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Symbian Foundation websites closed

December 17, 2010 6 comments

As mentioned in Jay’s previous post in November, today marks the official close of the Symbian foundation websites. While most of our readers likely never had much experience with or exposure to these websites, they posed a major resource for a lot of curious cats like myself who wanted to keep track of progress on Symbian development as well as contribute ideas for improvements and/or features that we wanted to see in the platform. Nokia has created their own Symbian blog which in due course is expected to be populated with news etc. concerning the platform progress, releases and projects being undertaken that are related to Symbian.

However, all indications point towards a more closed system of development being undertaken.Whether this is done in a similar manner to the Google Android method where code dumps are made regularly and changes made at the whim of the company overseeing development remains to be seen. This, however, is both a positive and negative in that the closed system has somewhat less red tape and bureaucracy standing between ideas/concepts and the realization and productizing of these concepts. Unfortunately this comes at the cost of valuable community feedback and input. Simply looking at the number of great and well supported ideas that were submitted to the Symbian Ideas site (now unavailable of course) is testament to the benefit of using collective intelligence and outside ideas.

 

 

Statement by Tim Holbrow, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation after the break:

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Nokia turning the screw: Adds 13 new patents to suits against Apple

December 16, 2010 13 comments

Well color me shocked (not) but it seems like Nokia has dug up another round of patents to assert against Apple in their ongoing patent litigation suits. Funnily enough these patents cover things that have traditionally been thought to be Apple’s backyard with on-device app stores and touch user interface and gestures being mentioned. It’s pretty obvious that Nokia is getting rather serious with this suit after having added 5 more patents in May.

Truthfully, some of the things being patented today range for silly to obscure/useless but the fact of the matter remains that if you spend time and money developing IP, you’re certainly going to want to be rewarded for doing so. A certain Stefan Constantinescu thinks it’s simply a defense mechanism by Nokia to stifle innovation by companies like Apple and Google because they can’t come up with ideas of their own.  My initial response was “LOL!!!” but for professionalism’s sake I’ll add a bit more to that. Why is it that when Apple sues a company it is protected its ideas and IP and all is well, but when Nokia or Oracle sues over things that are admittedly and rightfully theirs, they are seen as evil. Bias much?

I’ll give you that some of these patents are vague and rather useless in my humble opinion, but others patent equally mundane and silly ideas and are not nearly vilified for it.

Press release after the break. Read more…

Nokia taking Symbian development back in house, Foundation remains to control licensing and patents

November 8, 2010 24 comments

 

As mentioned before in the press release Jay posted, and has been rumored in the blogosphere for quite a while, it seems that Nokia and the Symbian board have taken a decisive step towards improving the Symbian OS, speeding up time to market, improving developer and OEM relations and at the same time cut out some of the bureaucracy that has held Symbian development up for so long. This move was hinted at when Lee Williams stepped down from the Symbian Foundation as executive director and was replaced by Tim Holbrow (former CFO) with rumors circling that winding down operations would commence imminently.  It seems that such a guess was not far off the mark.

I’m certain that a large percentage of people in the blogosphere are now shouting at the top of their voices that Symbian is dead, Nokia is down the toilet and are doomed and that Symbian has no place in the smartphone market (Engadget commenters are truly  remarkable no?). But I’d have to respectfully say that they are patently wrong. Below I’ll outline a few of the reasons why this change has happened and what the future may/may not hold for Symbian development in light of current news.

One of the most telling statements concerning Symbian development were the announcements of Sony Ericsson (SE) and Samsung, that they were discontinuing Symbian development and had no plans for the continued support and/or production of Symbian devices. Looking at those two announcements in a vacuum one might be inclined to think that two of the three major OEM  supporters and Foundation contributors (not dissing Fujitsu here) had withdrawn from an OS that was seemingly about to fail miserably.

Looking at the situation in context however, yields a starkly different story. Having tracked code package submissions to the Symbian Foundation from the fledgling days of S^2 & S^3, I’d yet to see any significant contributions of code by either company. While that’s not to say they didn’t provide any monetary support, the fact that the entire idea of the foundation was to distribute work amongst large companies with significant resources in the hope of faster iterating the OS than any single company could possibly achieve. Unfortunately for the Symbian Foundation, this was not to be, and Nokia has and will continue to contribute the VAST majority of the code.

