Schisms in the Church of Unix™
Linux comes with its own betrayal myth, for quite different reasons.
Unlike say the Amiga, or OS/2 or BeOS, it's seen as a political movement rather than just a neat bit of technology. This means there's a moral dimension to the evangelism. So it inevitably attracts some noisy people who are naturally disposed to Being Right, And Morally Superior.
Some of us might use Linux because (say) Ubuntu is (or was) faster and more reliable on a cheapo ULV-processor laptop than any version of Windows. Using it is not a statement of identity or political beliefs.
Alternative diets and currencies provide a similar attraction here - it isn't unusual for someone to embrace several.
Eventually being vindicated becomes more important than Winning or pleasing your users, and it becomes an end in itself. Unix has always provided an umbrella for this kind of evangelist, a place where people can subdivide into endlessly squabbling factions.
The Linux Betrayal Myth is usually deployed pre-emptively. Linux would take over the world if it only wasn't for false consciousness of Windows - just wait and see, next year there'll be a billion or a trillion desktops.
Why MeeGo isn't coming back
MeeGo isn't going to return because Nokia can't, on its own, persuade media companies and developers to back it. That's all Elop means by "ecosystem" - markets of content, and developers. Most analysts are doubtful the Microsoft-Nokia combination will even be able to squeeze home into third place, let alone fourth. And if Android (as I expect) forks, those runners-up places in the market will be taken by flavours of Android.
By the end of the year, Nomura predicts, Nokia will be the third largest mobile phone company in the world, with (still) the weakest smartphone portfolio. Be realistic: that's not going to attract developers en masse.
The petition has overnight amassed 734 Twittering signatories. That's 25 an hour.
It must only be a matter of time. You must be worried, Mr Elop... ®
It's all pretty much irrelevant now
Meego might or might not have run a set of amazing smartphones - however it is really aimed at the generic smart device market rather than specifically phones. There are quite a few Meego devices, most of them go inside cars.
Symbian did run a lot of good smartphones and featurephones.
Symbian is dead and buried, Meego lives on at Intel.
Windows Phone 7 was very nearly dead in the water before it even launched due to the association with Windows Mobile 6.x, and has received several cuts due to apparent MS incompetence. (I say 'apparent' because it's quite likely much of that is down to the operators rather than MS directly.)
So really, Nokia are on an extremely-high-risk path - for Nokia to survive, both MS and Nokia have to get their act together quickly enough to produce some feature-rich and *perfect* WP7 phones before the customers all move elsewhere.
If there is any smell of the Windows Mobile problems there at all, Nokia will fail.
If they fail to integrate perfectly with Outlook and IMAP, Nokia will fail. (Oh dear - WP7 currently doesn't sync to Outlook....)
However, if WP7 fails, Microsoft won't.
That's the basic problem here - Nokia have tied themselves to a brand-new, unproven ship made by a company with a history of ships that sink. Unfortuantely for Nokia, the captain of that new ship doesn't really care all that much, and is very well insured should it sink.
this has the makings
of an interesting and well-argued article.
Do let us know when you've finished it.
I don't know Andrew ...
you normally write reasonably sensible stuff, but this looks like a bad hair day.
OS/2: at one time this outsold Windoze by a wide margin in Germany, a market where people tend to prefer function over form. There were tons of first-rate apps for it, starting with StarOffice as OS/2 only in its first 5 iterations before Sun bought the company as part of its attempt to move all OS/2 desktops to itself. OS/2 is till used by HSBC bank here in the UK due to its acquisition of Midland bank. The reason I switched from OS/2 to Gentoo Linux was simply that it got to the point where I spent more time maintaining the toolchain than using it, and have to say that the crap multi-threading, while know on Wind, was a shock on Linux. Try compiling something, burning a CD and doing other normal stuff simultaneously on OS/2 and it works; on Linux you burn coasters (not that I would go back mind ..). What really happened, as documented in various US records, is that IBM suits lost their bottle in the face of illegal pressure by MS.
Android - I have a Samsung Galaxy S, bought straight after a Nokia 5800 (only a so-so touch screen phone) and this is frankly a disappointment. Android is only saved because its rooted, has a custom ROM and apps like ConnectBot with portforwarding etc, otherwise the whole thing is immature and sloppy. But that's Google sloppiness for you, starting with their gratuitous mangling of the FHS, to their choice of Java instead of something decent like QT, to the rough and sloppy implementation of core apps (as I first found when writing a perl interface for GoogleCheckout). It long ago became apparent that "Do no evil" was not a promise from them to the world, but a command to the world to "do no evil" to Google.
Meego - I'm not a fanboi, don't know where you might vote and CBA bothering with it. But I would buy a Nokia Meego phone in a heartbeat, as many others would. Standard Linux and FHS, able to run a shedload of Linux apps, supported across phones, tablets and automotive systems etc. And with Nokia engineers it would have all the tweaks to battery life and basic functions that Symbian is so good at.
Nokia's problem has always been piss-poor management, and that has only been exacerbated with Elop's final mismanagement before the boat sinks - a classic example being his assertion that they would recoup decimated mark-ups in "services", while being unable to explain or quantify to questioners what this meant.
Is Elop also a 'myth'? Alas no, this is just as calamitously real as the others mentioned, and even though betrayal is the wrong attitude for the problem, the fact is that none of these situations benefited us poor mugs in consumer land at all, and in fact we are the losers on every count.