On Mobile Linux Operating Systems

April 13th, 2010 Comments Off

If you had asked me about the state of mobile platforms based on open ecosystems two years ago you would have gotten a very fragmented answer.  There were the beginnings of this Android thing, an OpenMoko project, a Linux Mobile project, rumbles about maybe a Palm/Motorola Linux OS, Maemo, this Moblin platform thing, a Xandros OS on some newfangled netbook “EEE PC” thing that nobody knew much about etc.

There was an obvious trend: people thought Linux was cool and easy to use and everybody and their kid sister was trying it out and releasing platforms and devices with varying degrees of success.  This had a lot of people concerned — what is the future of Linux?  Is it really in a highly fragmented melange of incompatible systems?

Fortunately, in the past year, we began to see this trend reverse.  Android became a dominant presence, OpenMoko announced they wouldn’t continue in the standard phone market, Moblin and Maemo merged and now today we have this. A huge list of companies throwing their weight behind the newly merged Moblin and Maemo project — Meego. I look forward to seeing the future where we see more consolidation behind a few powerful platforms with compatible APIs and a free and encouraging developer ecosystem.   This is the kind of environment I can imagine which would be powerful enough to compete with the current, closed and proprietary, industry leader: Apple & the iPhone OS.