 

 

 

Worse still, Android came along whereby OEM’s could get a free ride in essence, contributing little if any code, little if any monetary support while getting an OS that they could basically flash onto the base hardware provided by Qualcomm and run with it. While that’s not to say that this is a “bad” approach, in some ways it leaves the OEM’s at the mercy of Google’s whim and provides no real benefit, in the long term at least, for OEM’s looking to differentiate, grow profits significantly and control their own fates.

 

Android also had the benefit of provided an app store that integrated directly into the OS in the form of Android Marketplace, something that Symbian had categorically lacked before 2008. When Nokia came out with the Ovi Store in 2009, it became clearer still to all OEM’s involved with Symbian that not only could they not compete with Nokia in terms of hardware costs, reliability and scale, but they also couldn’t compete in terms of value added services to Symbian OS.  Worse still, Symbian Horizon, which would have been the go-to application repository for Symbian applications for all OEM’s, failed spectacularly leaving Samsung and SE high and dry with regards to added services, through no fault of the Symbian Foundation of course.

NB. Symbian in it’s base implementation comes without mapping applications and application stores

 

Having realized that there would be no financial benefit in sticking around, both companies decided to jump ship to an OS where all the work was done for them and they simply needed to toss an OS on some hardware and meet some nebulous requirements concerning the use of Google services and market and they’d be just peachy.

 

 

The second most telling statement made was by Nokia where they said that they had no intentions of sticking to the large-scale generational changes to the Symbian platform formerly known as S^3, S^4.x , S^5 etc and that they would be sticking to continuous, smaller scale improvements to what they would call “Symbian” with most recent devices getting the changes initially slated for the generational S^4 release. Furthermore, they publicly stated that Symbian development would give way to Qt development, in essence both dog-fooding and relegation of Symbian C++ to legacy status.

In hindsight, these events in addition to the rapid pace of development of both software and hardware in the mobile sphere has led to the predicament the Foundation has faced, and thusly the decision made in the conference call and board meetings today.

 

 

 

On the bright side of course, SEE2010 begins tomorrow with the MeeGo conference slated for the following week. Here’s to hoping for at least SOME positive news and seeing positive strides being taken in both domains.  Keep your browsers pointed here for more news on both Expos in coming days.

 

SYMBEOSE: EU and major European corporations invest in Symbian

November 2, 2010 9 comments

 

SYMBEOSE: Symbian the Embedded Operation System for Europe is a new initiative led by the EU and a number of major European corporations such as Nokia, ST-Ericsson and a host of others, including academic organisations with the major objective of improving the Symbian OS in order to take it above and beyond it’s current iteration and into new devices and use cases. Among these new cases are embedded systems and cloud computing.

 

A few of the objectives mentioned in the press release include Asymmetrical Multi-Processing for the differential use of available processors to better conserve system resources and power consumption. Such a change could see Symbian running on SOC’s like Marvell’s ARMADA 628 while barely sipping battery power. (Symbian already supports Symmetrical Multiprocessing ),  Advanced image processing and video acceleration standards (HDR video? ) and improved developer tools. Part of the motivation for this initiative may stem from the fact that Symbian is the only real competitor in the smartphone space to Android, Windows Phone 7 and iOS. It’s also the only one of these major players that has any origins in the EU. Even more significant is the fact that Symbian and Symbian-related activities account for the employment of ~20,000 people across the EU.

 

As such, these organisations have come together to support the development of the Symbian OS to the tune of 22 million Euros. This “new” initiative is not that significant in terms of the future direction of Symbian OS in the sense that it’s not a replacement or a new direction but the creation of a stronger community of communication, R&D and ideas.

 

More information can be found in the press release and an initiative summary here

 

via

Nokia N8 excitement and lines around the world

No your are not looking at another iPad line this is the lines of people from around the world hoping to pick up the new Nokia N8 pretty impressive I say for a company that allegedly cannot compete with the guys over at cupertino……

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The Nokia N8 is shipping !!!

September 30, 2010 107 comments

reminds me of fast food place 😀

Yes folks Nokia early this morning (why on earth I am up this early 6.30 am !!!) announced that the Nokia n8 is shipping just before the Q3 cut off date, so technically they did manage to release it on time. Devices have left China and Finland to be flown around the world to people that have pre ordered (maybe I should have :-() anyway Nokia goes on to say this is the highest pre order of any Nokia device before so I am thinking that people that have not pre ordered might be waiting a considerable time longer, I guess time will tell.  They also go on to provide pictures from the factory.

