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. Â There were theÂ beginnings of this Android thing, an OpenMoko project, a Linux Mobile project, rumbles about maybe a Palm/MotorolaÂ 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. Â This had a lot of people concerned — what is the future of Linux? Â Is it really in a highly fragmented melange of incompatible systems?
Fortunately, in the past year, we began to see this trend reverse. Â 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. Â 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.