Palm source is focusing it's efforts on Linux
    based systems. Symbian is still the dominant player by far but will likely
    suffer the dreaded installed base curse. (E.g First you pray for an install
    base, then you curse it.) In order to keep up with the latest cool stuff -
    after all that's what is selling phones since they all do, you know, "phone
    things" - it's the extras that are growing in sales. The Symbian OS was
    never designed for that sort of thing. I think industry is gearing up for a
    new battle between MS and PalmSource with it's Linux based offerings,
    assuming they can get their act together and create a workable business
    model based on Linux.

    --
    Steve Maillet
    EmbeddedFusion
    www.EmbeddedFusion.com
    smaillet at EmbeddedFusion dot com



  3. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux


    wrote in message
    news:1130615169.939411.21610@g43g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
    >I have a couple questions for the group.
    >
    > 1) What are the pros and cons of each of these operating systems?


    It depends on what you want to do. You also left out RIM (BlackBerry) which
    is its own OS/UI.

    PalmOS: dominant PDA in the US. Really good as of several years ago with the
    PDA application. Not a lot of uptake on mobile phones.

    Symbian: high-end phone US used by Nokia, SonyEricsson and others. I've
    never seen it in a non-phone PDA. Not a bad 32-bit C++ environment.
    Development environment based on Borland tools and others. Mostly C++. Best
    for high-end phone stuff (sync, etc.), especially where you are buying apps,
    not writing.

    Windows Mobile: offshoot of the lightweight Windows CE portable environment.
    Heavy on CPU and RAM requirements. Great development environment, if you
    like the Microsoft toolset (some do, some don't, some for technical reasons,
    some for religious reasons). Easiest to develop for, especially for new
    programmers or light apps. C++, C#, VB. If you're syncing to Windows Server
    stuff (SQL, Exchange) a slam dunk.

    Linux: darling of the ABM (anything but Microsoft) crowd. Low licensing cost
    (free, that is). High ram and CPU cost (for a phone). Easy to program, in
    everything from PERL to C++ and ANYTHING in between. Not a lot of phone
    apps. Haven't seen it much in a phone or PDA, but in a lot of appliances
    (TiVo, EMPEG car radios, MP3 players, firewalls, routers, etc.). Great for
    alternative desktops (if you don't need MS Office and OpenOffice meets your
    needs), servers or network appliances.

    RIM BlackBerry: best UI I've seen for handheld email. Absolutely second to
    none. If Symbian (or other Nokia phones) license the RIM email package, turn
    out the lights on Symbian UI development as well as RIM hardware. That could
    be a winning combination. Haven't seen any custom apps on BlackBerry, but
    believe they have a developer's kit.

    > 2) Which of these PDA/Smartphone operating systems is the most likely
    > to be the dominant player in the portable computing market 3 years from
    > now and why?


    #1 Microsoft: they have an annoying tendency to win in the end. Because they
    have an almost unlimited pot of cash, and, if they believe it's strategic,
    they keep plugging away at it until they get something that sells. They
    understand usability. But, stretching the Windows metaphor to the phone
    really makes it hard to use. They also have the tie in with development
    software (Visual Studio), servers and the dominant commercial email software
    (Exchange/Outlook).

    #2 RIM BlackBerry: currently the market leader in 'executive jewelry'. They
    have a nagging lawsuit that anything could come out of. Might move to being
    a software supplier, if they partner with Nokia. Also, rumored in that past
    that Microsoft might acquire. Fairly good integration with Exchange and
    Lotus Notes.

    #3 Linux: as hardware and RAM get cheaper and draw less power, the
    disadvantage of Linux will drop. The licensing cost ($0) is a real advantage
    in mass market. Still have to develop a unique phone UI for each
    manufacturer, as well as a phone device driver.

    #4 Symbian: I'd like to put it higher, as I carry a Series 60 phone (Nokia
    6620) and like it a lot. Download a lot of apps (most developed in Europe).
    Nokia is the main backer of Symbian, and their support seems to come and go.
    Still only shipping Symbian on about 40% of the European phone models, and
    25% of the US ones (not sure about market share). Nokia's also rumored to be
    talking with RIM about licensing BlackBerry s/w for phones - not sure what
    that means.

