Feeds

Why Microsoft is Acorn and Symbian is the new CP/M

Today's phones are just like '80s computers

Seven Steps to Software Security

And what happened?

Unfortunately by next year MSX was indeed out of date, and despite selling several million units it never became the standard the owners intended.

One can even extend this analogy to encompass Java, or J2ME as the phone-version is known. Java, rather unfortunately, compares well to the BASIC language of the 1980's, in that every computer ran a variation of it, but you couldn't expect an application developed on one to work properly on another without considerable effort. J2ME is still a useful language, but fragmentation of implementations continue to hold it back.

Take this analogy and run forward twenty years or so, and we find that Windows Phone 7, Symbian and Bada are memories brought up in the pub for the sake of geek nostalgia - or worse, relegated to powering something like the Amstrad PCW, where CP/M found a home for a while. In 2030, if our analogy is accurate, the majority of people are using Android, while a small, but vocal, minority continue to insist that Apple makes the best of everything.

One thing we have failed to do is find a place for the Blackberry, though if we keep our horizons within the UK then it's tempting to compare RIM to ICL. ICL certainly dominated government departments, but the comparison isn't really satisfactory, so we welcome suggestions for the 1980's player who most resembles RIM, and anyone else we missed off.

Our analogy isn't complete, or entirely accurate. It's obviously wrong to compare the mighty Google with the fledging Microsoft, though taking IBM's involvement in the promotion of MS-DOS into consideration perhaps that's not too far from the mark.

The point is that the number of desktop operating systems expanded hugely, and then contracted as the majority of people wanted decided to either be different, or run the same software as everyone else.

That left space for two significant players - and all the evidence now points to the mobile industry following a similar course. Only smaller. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.