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Monday, October 15, 2007

Moto buying a stake in UIQ

This should put the cat among the pigeons at tomorrow's Symbian Expo in London. Motorola has trickled out a few UIQ-powered phones over the years, as has S-E. Neither has exactly shown much enthusiasm for pushing Symbian+UIQ much further down the range then the top couple of devices, though. Now both have decided to join forces to (presumably) combat the creeping Nokia S60-isation of the higher end of the consumer phone market.

Motorola's polyamorous relationship with most members of the mobile software ecosystem is pretty confusing. It's got its recently-renamed Motomagx Linux/Java platform with a new partnership with Trolltech, it's got the former TTPCom's Ajar featurephone platform, it's got various Windows Mobile devices (especially in its Q range and its enterprise-device division Symbol), plus various legacy proprietary RTOS platforms. It's got of Flash Lite here and there, and it's Linux platform is supposed to be pretty Web 2.0-friendly.....

This is one of the reasons I'm skeptical that mobile operators outside Japan will ever be able to restrict themselves to just a couple of supported OS's in a few years' time, despite their hopes. S60, UIQ, Windows Mobile, UIQ, Motomagx, Ajar, Nokia S40, BlackBerry OS, midrange S-E & LG & Samsung OS's, Apple OS and a bunch of lower-end platforms or proprietary/closed implementations of Linux.

I wonder what OS Motorola will put in its future WiMAX devices? Fortran, probably. Or a hamster on a wheel. Or it'll partner with Google for yet another handset software platform....

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