    #5 PalmOS: Latest announcement of Treo running Windows means that PalmOS is
    walking dead. Expect it to be gone from marketplace in two years, except
    possibly as very low end standalone PDA.

    >
    > -Jonathan
    >




  4. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    In article ,
    "Jim Burks" wrote:

    > Symbian: high-end phone US used by Nokia, SonyEricsson and others. I've
    > never seen it in a non-phone PDA.


    Symbion was the OS for the Psion 3, 5 and Revo--the best designed PDA's
    I know of, and for a while a serious competitor to Palm.

    I've been referring to the Nokia 9300 as "Son of Psion."

    --
    Remove NOPSAM to email
    www.daviddfriedman.com

  5. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Steve Maillet (eMVP) wrote:
    > In order to keep up
    > with the latest cool stuff - after all that's what is selling phones
    > since they all do, you know, "phone things" - it's the extras that
    > are growing in sales. The Symbian OS was never designed for that sort
    > of thing.


    Just curious, what is this extra stuff you can do with for example a Windows
    Mobile 5.0 phone you can't do with a Symbian phone? I have one HTC Qtek 8310
    running on WM 5.0 Smartphone here, so I can try for myself. If I compare
    this to a Nokia's Symbian phone, both are able to:

    - read / send email (IMAP4, POP3, SMTP)
    - browse the web (e.g. Opera)
    - sync calendar and contacts with MS Outlook
    - take pictures and videos
    - listen to MP3/WMA music
    - chat realtime or with instant messages (ICQ, MSN etc.)
    - make video phone calls

    > I think industry is gearing up for a new battle between MS
    > and PalmSource with it's Linux based offerings, assuming they can get
    > their act together and create a workable business model based on
    > Linux.


    Windows Mobile 5.0 is still too difficult for ordinary consumers and devices
    are too expensive too, but I believe WM will be getting customers in
    enterprises. Currently Symbian has about 85% and Windows Mobile about 12%
    market share in smartphones in Western Europe. I believe Microsoft could get
    around 25% if they play their cards right.

    --
    Tero Lehto
    http://lehto.net/tero/



  6. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    I'm talking from a software development perspective. UI and usability issues
    are all aided or constrained by that in any system.

    --
    Steve Maillet
    EmbeddedFusion
    www.EmbeddedFusion.com
    smaillet at EmbeddedFusion dot com



  7. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Steve Maillet (eMVP) wrote:
    > I'm talking from a software development perspective. UI and usability
    > issues are all aided or constrained by that in any system.


    In that aspect I agree 100%. I've been involved in a mobile software
    development project where the Symbian (C++) application took about six
    months work of three people, whereas exactly the same features were built in
    a couple of days using .NET CF and targeted for all sorts of WM 2003 SE
    terminals (both Pocket PC and Smartphone).

    But as this is a consumer service, low installed base of WM terminals means
    it's bad/no business.

    Do you have any insight into or opinion about why Microsoft hasn't still
    been able to transfer their strength in development tools to gaining
    significant market share in mobile devices?

    --
    Tero Lehto
    http://lehto.net/tero/



  8. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Tero Lehto wrote:

    > Do you have any insight into or opinion about why Microsoft hasn't still
    > been able to transfer their strength in development tools to gaining
    > significant market share in mobile devices?
    >


    The largest market segment is non-corporate, and MS has not been able to
    use the Windows pre-installation wheeze to get WM on to consumer mobile
    devices the way they did with PCs?

    Long may it continue......

    --

    Brian Morrison

    please observe reply-to address

  9. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux


    "David Friedman" wrote in message
    news:ddfr-
    > Symbion was the OS for the Psion 3, 5 and Revo--the best designed PDA's
    > I know of, and for a while a serious competitor to Palm.
    >
    > I've been referring to the Nokia 9300 as "Son of Psion."


