MeeGo: It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings

Session notes from MindTrek 2010:

People, especially media are ready to pronounce Android as the winner. But many same people pronounced Razr as the winner a while back, and what happened with that?

Past performance is not an assurance of future. Use value is the king. Mobile phone is a fashionable item but that alone isn’t enough.

Mobile usage is moving from gadget to the cloud. The big question is how well the device connects to services like Gmail, Facebook, Spotify, Kindle etc, not really hardware capabilities.

Use times of mobile phones are increasing. Maybe things are better if you can multitask and don’t have to stop and start apps? Some new connectivity features are also assumed to be built-in to the phone.

Features turn into services. MP3 player to Spotify, SMS to FB chat, camera to Flickr sharing etc.

Nokia needs multiple operating systems to satisfy all market segments. But developers want to target a single API. And the toolkits provided must offer proper ‘digital ergonomics’. Enter Qt. Norway saved Finland.

Maemo: multitasking, full computer. iPhone: UX, developers. Android: cloud, scalability. Different platforms have been pushing different areas of the future.

MeeGo will become the most standard, the most widely deployed operating system in the world. From Netbooks to tablets, phones and cars. And in Finland lots of companies already know MeeGo. There will be opportunities beyond Nokia.

In 2000, the competition was on who can build the smallest phone. Now the competition is on who dares to build the biggest phone.

Android is kind of open, but in MeeGo manufacturers can really contribute into the core OS.

Software updates, and even OS updates are becoming automated. On N900 you get all of these over-the-air, while iPhone requires you to plug the phone in and update from the iTunes on the computer.

Mobile phones have regressed too. From 7 day battery life to barely one day. Making and answering calls is unreliable. How many clicks before you can enter a number? Phones are a lot more fragile. Don’t drop your phone!

New competition areas… Qt versus Android, the Linux camp versus closed OSs, how quickly will the new smartphone functionalities move to the mainstream? Too early to declare a winner.

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