One of those beauties could be yours

let us know if you have received your device

via Nokia Conversations

Nokia N8 apparently not delayed (Updated)

September 21, 2010 54 comments

Nokia today denied that the N8 has been delayed, they expect the N8 to start shipping at the end of the third quarter and that hasn’t changed, Nokia’s explanation is that customer pre ordering from Nokia directly will get the N8 at a slightly different time then to people getting the N8 from their choosen network. So basically networks will be shipping devices at different times to people buying straight from Nokia. It seems the delay comes from shipping the large amounts of N8’s around the world rather than an issue with the N8.

That report seems to  reflect that from a statement from Nokia’s official blog.

Nokia conversations, Nokia’s official blog posted an update on their website clarifying the reports that came from Engadget saying the N8 has been delayed for a few week’s.

ESPOO, Finland – There have been a few stories this morning about the N8 availability which we feel need clarification. As we have previously said, we still expect to start the shipments by the end of the third quarter. As with every global launch, when the device reaches the hand of the customer will vary by market and operator.

We have received a record number of online pre-orders for the Nokia N8. We had targeted our online pre-order customers to receive their N8s by the end of September. As it can take time from the beginning of shipment to arriving at their doorstep, in full transparency, we have advised our pre-order customers that they should expect their new Nokia N8 in October.

Update It seems the delays are in fact true according to some of our readers, Rewes mentioned that it was confirmed that the N8 will be delayed in Netherlands and another reader ekngee also has said both pre orders and normal sales have been pushed back for mid october in Singapore. I just want to reiterate that no one knows what is going on so stay tuned we are still getting both sides of the story and mixed messages it is obviously a bad day for the PR department :-D.

I am gonna stick to my theory and say the N8 will not be delayed for Nokia’s more important markets and in some country’s it will be delayed.

thanks to Endaf for the heads up

via Nokia conversations & Straits times

Nokia N8 delayed AGAIN !!!!!

September 20, 2010 58 comments

Yeah you read the headline right the N8 has been delayed again. I thought it was some sick joke, cue all the articles and the blogposts explaining why Nokia is dead. Anyway the folks at Engadget confirmed the horrible news with a statement from Nokia

“The amount of preorders has exceeded our expectations and we are working hard to deliver the Nokia N8 to the market. In some markets, we had planned to start delivering the Nokia N8s to our pre-order customers by the end of September. To ensure a great user experience, we have decided to hold the shipments for a few weeks to do some final amends. We’re thrilled with the response that we’ve had to the Nokia N8 and assure everyone who’ve pre-ordered it already that it’ll be worth the wait! We expect consumers to get their Nokia N8s during October.”

What happened to the supposed 26th of August release a while ago why o why 😦

via Engadget

Swype for Symbian^1

September 2, 2010 16 comments

The guys at Nokia Beta labs, responsible for the awesome “Nokia Bots” and ”Nokia Conversations” widgets and the “Photo Browser” application currently available in the Ovi Store have released a beta version of the text input program “Swype”. The Swype apps is available at the following link. Swype aims to significantly speed up text entry on touchscreen, button-less devices and is available on multiple platforms. Go give it a whirl and leave your feedback both here and at the Beta Labs page. Help them make a better product for us users will ya!

Currently available for the Nokia N97, N97mini, X6, 5800, and 5230

Video of Swype in action below.

via

Nokia acquires Motally

Nokia today announced that they acquired Motally a San Francisco based analytics company. Motally offers in app application tracking and reporting to be able for developers to understand their customers better in a better way. Interestingly Nokia has said it plans to incorporate Motally into Qt, Meego, Symbian and Java and also kepp its exsisting customers base which includes the iPhone and Blackberry platforms.

It has been reported that Nokia plans to use it to beef up its Ovi store, which to be honest doesn’t make sense at all and won’t add any new information that Nokia doesn’t have right now. But then again Motally has patented technology which sounds nice and makes the deal slightly more interesting.

I still find it interesting that Nokia will keep letting Motally do business with rivals, to be honest that sounds too nice and other companies that I can think off from the top of my head would not do that……

press release here

thanks to Jim for the heads up

Categories: MeeGo, News, Nokia, OVI, Press Release, Qt, Symbian