    Wasn't the OS still EPOC at those days (Psion 3 etc)?
    Turned into Symbian when the bigger players (Ericsson, Symbian) took over.

    I think Psion has had very little (or nothing) to do with Symbian OS 7 or
    later (so including 9300 also).

    -A



  10. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Lack of developers in this area doesn't help the market. Also there is
    no MS certification specific to mobile apps developers on this
    platform. These things really hinder capturing a market. They need
    the developers behind them and this market is growing rapidly. The
    other thing that really doesn't help is the lack of support from the
    device manufacturers such as HTC and lack of access to some of the
    underlying device API's. But hopefully this will be resolved in the
    future.

    The other problem with device development is the number of hoops that
    developers have to jump through to actually get software out into the
    public domain for WM devices. First you develop the app. Then if you
    are a good developer you get it tested and certified to MS standards.
    Then before you can release it if it uses any connectivity such as GPRS
    etc then you have to get it certified for use by each mobile provider
    eg Orange, O2, Vodafone. It's not easy to satisfy all groups all the
    time.


  11. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Alle wrote:
    > "David Friedman" wrote in message
    > news:ddfr-
    >
    >>Symbion was the OS for the Psion 3, 5 and Revo--the best designed PDA's
    >>I know of, and for a while a serious competitor to Palm.
    >>
    >>I've been referring to the Nokia 9300 as "Son of Psion."

    >
    >
    > Wasn't the OS still EPOC at those days (Psion 3 etc)?
    > Turned into Symbian when the bigger players (Ericsson, Symbian) took over.
    >
    > I think Psion has had very little (or nothing) to do with Symbian OS 7 or
    > later (so including 9300 also).
    >
    > -A
    >
    >

    Psion split into Psion who did the hardware and Symbian who did the
    software (like PalmOne/PalmSource). My assumption is that the Symbian OS
    is an evolution of EPOC32 which was the OS for the Psion 5. I thought
    the Psion 3 used EPOC16 (which may or may not be a different beast).
    Anyone confirm or deny my assumptions?

  12. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    In article ,
    "Alle" wrote:

    > "David Friedman" wrote in message
    > news:ddfr-
    > > Symbion was the OS for the Psion 3, 5 and Revo--the best designed PDA's
    > > I know of, and for a while a serious competitor to Palm.
    > >
    > > I've been referring to the Nokia 9300 as "Son of Psion."

    >
    > Wasn't the OS still EPOC at those days (Psion 3 etc)?
    > Turned into Symbian when the bigger players (Ericsson, Symbian) took over.


    Judging by a little googling, you seem to be correct. EPOC release 5 was
    waht the 5 and Revo ran on. Symbion v. 6 was the next release, sometimes
    referred to as ER6.

    The numbering suggests, however, that it was a name change, not a shift
    to a new OS.

    > I think Psion has had very little (or nothing) to do with Symbian OS 7 or
    > later (so including 9300 also).


    I don't know about development involvement, but Psion didn't sell its
    stake in Symbian until after v 7 was released.

    --
    Remove NOPSAM to email
    www.daviddfriedman.com

  13. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    One also needs to consider that currently, most smart phones are
    actually 2 units in the same cabinet. This is a must for palm and
    microsoft based interfaces sicne their OS is not able to do hard real time.

    EPOC-32 was originally marketed as being able to do this, but I am not
    sure if any phone was ever built with EPOC/Symbian actually running the
    phone itself.

    Linux, from what I have been told, doesn't have hard real time
    capabilities, but can be configured to do a pretty good approximation.


    On the other hand, what is not clear to me is whether the USA vs intl
    mobile standards (CDMA vs GSM vs UMTS (3G GSM)) require different
    hardware or whether a software change alone is sufficient to change a
    handset from one protocol to another. If they require different
    hardware, then combining the phone into the UI may not be desirable.

    But if the same hardware can be used to drive any telephone standard,
    handset manufacturer may wish to have an OS that can handle both the UI
    and the telephone which woudl allow them to simplify the handset
    hardware and thus lower costs.

    --------

    On the other hand, the marketing department may dictate that having the
    microsoft logo on the handset is a must and thus throw out any economic
    or technical considerations.

  14. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    Keef wrote:
    > Psion split into Psion who did the hardware and Symbian who did the
    > software (like PalmOne/PalmSource). My assumption is that the Symbian OS
    > is an evolution of EPOC32 which was the OS for the Psion 5. I thought
    > the Psion 3 used EPOC16 (which may or may not be a different beast).
    > Anyone confirm or deny my assumptions?




    the original EPOC, which ran on SIBO hardware platform was 16 bits. It
    ran on the Series 3 as well as a bunch of industrial devices.

    Then PSION set out to build a totally new 32 bit OS designed to be able
    to run on phones. It created a new subsidiary called Psion Software and
    released what was called EPOC-32. Then, PSION convinced mobile makers to
    buy into it and Psion Software became Symbian with PSION retaining about
    a 20% share in it. This was done at a time when EPOC32 was still
    unfinished (versions 1.0). It took many years for the prpmosed features
    to appear n the form of the ER5 version which, contrary to early
    promises, was not available to the Series 5 owners.

    Following this, no more work was done by Symbian on behalf of PSION and
    Symbian was able to start doing real work on EPOC32 , now called Symbian
    OS and started a pretty huge transformation process of the OS, adding
    many features which PSION had refused to support (such as file converters).

    And in recent year/years, PSION sold its shares in SYMBIAN to Nokia and
    bought into some company Teklogix which makes industrial devices based
    on Windows/DOS. The SYMBIAn OS is now totally independant of PSION and
    majority owned by NOKIA. Some of the early adopters of EPOC32 such as
    Motorola have produced non-Symbian based phones since this. So it isn't
    a given that shareholeders of Symbian produce all their phones based on
    Symbian OS.

  15. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    David Friedman wrote:
    > I don't know about development involvement, but Psion didn't sell its
    > stake in Symbian until after v 7 was released.


    Psion ceased its interference with Symbian once ER5 was released. It
    sold its shares much later, once it was possible to sell them at a
    profit. Between the initial released of EPOC32 and ER5, there was a long
    gap (2-3 years) which has never been explained. During this time,
    Symbian did nothing significant.

    PSION just changed the CPU and found slightly better LCds wben it
    upgraded the Series 5 to 5mx and got ER5 installed to support the
    featues that had been promised when the Sries 5 was released. (just as Java).

    Note that EPOC32/Symbian versiosn produced for hansets were compiled
    with UTF character set support, whereas the PSION devices just has
    microsoft's proprietary deviation from ISO-LATIN1 character set support.
    So applications on one won't work on the other because of the different
    character sets even if the OS is the same.

  16. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    >Do you have any insight into or opinion about why Microsoft hasn't still
    >been able to transfer their strength in development tools to gaining
    >significant market share in mobile devices?


    Unfortunately these are orthogonal items. Microsoft bet on Lot's of
    functionality over and above the basic PDA capabilities of the Palm Devices
    at the time. The systems were bulkier and more expensive at first and people
    laughed saying "who needs all that extra stuff" but lo and behold - it's
    just what people wanted and developers were able to take advantage of it
    all. Same transition is happening in the phone markets. It's getting to the
    point where calling someone is almost a secondary feature of a more capable
    "Portable Device" Windows CE was designed to support that kind of system
    from the start. Other OSs were not, so it's a longer reach for them to make
    that happen. So why is WM behind? Because it's still more expensive to make
    the more feature capable devices, the technology is changing literally on a
    weekly basis, and device vendors are refusing to deal with software and OS
    updates. All of that makes people skittish about buying the new feature rich
    devices. Then there is the usability. So long as these things are sold as
    phones with the basic number keypad as the primary input mechanism they will
    continue to be overpowered phones. A new UI model is needed, so far the
    Pocket PC phone edition type devices look the best for that, but they've got
    limits as well.

    --
    Steve Maillet
    EmbeddedFusion
    www.EmbeddedFusion.com
    smaillet at EmbeddedFusion dot com



  17. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    >This is a must for palm and
    >microsoft based interfaces since their OS is not able to do hard real time.

    This is FALSE, it astounds me how anyone can continue to make this claim
    after it's been shown false on many occasions over many versions of the OS.
    Windows CE (The underlying OS for Windows Mobile) IS able to support hard
    real-time systems, See the analysis performed by dedicated systems for
    details of independent tests. I've built many a real time system based on
    Windows CE.

    Linux does not have real time natively, it was never designed for that.
    There are some additions and add-ons that deal with the issue in a variety
    of different ways some commercial others GPL with varying levels of success.
    (Usually targeted for a specific industry or solution type)

    The biggest reason why the phones run with 2 processors is that the radio
    vendors want to tightly control the radio interface code and to standardize
    throughout the industry on the "AT command Set'. The radio vendors want to
    control the "stack" to protect their IP AND to protect the carriers. It's
    possible to wreak havoc on the network with the low level radio stacks. By
    having radio modules with hardened, tested and certified stacks built-in
    that a device OEM can't mess with in any way, the carriers and device
    vendors can get devices onto the network faster while maintaining network
    integrity. The OS and CPUs are perfectly capable of doing it all. But the
    security concerns keep it separate. Not a bad design really.

    --
    Steve Maillet
    EmbeddedFusion
    www.EmbeddedFusion.com
    smaillet at EmbeddedFusion dot com



  18. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    I avoided chiming in because I wasn't sure how closely related WM still is
    to CE, but yes, we built realtime high speed memory testers for Teradyne
    based on CE because of its RTOS capabilities (which NT was not
    capable of).

    "Steve Maillet (eMVP)" wrote in message
    news:%23GtfqJc3FHA.472@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > >This is a must for palm and
    >>microsoft based interfaces since their OS is not able to do hard real
    >>time.

    > This is FALSE, it astounds me how anyone can continue to make this claim
    > after it's been shown false on many occasions over many versions of the
    > OS. Windows CE (The underlying OS for Windows Mobile) IS able to support
    > hard real-time systems, See the analysis performed by dedicated systems
    > for details of independent tests. I've built many a real time system based
    > on Windows CE.
    >




    > Steve Maillet
    > EmbeddedFusion
    > www.EmbeddedFusion.com
    > smaillet at EmbeddedFusion dot com
    >
    >




  19. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux


    wrote in message
    news:1130615169.939411.21610@g43g2000cwa.googlegro ups.com...
    >I have a couple questions for the group.
    >
    > 1) What are the pros and cons of each of these operating systems?


    Who cares.

    > 2) Which of these PDA/Smartphone operating systems is the most likely
    > to be the dominant player in the portable computing market 3 years from
    > now and why?


    Symbian. Phone manufactures like Nokia, SonyEricsson et al don't intend to
    be commoditized by the OS vendor in the same way Microsoft commoditized the
    PC market.

    Whether that is relevant to ISV's is a different matter. For them, it is
    which phones sell software.


    --

    Sander van der Wal
    www.mBrainSoftware.com





  20. Re: PalmOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Linux

    On 29 Oct 2005 12:46:09 -0700, jfklein@shaw.ca wrote:

    >I have a couple questions for the group.
    >
    >1) What are the pros and cons of each of these operating systems?
    >
    >2) Which of these PDA/Smartphone operating systems is the most likely
    >to be the dominant player in the portable computing market 3 years from
    >now and why?


    The biggest threat to Palm and its future as an OS, in my opinion, is
    the fact that an increasing number of devices that use it, such as the
    Treo smartphones, are just plain crap when it comes to quality.

    I just converted to a Blackberry after having 2 Treo 600 handhelds go
    dead on me within a year. I love the functionality of the Palm OS, and
    the Blackberry's not as slick as I'd like it to me, but at the end of
    the day, if a device is not reliable, what good is its functionality?

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